Beerlines

Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

Archive for the 'Pale Ale' Category

08 March
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Beer provenance revisited: lack of transparency still a hot issue

On the matter of beer provenance I must highlight and hat tip the role Matt Kirkegaard, arguably Australia’s leading beer commentator and blogger, has played in bringing this issue to prominence.

After penning my previous post I came across an earlier post and podcast by Matt about beer provenance concerns. I urge you to read and listen to this interview with Dr Chuck Hahn by clicking on the RBN pic immediately below. Maybe miss the preamble and start 10 minutes in.

rbn chuck

While contacting Matt, beerlines took the opportunity to quickly interview him on beer provenance and secure an update on his thoughts.

Beerlines: “As Editor of Australian Brews News is provenance becoming more important? If so is there any variation between small and big brewers?”

Kirkegaard: “It’s an interesting question.

“As our shelves become more cluttered with a wider array of beers, consumers are looking to brand values as much as flavour to aid their selection.

“It’s here that provenance can really matter. It’s also here that large and small brewers can be pushing things a little too far and muddying the provenance waters.Byron_Bay_Pale_Lager_Carton_6_x_4_330ml

“While it’s very easy to point the finger at beers such as CUB’s outright deception with Byron Bay Lager, or LION’s highly dubious labelling of Kosciuszko Pale Ale, they can quite rightly point their fingers at smaller brewers who have taken the ‘we don’t hide it, but we just don’t advertise the fact’ line when it comes to own their own contract brewing.kosciuszko

“It really doesn’t matter to the quality of the beer, but the unwillingness to be open gives everyone the right to hedge a little and that hurts craft.

Unwillingness to be completely upfront .. lowers the craft bar
“While in one sense I can understand their thinking, it’s the craft brewers’ own unwillingness to be completely upfront that allows the debauching of the craft beer market by the likes of Coles’ Steamrail brand for example: indeed one beerlines used in earlier posts.

new dan murphys_1480

“When Coles can point to their product and say, quite honestly, that it comes from the same brewery as Mountain Goat’s Steam Ale and Summer Ale, and Mountain Goat offers nothing to differentiate their beer .. well, it lowers the craft bar. Read more…

23 August
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Craft beer design: big lessons from little creatures

I’m no designer but I do see craft beer brands that get it, and I cringe for the ones who don’t. ‘Cringe’ because so much passion and effort for the beer just fails to transmit due to dull design.

I’ve always been impressed with the design for Little Creatures.

Great brand name. It dares to be different via stylish clean lines. I especially love the chunky pint bottle pack. And the fresh hopped, bitter Pale Ale just happens to be one of my fave drops. Importantly the market likes it; it’s still here.

Beerlines tracked down one of Little Creatures’ founders, Phil Sexton, to investigate the impact of design. He’s moved on from beer to Yarra Valley wines with two well-known, and well designed, brands: Giant Steps  and Innocent Bystander.

Phil linked me up with Steve Boros, Design Director at the Western Australian firm brainCELLS Pty Ltd which designed Little Creatures and still work for the brand. They also did Innocent Bystander.

Steve played the central design role in the total package that is ‘Little Creatures’. He brought together the many design elements, notably the label and bottle shapes – including the lovely (I want to pick it up) pint pictured here.

I put some questions to Steve who provided these thought-provoking, professional responses.

Why is design important to craft beer brands?

Craft breweries and brands have exploded over the last five or so years: in America to start with but now on the rampage globally. Read more…