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

Archive for the 'Coopers Brewery' Category

09 March

From bigger towards better: people powered beer

I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt with ‘people powered media’ on it.

As a PR I Googled that: immediately thinking of beer of course. I came up with an interesting blog post titled ‘Co-op Breweries: Craft beers in the New Economy‘ by Joshua Nelson. Fascinating ….

beer coop

This is an interesting trend: co-operatives I mean – especially when applied to beer! Economic democracy in the post-industrial era and all that.

While there a many thousands of co-operatives globally, there are few focused on brewing.

In the US there are notables such as Black Star and Fair State as well as relative newbies such as Flying Bike Cooperative. So only a few. Do you know of others?

Equity for punks? Drink like you own the place
With CUB and LION now gobbled up by foreign beverage and food companies SAB-Miller and Kirin respectively, how many Australian breweries are now on the Australian Stock Exchange? Any?

Given the success of Scots brewery Brew Dog’s ‘Equity for Punks!‘, perhaps there are lots of good reasons to co-operate when it comes to beer.

Fresh local beer in which you have a co-operative interest or, as Fair State Brewery’s website says, Drink like you own the place. And to that ….cheers


02 February

Australian owned: does it make a difference?

Back after a sabbatical, I note Coopers Brewery signage re-emphasising its Australian ownership.

Not surprising in light of CUB and LION – the majority of the national beer market – now being foreign owned.

I question how much of an influence this appeal to national loyalty is with beer drinkers.coopers sign

Years ago national, or rather state, loyalty would have been far more important to the parochial beer consumer.

Not any more.

For a number of reasons, not least is so many brewery ownership changes and global brand swaps in recent years, consumers can barely keep up!

Ownership is no longer as influential
Who owns Corona or Cascade? Who owns Little Creatures or Löwenbräu? Who owns Stella Artois or Stone & Wood?

Who cares?

I doubt we’ll see again the outcry and consumer backlash created when the traditional big state brewers like Swan, Castlemaine Perkins, Cascade and others were bought by interlopers from interstate or overseas.

I’m not dismissing loyalty – in this case nationalistic – as a marketing influence: albeit I think it a waning one.

But as modern beer consumers increasingly choose from an expanding personal portfolio of preferred domestic and global brands and styles to suit various drinking occasions, I question the value of putting too many marketing dollars behind appeals to Australian ownership.

Parochialism is not dead. It’s just not guaranteed state-wide anymore 
While Coopers is talking more about ‘national share’ and pitching itself against the foreign-owned big guys, many new and emerging craft breweries are securing solid local loyalty and support.

I mean really local: local local: micro local.

In many ways the beer market is coming full circle.

As the big breweries aspire to globalised ownership clouds, savvy craft breweries are reclaiming local grassroots.

And to that: Cheers!

06 November

Ale or lager: what’s the difference? Master Brewer Dermot O’Donnell explains

Ale or lager?

Many beer drinkers happily enjoy both styles without really knowing the difference. And why shouldn’t they? Many ales and lagers look pretty much the same and they both taste like .. well.. beer.

Beer 101
It’s a fundamental ‘beer 101’ question I agree: some beer aficionados will scoff and roll their eyes. Regardless: many beer lovers simply don’t know. So clearly it’s a ‘beer PR 101’ question as well. Hence this post ..

To help answer the question beerlines asked one of Australia’s most highly regarded brewers and beer judges: Dermot O’Donnell. You can read his impressive resume below.

But first: here are three short video interviews where Dermot explains the difference between ales and lagers.

First: a bit of history and why ales were a happy accident indeed, “a gift from God!”

Dermot explains more about the peculiarities of flavour that are often found in ales.

Australia’s favourite: a frosty cold lager. Dermot explains why.

Dermot O’Donnell
The list of successful national beers Dermot has brewed is massive. It fills an A4 page.

He’s worked for both Australia’s major brewers and consulted to many others. Currently Dermot is Brewmaster for Coca Cola Amatil. And, please note his comments in beerlines are his own.

Dermot has spent over 40 years in the beverage game, mainly in brewing. He says he was fortunate enough to get his first job working in brewery and has since worked in all aspects of making beer including research and marketing. Speaking of marketers, Dermot has a well-deserved reputation with them for understanding the consumer and designing for the particular niche the marketers wish to target. A rare skill.

Victorian born and bred, Dermot has brewed in Melbourne, Sydney and the UK, where he gained Master Brewer qualifications from the University of Birmingham and the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. He is also a Fellow of the Institute .

Thanks Dermot. Cheers!