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AUSTRALIA’S LEADING LIQUOR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE

vol. 38 no. 6 - JULY 2019


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EDITOR’S NOTE

Editor’s Note

W

elcome to the July issue of National Liquor News. On the cover this month we’ve got the latest launch from Gage Roads Brewing, The Atomic Beer Project, which is available in stores and venues now. The brewers gave punters a sneak peak of this new side-project at the recent GABS festivals across the east coast, with the new brand taking out Best in Show at GABS Brisbane. You can read all about The Atomic Beer Project on page 15. Speaking of GABS, the festival broke attendance records in all states this year and National Liquor News was on the ground at the Sydney festival, you can find a few pics from it on page 49. While we’re on the topic of beer, the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has experienced a few staffing changes of late, with new board members being named and they are also on the hunt for a new CEO, you can read all about it on page 17. Also in this issue, IBA President Jamie Cook has written a column for us about how shoppers are trending towards independent beer. Turn to page 25 to read about how one in every 10 consumer dollars are being spent on indie beer. You will have noticed within this month’s magazine there are Glenfiddich shelf wobblers included. With whisky being one of the most gifted liquor categories, ahead of Father’s Day, William Grant & Sons has launched new personalised Glenfiddich labels. The personalisation platform allows shoppers to purchase a bottle of Glenfiddich from any Australian liquor retailer and redeem online a personalised label – you can read all about it on page 10. Occasion-based shopping is hugely important for every retailer and the ‘shopportunity’ presented by Father’s Day is no different. So this month National

Liquor News looks at some of the key pointers you should remember and some of this year’s hot products for Father’s Day, beginning on page 28. On the wine front, Andrew Graham discovers that South Australia is in a new wine era – one where Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay are not the only answers, and where climate change is not the future, it’s now, which you can read all about beginning on page 32. Over in New Zealand, yields are smaller-thanexpected for vintage 2019, but the quality of fruit is being touted as exceptional, according to Natalie Grace, the Manager – Australia for New Zealand Winegrowers. You can read more about New Zealand’s vintage 2019 on page 27. Climate change is a topic that we are going to look at in more detail over the next couple of months, so if you’ve noticed an impact in your region, then I’d love to hear from you. This month, the National Liquor News tasting panel swished and swirled their way through a range of blended wines with Cabernet and Shiraz as the dominant grapes. They found lots of variation in body and style and overall, luscious, fleshy, ripe fruit was dominant. See which wines scored the highest beginning on page 44. You can keep your feedback coming through to djackson@intermedia.com.au. We are always keen to hear your feedback, look at issues concerning you at the moment, and make sure we make this mag works for you.

Cheers, Deb Deborah Jackson, Editor 02 8586 6206 | djackson@intermedia.com.au

TOP READS 32 IS 2019 THE TURNING POINT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIAN WINE? 38 RUM FOR IT! 28 SAYING ‘CHEERS’ TO DAD

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CONTENTS

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Contents July Wine

10 Glenfiddich: The Glenfiddich shelf wobbler promotion explained 16 Spirits: The latest releases, news and promotions from the spirits category 18 Spirits & Cocktails Australia: Using occasions to unlock the traditions of great brands 38 Rum: A spirit of enormous diversity

20 Shopper Insights: Norrelle Goldring looks at the boom of craft across categories 24 Leasing: Marianna Idas of eLease Lawyers discusses how to prepare for a lease exit 28 Father’s Day: Getting retail ready for this special occasion 28 Retail Drinks Australia: Is your industry association meeting your needs? 23 Alcohol Beverages Australia: Discussing the contribution the liquor industry makes to Australia 50 Shop Talk: We talk shop with Good Drinks and Con’s Liquor

Brews

Retail Focus

Regulars

15 Gage Roads Brewing: The Atomic Beer Project has landed 17 Brewing: What’s new in the world of beer?

14 In the Spotlight: We chat with Katherine Johnstone, General Manager NSW/ACT at ALM

8 News: The latest liquor industry news for retailers around the country 48 Events: An exclusive peek at last month’s launches and parties

12 Wine News: All the latest releases and wine news 13 Winemaker Profile: We caught up for a vino with Yalumba’s Kevin Glastonbury 26 Wine Australia: Embarking on its largest ever series of activities in the US 27 New Zealand Winegrowers: Vintage 2019 is small but stunning 32 South Australian Wine Regions: Climate change is not the future, it’s now 44 Wine Tasting Review: All the results from our Cabernet blends and Shiraz blends tasting

6 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

25 Independent Brewers Association: Shoppers sway towards buying independent brews 42 Beer Tasting: We taste a selection of new release beers

Spirits


Bold, brooding & delicious. AUTHENTICALLY HEATHCOTE

debortoli.com.au


NEWS

Catalogues leading the way in engagement Roy Morgan research has shown that even in today’s digitally-focused media landscape, catalogues remain highly relevant and are engaging audiences across multiple generational brackets. The research analysed Australia’s 13.4 million catalogue readers and found that Millennials are the largest readers of catalogues in Australia, numbering over 3.2 million. Over 3.16 million Baby Boomers read catalogues, putting that generational bracket just ahead of the over 3.15 million members of Generation X. Generation Z is next with over 2.5 million catalogue readers while just on 1.4 million catalogue readers are part of the Pre-Boomers generation. As well as detailing who is reading catalogues the research also found out how people are using catalogues and found that they play a significant role on the path to purchase by driving people in-store and triggering high value unintended purchase. Nearly half of catalogue readers (47 per cent) have made a special trip to a store to buy a product after seeing it in a catalogue – which they otherwise would not have seen without reading the catalogue. Additionally, more than half (53 per cent) of catalogue readers find catalogues more useful than other forms of advertising. Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says: “Catalogue readers are avid consumers of content and close to a third read catalogues cover-to-cover and spend an average of six minutes reading catalogues. An added bonus for advertisers utilising the reach of catalogues is that over a third of catalogue readers share their catalogues with friends and families and over two-fifths have emailed or texted a picture of a product to a friend or family member. “There’s little doubt that if you are looking for a way to reach hard-to-find and time-poor consumers that catalogues offer a direct route to the ‘eyeballs’ of over 13.4 million Australians.”

Retail Drinks Australia launches online delivery Code of Conduct Retail Drinks Australia has officially launched its Online Alcohol Sale and Delivery Code of Conduct (Code), and already has signatories on board who represent over 80 per cent of all alcohol purchased online in Australia. Retail Drinks CEO Julie Ryan said the primary purpose of the Code is help retailers ensure they are trading responsibly in the online alcohol space. This also means helping to address concerns that alcohol could be delivered and supplied to minors or people who are intoxicated. “The Code represents an incredible innovation in industry selfregulation and this launch is a significant milestone in achieving a responsible retailing environment for the online alcohol sale and delivery sector,” Ryan said. “In fitting with Retail Drinks’ vision of enhancing the freedom to retail responsibly, the Code provides retailers with a comprehensive blueprint for participation in the digital economy, which is underpinned by the dual key principles of harm minimisation and education.” The Code is voluntary and represents the culmination of extensive work by Retail Drinks in consulting with industry and government to establish a robust framework which governs the increasingly popular online alcohol sale and delivery category. One of the big challenges with the rapidly growing online market is that liquor licensing legislation is state and territory based, but the marketplace is national and the Code seeks to address this key issue. Ryan added: “The Code promotes responsible practices in the online alcohol sale and delivery sector by encompassing not only the retailers themselves but the entire supply chain including major delivery companies, couriers and third-party logistics companies.”

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“Signatories commit to using delivery drivers who are trained in a fit for purpose responsible supply program, and ensuring those drivers are incentivised to refuse delivery in circumstances where alcohol could be misused.” Signatories include Coles, Endeavour Drinks Group, Liquor Legends, Liquor Marketing Group, Tipple, hortys Liquor, Beer Cartel and DrinkWise. A full copy of the Code, details of all the signatories and information on how you can sign up are available on the Retail Drinks Australia website.

CHECK OUT THESHOUT.COM.AU


NEWS

AMBER KING (L) SUE LAURITZ (R) Directors, BrightSide

WHAT WORK PERKS INFLUENCE A CANDIDATE’S DECISION TO STAY?

Pilbara liquor restrictions quashed Western Australia’s Liquor Commission has rejected the majority of a proposal to place blanket bans on liquor sales throughout WA’s Pilbara region. The decision has been welcomed by the Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia (LSA WA) and the Australian Hotels Association of WA (AHA WA), which have both been consistently opposing the decision. The restrictions, which were due to be imposed on 31 March, would have seen a total ban on the sale of packaged liquor on Sundays as well as a ban on the sale of cask and fortified wine and beer in glass bottles bigger than 750ml. The changes would also restrict people to buying one carton of full-strength beer, three bottles of wine or one litre of spirits per day. A person may be able to purchase a combination of beer and wine within the restricted amount. LSA WA CEO, Peter Peck, said the fact that most of the restrictions proposed in the section 64 application were quashed was a big win for common sense. “This was a sensible decision by the Liquor Commissioners, particularly in light of the fact that our members, the industry and the State Government are actively working towards a new harm minimisation approach to the issue of problem drinking through a banned drinkers register trial (BDR). This is a very welcome move that should send a clear message. “Unfortunately, pursuing bad ideas like this uses up a lot of taxpayers’ money for no good reason. The efforts of police and some state government agencies would be better used to focus on targeted initiatives such as the BDR trial and provisions to combat sly grogging. “LSA WA and the AHA are working with the Minister’s office on establishing a BDR trial and we are currently in discussions regarding funding support to facilitate its rollout. “This is something that will make a real difference on harm minimisation by attacking the problem from a different and more effective way and supporting local communities. “This plan has the support of Aboriginal groups, local governments and the State Government, which has been extremely encouraging. “Old-fashioned approaches like blanket bans just don’t work in any long-term way and often cause more problems.” When implemented the BDR trial will be the culmination of more than eight years of work by the industry and will be a credit to the McGowan Government.

Seek recently conducted a survey of more than 2000 participants to identify the key drivers for employees in staying or leaving their current employer. According to Seek, “24 per cent of Australians agree that in addition to salary, employee benefits play a significant role in deciding where they choose to work”. This data supports the current conversations we are having with our candidates. More often than not, once an individual has reached a senior level within their chosen profession, there are a myriad of other factors influencing their career choices. This also applies for candidates earlier in their career journey although the ‘pecking’ order can differ. The key ones for any employer of choice to consider are: Flexibility – this is a key priority and relates to the hours worked. If candidates can avoid travelling in peak hour by starting and finishing work earlier this is a big plus. Also we often get the request from candidates that they’d like to do school drop-off or pick-up at least several times a week. It’s the flexibility to work your hours around your lifestyle. The work will get done however it might not be in the typical nine to five fashion. Time in lieu – particularly relevant for roles involving regular evening and weekend work. It won’t be written into a contract however can help to balance out the more intensive work periods and allow a better work/life balance. Getting time back for additional hours worked is definitely an in demand benefit that employers can offer. Working from home – having the option to work from home is a real drawcard for employees. We also find that many of our employers won’t invest in a satellite office (outside of HO) so it can often be a requirement for the candidate to be based from home. Personal development – offering subsidised training, education or personal development courses is also an appealing work perk. We often speak with candidates who are keen to embark on further study and are looking to their employer to invest in their ‘upskilling’. For example, supporting further WSET training is a big plus for candidates in the wine industry. Passion for the industry/brand – this is somewhat out of your control however it also plays a big part in what roles candidates will consider and/or how long they commit to an organisation. To lack a genuine connection to the industry or brand they’re marketing or selling doesn’t bode well for a long term, flourishing career with the business. To stand out from other businesses and attract and retain the best talent, offering these employee benefits could help. We also recommend that employers highlight such benefits in their job adverts and interview process. For all things sales and marketing please go to www.brightside.careers or call Sue Lauritz on 0403 063 128 or Amber King on 0404 023 944.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 9


SPONSORED CONTENT

William Grant & Sons launches new

personalised Glenfiddich labels for Father’s Day In this issue of National Liquor News, William Grant & Sons has included a shelf wobbler to promote its personalised Glenfiddich labels Father’s Day campaign.

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hisky is one of the most gifted categories in liquor, with research indicating that more than 60 per cent of all whisky is actually purchased as a gift. In response to this, Glenfiddich has launched a new personalisation platform where shoppers can purchase a bottle of Glenfiddich whisky from any Australian liquor retailer and redeem online a personalised label. The programme covers almost the entire Glenfiddich range, including ages 12, 15, 18 and 21 as well as the Experimental Series IPA and Project XX (pronounced Project Twenty). Justine Millsom, Brand Manager Whisk(e)y said: “Personalisation is a huge trend amongst shoppers at the moment. In 2017, one in two adults had personalised a gift in the last 12 months. Add to that the assurance that Glenfiddich gives shoppers as the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, and the opportunity to introduce a personalised gift offering with market wide reach was an immediate opportunity.” Once shoppers buy a bottle of Glenfiddich from any store in Australia they can go online to www.gflabels.com.au to create their personalised label. Labels are then posted out to shoppers and should arrive within three to five business days for metro areas and seven to 10 days business for Western Australia or regional areas. The labels are applied at home by hand and if needed consumers can reference a how-to video found online for help.

“Personalisation is a huge trend amongst shoppers at the moment. In 2017, one in two adults had personalised a gift in the last 12 months.” – Justine Millsom To help retailers communicate to shoppers this great reason to pick up a bottle of high value single malt whisky, William Grant & Sons has included a shelf wobbler in this issue of National Liquor News. If you have lost your wobbler, would like more or would like wobblers to promote other expressions in the personalised range then please contact William Grant & Sons.

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B E A PA RT O F T H E F A M I LY More than just a wholesaler, ILG offers member benefits in the for m of numerous events throughout the year including Race days, Golf days, Trade shows, Study Tours, Brand conferences and more! Dont miss out, contact ILG now to find out how you can experience the family get togethers. Be a part of Australia’s largest Liquor Cooperative, ser vicing the industr y since 1975.

For more information contact Pat Kenny (NSW)

0409 308 341

www.ilg.com.au

Craig Stephenson (QLD)

0434 575 589


WINE NEWS

Two major sponsors to support Wine Media Conference

First National Vineyard Scan completed

The Wine Media Conference (WMC) has announced two major sponsors who will support the event, which is taking place in the Hunter Valley in October. Pernod Ricard Winemakers and the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales will be providing wine and education to conference attendees for the event, which is taking place for the first time outside of North America. “Pernod Ricard Winemakers is proud to be supporting the Wine Media Conference,” said Claire Haigh, Communications Director. “The global wine media attending are of utmost importance to the Australian wine industry and the influx of writers from North America is an opportunity that Australia should take full advantage of. We’re looking forward to showcasing our award-winning wines to these media visiting in October.” The WMC is the world’s largest gathering of wine media and, in 2019, will be the most international such gathering as well. Founded in 2008 as the Wine Bloggers Conference, this conference attracts wine bloggers, wine writers, and wine influencers who write, photograph and video about wines and the wine industry. “We are very excited to showcase award winning wines to the Wine Media Conference attendees,” said Sally Evans, Chair of the Wine Committee of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales. “More importantly, we are happy to be supporting this event that will be good for the wine industry in New South Wales and across Australia.” Allan Wright, president of Zephyr Conferences which organises the WMC, welcomed the two sponsors as key components of the conference. “Our attendees come to learn about the world of wine media and communications; to network with each other; and to experience the local wine industry. Having Pernod Ricard Winemakers and the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales involved in the conference will be well received by our international and Australian delegates.” As well as the two-day conference taking place over October 10-12, attendees will also have the opportunity to take part in one of four post-conference excursions to different NSW wine regions.

Wine Australia, in conjunction with Consilium Technology, has conducted the first-ever National Vineyard Scan, which has used artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to provide highly accurate vineyard data. The scan replaces the old Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) paper-based survey which was last published in 2015. It has also revealed that Australia has 146,128 hectares under vine and the locations of all the plantings. In it’s first-ever scan – which covered five million hectares – the technology revealed: • the total area of vineyards (146,128 hectares) • the total length of vine rows (463,718 kilometres – enough to wrap around the earth 11 times) • the average density of vine rows (3.17 kilometres/ hectare) • the number of individual blocks identified (75,961) • the largest geographic identification (GI) region (Riverland, South Australia), and the smallest GI region (Hastings River, New South Wales). Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the National Vineyard Scan was very accurate, with 95 per cent matching of vineyards compared with human identifications in test samples. “This scan provides the sector with a very good baseline for follow-up surveys that will be carried out over the next two years. “The last ABS survey set the total reported area of vineyards at 135,133 hectares, about eight per cent less than the Vineyard Scan found, but because of the differences in the methods used it is unwise to assign all of that difference to growth in plantings – some of that difference is likely to be the difference between estimated returns in the survey and actual mapping,” Clark said. He added that the comparing the scan data with the last ABS report did support anecdotal reports that there had been little change in the overall national vineyard over the past few years. “If all of the difference between the two figures were to be taken into account, it would suggest growth of 11,000 hectares nationally in three years or about four per cent average annual growth per year, which aligns with anecdotal reports of only very moderate increases in plantings over that timeframe.” Consilium technology used an analysis algorithm known as Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture, which scans high-resolution satellite images of Australia’s wine regions to identify exactly where and how many vine rows are planted. In the short term, at the Australia Wine Industry Technical Conference at the end of July, an interactive GAIA app will be launched to allow grapegrowers and winemakers to identify and annotate their own blocks.

Casella confirms buyer approaches Casella Family Brands (Casella) has told National Liquor News that it has not begun the process to sell some or all of its wine business, but has confirmed that it has received a number of approaches from interested parties. The Australian Financial Review said that it believed Casella had hired investment bank UBS “to test the appetite of potential buyers”. However the company said: “Casella Family Brands has not commenced a sale process for the business. “There has been strong interest in the sector, driven by the recent sale of Accolade Wines and the rumoured sale of the Pernod Ricard Wine assets, and Casella Family Brands has received a number of approaches over an extended period of time from a range of investors in relation to the Casella Family Brands business. “The company will continue to invest in the growth of its portfolio of brands including [yellow tail], Peter Lehmann Wines, Brand’s Laira, Morris Wines of Rutherglen and Baileys of Glenrowan.” In terms of those companies who could make such a purchase, The Carlyle Group, which now owns Accolade Wines is seen as a likely bidder, as well as TPG Capital and PAI Partners, who were outbid by Carlyle for Accolade. Casella has built a hugely successful business driven largely by its exports of Yellow Tail, which now stands at around 12.5 million cases a year.

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WINEMAKER PROFILE

CHATTING WITH YALUMBA’S

Kevin Glastonbury We sat down for a glass of Signature and Caley with Kevin Glastonbury, who has been Senior Red Winemaker at Yalumba for the last 20 years. Q: YOU’VE BEEN AT YALUMBA FOR 20 YEARS AND IN THE WINE INDUSTRY FOR ALMOST 30. WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR MAJOR INFLUENCES? There was James Godfrey – still a great mate of mine and arguably one of the greatest fortified winemakers in Australia. Charles Melton – an old school Barossa winemaker. Andrew Wigan – a great Barossa winemaker with Lehmann for so many years. In joining Yalumba, obviously Brian Walsh who was director. And my boss. Louisa Rose is acknowledged as one of the best winemakers in Australia. Lou and I have always had a very similar ability to understand what this as a young wine will be as an old wine.

Q: HOW HAS THIS YEAR’S VINTAGE BEEN? WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING? In 2019, we had some warm conditions in South Australia. As soon as you have some hot weather or rain then people automatically tone down a quality vintage. I think you should be a bit more patient before you classify something. Vintage 2019 has given us a little more fruit concentration, but they haven’t lost any of the freshness or style about them. The reds are wonderful wines. We’ve got some amazing Grenache, Cabernets and Shiraz. They’re 0.2, 0.3 per cent riper, but it hasn’t hurt the wines at all, and in essence it will give the punter the approachability and generosity that they look for. I think the 2019 wines will deliver that, but as you go up the scale, you’ll see the finesse, the style and the quality.

’99 was a vintage that people didn’t rate. It was an odd year. A lot of things went wrong with rain and disease. Those wines today are amazing. They are hands down better than the ’98 vintage that everyone thought was going to be one of the great vintages of all time.

Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR GRENACHE. It’s not encumbered by oak, number one. A lot of full-bodied reds have oak. And if you use it properly then it’s ok, but if you overuse it you can mask the quality of the wine. A Grenache is very much like a Pinot – you’ve got to look after it with kid gloves, a lot more work in the vineyard to get it balanced. When you do all of that you can have a really terrific wine at the end. I think that the winemaker shines through in a variety like Grenache more so than they do with Shiraz and Cabernets. You can see the winemaker’s style. To see Grenache having its time now is terrific. It’s gone from the big, dark, brooding, plummy, ripe, sweet style of the 90s to now being a wine of finesse.

Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU’VE NOTICED IN AUSTRALIAN WINE OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? The mechanisation and the ability to do things in the cellar and analyse things in the laboratory have grown immensely. The laboratory is a big thing. We rely on the lab to come out with information quickly and accurately. Microbiology is virtually instantaneous these days. If you think your wine has some Brettanomyces, we can have a result in hours.

Q: WHAT HAVE BEEN THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TIME AT YALUMBA? Vintage highlights, that’s what drives me as a winemaker. In some of those underrated years we’ve made some amazing wines. A vintage like

Q: WHERE DO YOU SEE WINE GOING IN THE FUTURE? One of my common statements is the wine industry is always cyclic. What was big a while ago will be

big again at some point. It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next 15-20 years we might go back to a purer 80s style, which is a more pristine way of winemaking because we’re into this more handsoff, let it rock and roll area now. I think there’ll be a lot of winemakers looking at heat and drought tolerant varieties. Some of the varieties from Greece and Spain will certainly be looked at over the next few years.

Q: HOW CAN WINEMAKERS WORK WITH RETAILERS TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS FOR BOTH BUSINESSES? We need to spend more consistent time with the retailers, not a couple of hours at a time, but once a month get out and about. Because they need to hear what we’re talking about and they need it reinforced on a regular basis. The more you show yourself with your wine to your customer, who will then transfer that knowledge onto his or her customer, then the greater that association will be.

Q: FINALLY, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE WINES WE’VE BEEN ENJOYING? These are brand new vintages of these two wines – the ’15 Signature and the ’14 Caley. New release wines that are coming out in July. The Signature is a Barossa Cabernet Shiraz. They’ve been made since the 1962 vintage, so it’s a long-serving wine. It’s a cellaring wine, but it’s one that we can drink relatively young. It’s drinking now but it will cellar well for 15 to 20 years comfortably. I think this will be the modern benchmark of Signature. The Caley, this is the third Caley. It’s our jump into the luxury world of wine. Cabernet from Coonawarra and Shiraz from Barossa. This wine is a blend of those two varieties from those two regions that are acknowledged as a blend of varieties and regions that have produced some of the best wines in Australia.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 13


L-R: Shane Madden, General Manager at Retail Liquor Specialists Group’s Cellarbrations Gold Creek and Katherine Johnstone

STATE MANAGER PROFILE

In the spotlight We spoke to Katherine Johnstone, General Manager NSW/ACT for Australian Liquor Marketers, about liquor trends within the business and Australia at large.

Q: HOW HAS 2019 BEEN PERFORMING FOR YOUR STATE SO FAR? Katherine: Key trading periods performed above expectations for the state. The NSW region has seen some great weather conditions that have aided sales across the network. The positive momentum in the NSW market sets us up well as we head into the winter months.

brands into regional specific products such as Tasmanian whiskies and gins. The other growth area is around organic and vegan in both our supermarket and liquor business. It’s certainly an area that should be looked at for all independents as consumers head towards the ‘better for you’ option.

Q: WHAT ARE THE TOP PERFORMERS FOR Q: WHAT MAKES YOUR STATE UNIQUE MARKET-WISE? Katherine: The NSW on-premise market continues to grow, with an ever-increasing footprint of suburban pubs and small inner city bars offering premium food and great cocktail solutions. We are seeing venues catering for the premiumisation trend with a large selection of high end whiskies and gins. We are also seeing a trend back to live music in venues that is driving foot traffic back into the on-premise. From an independent retail perspective, we have a strong network who are committed to our banner activities which makes for a vibrant independent packaged liquor market. Consumers are also looking for easy cocktail solutions that they can make at home.

Q: ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC TRENDS YOU’RE SEEING? Katherine: Localisation of craft beer, wine and gin is trending. We are seeing consumers experiment with their purchases, moving from traditional big

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YOUR STATE ACROSS ALL CATEGORIES? Katherine: Coopers Pale Ale is performing well along with craft beer in general. We are also seeing a rise in premium Australian whiskies. Rosé continues to see strong growth, along with premium Australian sparkling and Prosecco on the back of the spritz phenomenon. Consumers are looking for quality drinking experiences in both the on- and off-premise.

Q: ARE THERE ANY STATE-SPECIFIC INITIATIVES THAT YOU ARE PLANNING FOR THIS YEAR? Katherine: We will continue to focus on delivering the best store in town for the independent market and look to grow our premium footprint with the Porter’s banner. We will expand our liquor range across these trending categories to ensure the right offer for our customers. ALM NSW/ ACT is committed to providing the industry’s best warehouse and logistics solution for our customers. The team in NSW/ACT are looking forward to working closer with our industry partners for a successful 2019.

“Localisation of craft beer, wine and gin is trending. We are seeing consumers experiment with their purchases, moving from traditional big brands into regional specific products such as Tasmanian whiskies and gins.” – Katherine Johnstone


SPONSORED CONTENT

THE ATOMIC BEER PROJECT HAS LANDED Atomic Pale Ale has been a Gage Roads Brewing staple for more than a decade. And now it’s the inspiration driving a new and exciting beer project.

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he Atomic Beer Project is here. Gage Roads Brewing Co gave punters a sneak peek of its new sideproject at the recent GABS festivals across the east coast, with the new brand turning heads and taking out ‘Best in Show’ at GABS Brisbane. But post-GABS, the Atomic Beer Project is now ramping up its availability in-store and on tap across the country. So what is the Atomic Beer Project and what does Gage Roads expect it will achieve? “The Atomic Beer Project is a brewer-led side project from Gage Roads, that explores the world of hop-driven ales,” says Gage Roads Brewing’s Miles Hull. “It’s a place where we can experiment and allow the brewers to really focus on hops. “We know that consumers are increasingly as interested in hop-driven ales as brewers are and in many ways, this will be a project where we can take drinkers along a flavour and education journey.” The project’s core range will be led and driven by Atomic Pale Ale – a staple of the Gage Roads range for more than a decade. “Atomic Pale Ale is the first beer under the Atomic Beer Project. It’s the same beer we’ve been perfecting at Gage Roads for over 10

“We know that consumers are increasingly as interested in hop-driven ales as brewers are and in many ways, this will be a project where we can take drinkers along a flavour and education journey.” – Miles Hull years, but with a new look. It’s the ideal beer to lead this new project.” Sitting alongside the pale ale is the Atomic Beer Project’s second core release, the IPA. It comes in at a very sessionable 5.6 per cent, showcasing bold hop aromas and flavours. “IPAs are ever-increasing in consumer popularity and so are craft cans, so with this release we combine both to ensure the brand is aligned with consumer driven demand. “It’s a classic West Coast style IPA, balanced

with citrus fruit characters and crisp bitterness to ensure great approachability,” says Hull. While there will be other core range beers to come, limited releases and speciality brews will be a regular feature of the Atomic Beer Project. The debut limited release is the Atomic Beer Project Double IPA. “We’re excited that the first of many speciality beers is our Double IPA. It’s bold, adventurous and bursting with flavour. It’s really a rich celebration of hops, delivering citrus aroma, nectar-like flavours and moreish bitterness. “We’ve released the Double IPA in an eyecatching 500ml can. Despite coming in at 8.2 per cent, it’s approachable enough for those wanting to learn more and test the waters of hop driven beers, while also appealing to those who are well ingrained into the world of craft beer.” Speaking of eye-catching, the new brand comes with a fresh look. “The clean, fresh styling has been designed to stand out on the retail shelf, as well as in the beer fridge to best grab the attention of beer drinkers.” The Atomic Beer Project Pale Ale and IPA are now available, with the speciality release Double IPA available for a limited time only. For more information, or to place an order, contact your Good Drinks Brand Ambassador.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 15


SPIRITS

Archie Rose’s first whisky sells out The popularity of Archie Rose’s products shows no sign of abating, with the distillery’s first whisky release selling out in under two hours, but a new core range whisky will be available in August. The limited-edition Chocolate Rye Malt Whisky sold out in just 1-hour 41-minutes. The distillery now has just over 100 bottles available for cellar door sales. Following on from the first limited-edition release, Archie Rose will release the first batch of its Rye Malt Whisky as the first of its core range whiskies on 1 August. The Rye Malt Whisky uses rare malted rye and malted barley and American oak casks. According to Founder Will Edwards, the whisky showcases Archie Rose’s focus on malt and its approach to working with rye which is more difficult to process than barley. “Our vision for whisky has always been to speak of our experience as Australians, utilise the incredible raw materials available to us, and strive for genuine innovation in what is typically an extremely traditional industry,” says Edwards. “We have crafted a distinct, charming and flavoursome spirit which showcases the quality of its components, being unique malted rye, local malted barley and incredible, painstakingly 36-month airdried oak, as well as the innovative production methods we employ in the distillery. “We’ve spent an enormous amount of time in research and development, looking at how we can create a rich and engaging, complex yet approachable whisky, and we believe we’ve made something really special.” Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky ‘1st Batch’ will be available for purchase via a ballot allocation drawn on 27 July or from 1 August via www.archierose.com.au and the bar at Archie Rose Distilling Co. in Rosebery, Sydney – RRP: $119.

Lyre’s takes its non-alcoholic spirits global Lyre’s the new non-alcoholic spirit brand, which launched in Australia just over a month ago is going global after securing distribution and manufacturing deals. Co-founder Mark Livings said that as well as securing distribution in a number of key global markets, the brand has also received international orders in excess of $1m. “We are going global,” Livings said. “In New Zealand we will distribute with Hancocks and that will start in August. In the UK we are being distributed by Proof Wine and Spirits and that will also begin in August. “Then in the United States we will be distributing with what is the largest wine and spirits distributor in the world, which is Southern Glazers. They will put us into their artisanal division, which is their highly focused, top 200 accounts by East Coast, West Coast and that will start in September.” Livings also said he is hoping to have announcements about Asia and Continental Europe in the next couple of months. In terms of the manufacturing side of the brand, Livings said: “We are manufacturing in Australia presently, but we are spinning out manufacturing to the United States, in Belgium to service the UK and Europe. We will also be manufacturing in China to service China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.” Livings has been travelling the world looking to engage people with the products and said that the job really is to get as many people sampling Lyre’s as possible. “Overall the feedback we are getting is great, and the prevailing wisdom in any consumer product category is when you’ve got an amazing tasting product you get it in as many faces as possible.” Lyre’s is also continuing to gain momentum in Australia and more information about the range is available on the Lyre’s Spirits Co website and the range is available through Swift & Moore.

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Squealing Pig to launch Rosé Gin Squealing Pig, Australia’s most popular rosé, has brought together two boom categories, with the release of Squealing Pig Rosé Gin. The gin has been crafted with 10 botanicals including juniper berries, citrus peels, lavender blossoms, coriander seeds, angelica seeds, rosemary, cardamom, fennel, peppermint and laurel leaf with a dash of Squealing Pig Rosé added. Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) Deputy Chief Marketing Officer Angus Lilley explained the thinking behind the new gin. “While quality and expertise underpins everything we do, Squealing Pig has had enormous success bringing some playfulness and fun to the typically serious wine category, making it more accessible to new consumers. We’re now thrilled to be putting this fresh, approachable spin on quality gin too. “Squealing Pig has contributed significantly to value growth in the wine category over the last few years, so we’re in a great position to bring across fans of our wines to gin and fans of gin to wine, to grow both categories. “Squealing Pig Rosé Gin is the first gin sold in Australia that contains Pinot Noir rosé wine. Squealing Pig Rosé is made from Pinot Noir sourced from Marlborough, New Zealand. The bottle and packaging take cues from the wine category,” Lilley added. TWE has teamed up with internationally recognised drinks figurehead Jason Crawley, to work on launch plans for both the offand on-premise. “We have come up with some lovely creative ideas that I’m excited to see come alive in bars and bottle shops,” said Crawley. “Squealing Pig Rosé Gin really punches above its weight and is made in an approachable drinking style. With an alluring pale salmon colour, it is dry, light and refreshing with subtle juniper, bright citrus flavours and balanced spices. The addition of rosé wine gives it a delightful hint of lifted strawberry on the finish.” Squealing Pig Rosé Gin is now available to order from TWE in a 700ml bottle.


BREWING

Coopers restructures senior management team Coopers Brewery has restructured its senior management team, appointing a General Manager and recruiting a National Marketing Manager to help drive the company’s future growth. The company said that the new management structure will provide additional support for Managing Director Dr Tim Cooper and has been designed to provide “a more effective and efficient engagement with customers”. Michael Shearer, who is currently Coopers’ Commercial Manager and has been with the brewery for more than 15 years, has been appointed General Manager and will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the brewery. The new National Marketing Manager for

Kate Dowd

Michael Shearer

the brewery is Kate Dowd, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the beverages sector, working for numerous multi-national organisations including CUB, Asahi and Anheuser-Busch InBev in Australia and overseas. Cam Pearce, Coopers’ Director of Marketing

and Innovation, said Dowd’s appointment followed a nationwide search which had resulted in a number of outstanding candidates being interviewed. “Kate has extensive experience in the beer industry and fast-moving consumer goods area,” he said. “She will oversee marketing across Australia for Coopers and its partner brands. We believe she has the experience and expertise to make a significant contribution in what will be an exciting period ahead.” Coopers has also appointed Mark Goulmy, the former General Manager Sales and Marketing for Premium Beverages, as Coopers’ National Manager, Sales and Partner Brands.

IBA welcomes two new board members

Lion completes XXXX solar project Lion has revealed it has completed the $2m project to install more than 2200 solar panels at the XXXX Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Milton. The 690-kilowatt system has been installed on the roof at the brewery and is enough to generate the equivalent amount of electricity consumed by 130 large homes in Brisbane in a year. “This will reduce the site’s annual carbon emissions by about 1260 tonnes, which is about seven per cent of CO2 emissions from electricity used at XXXX,” Lion’s Group Supply Chain Director, Ian Roberts, said. “We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and being a good neighbour to the many residents and businesses that call Milton home. “And we will keep the big yellow wheel in place on Milton Road just as a reminder of how far we’ve come. It is change like this that has allowed us to preserve the brewery’s rich history and keep making Queensland’s favourite beer. This is something everyone at XXXX is very proud of.” This latest investment in the brewery is on top of more than $5m already spent on brewery improvements over the past decade. “In addition to the solar power system, we have also installed a stateof-the-art reverse osmosis plant which re-uses waste water – enabling XXXX Gold to be produced at a ratio of 2.7 litres of water for every litre of beer produced, which is approaching world-leading levels of efficiency for brewing. Just recently, we had a record breaking week at 1.52 litres of water for every litre of beer produced,” Roberts said. The solar panels will generate 1.2m kilowatt hours every year and form part of Lion’s commitment to reducing its emissions by 30 per cent by 2025.

The IBA has announced the addition of two new board members, as it bids farewell to director Ben Kraus who has stepped down. Dereck Hales from Melbourne’s Bad Shepherd Brewing Co is taking a casual board position Dereck Hales Richard Adamson and replaces Kraus. Richard Adamson of Young Henrys in Sydney now holds one of the direct appointment board positions. Hales, who garnered experience in senior marketing roles prior to founding Bad Shepherd, will be spearheading the IBA’s Marketing Project Group. Adamson will be deeply involved in the development of training and education initiatives with TAFE in Sydney. He will be heading up the IBA’s People Project Group and will be driving the IBA’s efforts in areas of education, training, safety and diversity. Departing director Kraus founded Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth, Victoria, 14 years ago, building it up to a business that now employs more than 40 people. He and his family will be embarking on a ‘gap year’ in Austria, while still retaining full ownership and direction at the brewery. “We wanted to take a break after 14 years of hard work, but at the same time we remain as passionate as ever about our brewery and industry and didn’t want to say goodbye to any of that,” says Kraus. “As of 2 July, we’ll be on a ‘gap year’ living in the Alps, and our kids will begin a full year of Tirolean family, culture and school. I’m confident we’ll see Bridge Road Brewers continue to grow, maintain our culture and passion, and probably do even better in our absence with the awesome team we have. “I’ve been honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with a passionate IBA team to help set direction, strategy and achieve real results for independent brewers.” In a statement, the IBA expressed its appreciation for Kraus and its sadness at his departure: “On his time on the board, Ben has fought fiercely for independent breweries of all sizes and has been outspoken on issues including tap contracts and excise rates. He will be greatly missed by the IBA staff, board and the independent brewing community of Australia.” The IBA has also announced that it is on the hunt for a General Manager to work with the board, the IBA team and its project groups, as well as a Marketing Manager to join the Melbourne team. Applicants should visit the IBA website and download the position descriptions.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 17


SPIRITS AND COCKTAILS AUSTRALIA

TAPPING INTO GLOBAL CELEBRATIONS OF SPIRITS

Alec Wagstaff, the CEO of Spirits and Cocktails Australia, discusses the celebrations of spirits around the world and how retailers and bartenders alike can use these occasions to unlock the great stories and traditions of some great brands.

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orld Rum Day is upon us. The first global celebration of rum, the inaugural World Rum Day, takes place on 11 July 2019. In rum bars around the world, bartenders, mixologists and customers will celebrate all things rum with special events and promotions. Another example is World Whisky Day, celebrated on the third Saturday in May every year. It’s a day to celebrate all things whisky, the perfect opportunity to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. World Whisky Day is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. Today it seems as though every time we turn the calendar to a new month or flip our diaries open at a new week there is a national or international holiday to be observed. I write this in a month that has celebrated World Juggling Day, Corn on the Cob Day and Hug

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Your Cat Day. Perhaps it started with Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day (themselves great marketing opportunities for spirits gifting) but such days have become more and more popular because they are such a great marketing tool. Days dedicated to a particular spirit or cocktail (or an entire month in the case of Negroni) are a great opportunity to not only celebrate the tradition and wonder of your favourite spirit but also to encourage your customers to try something new. You can keep it simple or go all out. Put the spirit of the day on sale or offer a special deal. Share fun details on your website or post some fun facts about the spirit (or the cocktail) to your social media account. Retailers can set up a dedicated section. Talk to the sales teams of your spirit suppliers – they’re the perfect people to help you with ways to celebrate the spirit and to

create excitement for your customers. Use these spirits and cocktail days to have some fun with your friends and family. Use them to encourage your customers to try something new. Use them to unlock the mystery and tradition of great spirits and great brands, to expand your customers’ repertoire and to drive incremental sales. Did you know that 19 June is World Martini Day or that 24 July is Tequila Day? The third of August just happens to be International Scottish Gin Day, 4 October happens to be Vodka Day, while 19 October is International Gin & Tonic Day. And these are just a small sample of the spirit days you can celebrate. Get onto Dr Google to research what is coming up and ask your spirits supplier for some marketing tips to make the most of the sales opportunity.


SHOPPER INSIGHTS

A CRAFTY REVOLUTION

The craft movement is seeing growth across alcohol categories, particularly spirits, writes Norrelle Goldring.

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he growth of craft and artisanal liquor is symptomatic of a number of broader trends impacting multiple categories. The ascendance of ‘hip urban’ culture in the western world, driven by millennials who view alcohol consumption as a unique and novel experiential event and who gain exposure to international liquor products while travelling, has seen the growth of craft beer and microbreweries, cellar doors and distillery doors. Premiumisation has seen Australians continuing to drink less but better quality products. And globally, macro trends such as authenticity, heritage, storytelling and personalisation are all contributing to the growth of the ‘craft movement’.

Craft – what is it? Defining craft can be tricky. It’s allied to artisan. Typically it means handmade, with high quality and/or niche ingredients, with minimal mechanisation and low volumes, made by independent manufacturers.

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This last is a point of contention considering the large industry players acquiring, producing or otherwise investing in craft operations, the recent investment by Lion into Four Pillars being a case in point. The definition of craft can also vary by and even within a category, so I’ve covered this off in the overview of craft in each category below.

Beer Beer has driven the growth of craft in other liquor categories. It really took off in the USA in the 1970s as an evolution of home brewing and counter to the big brewers. An entertaining July 2018 article in MicroShiner also attributes it to a bunch of unemployed people as a result of the oil crisis looking for ways to keep themselves amused at a time that also saw the growth of back to the land and environmental movements and relaxed legislation. And a means to return to a thousands-of-years-old tradition. In the US the definition of craft or microbreweries is typically based


SHOPPER INSIGHTS on production volumes. In Australia, according to Austrade at least, craft breweries are ‘mostly small businesses, owned and operated by families or mates who are passionate about making beer they’re proud to put their names to. The breweries are usually run on a small scale, using traditional ingredients and a hands-on approach’. The growth of craft beer in Australia is well documented, along with the explosion of independent breweries now numbering more than 600 and the concomitant rise in profile of the Independent Brewers Association (IBA).

Cider Roy Morgan’s 2018 consumer data indicates that Australian cider drinkers are demonstrating a growing preference for craft products, and have recorded the strongest value growth in alcoholic drinks in Australia over the last few years. Information exchange service, Quora, defines craft cider as ‘made traditionally in small batches, produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated nor pasteurised’. In October 2018 Cider Australia launched a 100 per cent Australian Grown trust mark to support export pushes. Australian craft cider is defined by Cider Australia as ‘cider produced in Australia using 100 per cent Australian grown fruit’, typically apples and pears.

Spirits

“Globally, macro trends such as authenticity, heritage, storytelling and personalisation are all contributing to the growth of the ‘craft movement’.” – Norrelle Goldring

Craft spirits are no more than a decade old but are growing exponentially, admittedly off a small base. Typically craft spirits are whiskies, gin and vodka. In the USA, small independent distilleries began popping up in the early-noughties. According to the American Craft Distilling Institute (ADI), in 2000 there were 24 craft distilleries in the US, 234 by 2011, and nearly 600 by 2014. As with craft beer, in MicroShiner’s July 2018 article, Cobey Williams attributes the explosion of craft distilling to the world’s highest oil prices in 2008, allied to a 10 per cent unemployment rate. Between 2008 and 2009, the number of micro-distilleries in the US nearly doubled. A 2016 article by Five and Spice pegged craft spirits at over two per cent of the market, potentially growing to 15 per cent in the following decade. Now there are two craft spirit associations, ADI and the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA). ADI defines a craft distiller by a 52,000 case annual max output and on-site distilling and bottling. Five and Spice points out the difficulties of the volume-based yardstick, including ownership by large conglomerates. The ADI’s craft certification program only certifies distilleries with less than 25 per cent ‘owned or controlled by alcoholic beverage industry members who are not themselves craft distillers’. ACSA defines a craft distillery as one which produces fewer than 750,000 gallons annually and that is independently owned and operated, with more than a 75 per cent equity stake in their company and operational control.

One of the most fraught issues is whether a craft spirit is made by hand or from scratch, and what ‘from scratch’ means, given there are several components of the process that may or may not be done by hand. These include whether the distillation of the spirit itself is done by the distillery or whether already distilled spirits, such as those using neutral grain spirit (NGS), are purchased and subsequently modified, infused or blended. It can be hard to know whether a whisky from a craft distillery has actually been made at the distillery, or made elsewhere but blended at the distillery, or bought elsewhere and simply bottled at the distillery. Euromonitor suggests that what links craft spirit definitions are scale of production, independent ownership, and manual production methods; and that from a consumer point of view, products typified by a strong sense of story, grounded in a locality, with an emphasis on quality, locallysourced ingredients and a unique taste. In Australia, while Tasmania’s Lark Distillery commenced operations in 1999, it’s really in the past few years where craft spirits have risen exponentially. A December 2018 article in the Sydney Morning Herald indicates Australian craft spirits are growing at 110 per cent versus 4.7 per cent for the total spirits market. There are indications that traditional international premium brands are beginning to suffer as a result, with Johnnie Walker down two per cent and Chivas Regal down 28 per cent. IRI data valued Australian craft spirits as a $17.1 million category, up from $10.8 million the prior year. Turnover from the independent producers averages $1m-$2m a year. The Australian Distillers Association tripled its membership from 2014 to 2017. A 2017 article by Max Allen in Gourmet Traveller cited at least 110 local gins alone, up from 20 in 2014. Many feature unique native botanicals and flavours including lemon myrtle, strawberry gum, mountain pepperberry, finger lime, wattleseed, bush tomato, native lemongrass and even green ants.

What about wine? It could be argued that wine has always been craft, if handmade by a small estate and sold mainly at the cellar door. Needless to say the USA has a Craft Wine Association, founded in 2016. Certified craft wineries have identifiable winemakers leading production from start to finish, annual production in lots of fewer than 5,000 cases, and grapes from identifiable vineyards. Given the large number of estate-based small vintners in Australia, who often focus on lesserknown grape varieties and only sell through cellar door and direct, it’s surprising that craft wine hasn’t yet been formalised as a ‘thing’ here. As craft grows across liquor categories it will be interesting to observe if Australian non-beer categories follow the examples of beer and the USA with the foundation of associations to serve the interests of the industry.

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RETAIL DRINKS AUSTRALIA

IS YOUR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION MEETING YOUR NEEDS? Industry association membership can be a big investment for small business. Whether that investment is returning value is a question members don’t take lightly, and industry associations shouldn’t either, Julie Ryan, the CEO of Retail Drinks Australia, discusses.

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ndustry associations fall into three distinct categories – those that provide advocacy, those that provide services for members, and those that seek to combine the two. For an association providing solely advocacy, staying true to purpose is a relatively easy take. Listen to your stakeholders and represent their views faithfully. Similarly, if an industry association solely provides services for its members and doesn’t seek to provide an advocacy or representation, measuring effectiveness is also a relatively simple task. The relevance, accessibility and affordability of the services can be easily benchmarked. However, there are a range of associations that try to navigate the slippery slope of balancing both advocacy and service delivery. The danger in these scenarios is that the allure of ‘fighting the good fight’ (aka advocacy) can be so all encompassing that little time or resources are left for delivery of services back to members. I too often get told that a business is a member of an association, but they have never seen a

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“Continuous improvement, learning and adaptation is critical in business – and in associations.” – Julie Ryan single person from that association. So how do you measure success in this difficult landscape – and how does a member know whether their industry association is delivering them value? There are some simple questions to ask – when did your association last come visit your business? How many services do they offer which deliver value back into your specific business: advice, discounts, assistance with

compliance, or help with the everyday ‘pain points’ that are either costly or time consuming to deal with alone? If you cannot answer the above with confidence, it may be time to ask some questions. Retail Drinks is now hiring a second dedicated membership services executive so that every Retail Drinks small business member will get a personalised store visit, every year, where we bring our continually expanding services to the door of business owners who need it the most. Money saving insurance programs, compliance health checks, an expert to visit you in-store and share advice and knowledge of innovations in market, and a full time HR Adviser ready to provide assistance on the highest overhead in business: people. We will keep evaluating and re-evaluating the model – and encourage all our members to make contact and tell us if they want more. Continuous improvement, learning and adaptation is critical in business – and in associations.


ALCOHOL BEVERAGES AUSTRALIA

THE LIQUOR INDUSTRY’S CONTRIBUTION TO AUSTRALIA Kerri Osborne, the ABA’s Media and Communications Manager, discusses the enormous economic and social contribution the liquor industry makes to Australia.

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ast month, the general election returned the Liberals to power, much to the surprise of most political commentators. Once the Ministerial warrants were issued, Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) sent a concise letter to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Tourism and Communications about who we are, and our role in the sector. We also sent them our Alcohol Industry Contribution Report, a report that outlines the enormous economic and social contribution the industry makes to Australia. The key facts at a glance are: • $158 billion contributed output by the Australian alcohol industry in 2017 alone; • $70 billion added value – both direct and indirect to the economy; • $36 billion in income and wages – direct and indirect; • Over half a million jobs created – direct and indirect; • $6.51 billion in direct taxation in 2017-19 alone (this figure does not include GST on the sale of any alcohol product). The contribution of our industry to Australia is enormous, from the harvesting of produce to manufacturing and logistics, and to the consumer; our industry supports and supplies a range of industries.

Australians are drinking less, but choose to drink more premium products, reflecting the diversity, innovation and high standard of quality the industry champions. As part of a balanced lifestyle, Australians regularly enjoy a wide range of quality alcohol products with the blossoming food scene, or they enjoy sampling the latest craft or distillery products that are increasingly highly regarded overseas – our wine, beer and spirits often receive international awards at their respective competitions. The industry also supports a wide range of people in hospitality, as well as in manufacturing and harvesting. There is a continued source of job creation and tourism investment associated with our industry.

Responsible Consumption ABA’s members are committed to responsible drinking and the importance of moderate alcohol consumption as a result of a balanced lifestyle. Many of our members support community initiatives around this, as well as support DrinkWise, an independent organisation that develops successful programs designed to promote responsible drinking and reduce alcohol related harms.

Sustainability Our members are focused on environmental sustainability and many have partnerships with organisations such as Landcare, the Centre of Groundwater Studies, and the Australian Council of Agricultural Societies Scholarship Program, and they contribute to a range of drought relief and recycling programs.

Why is this important? It’s crucial that our state and federal governments understand the important contribution our industry makes to Australia – not just economically but also socially. While it’s important to review legislation and guidelines regularly to ensure they are up to date and reflect the society in which we live, it’s important to ensure the Government makes informed decisions when creating and implementing policy. And this means preserving and enhancing the value that our industry provides to Australia for now and in the long term. ABA is working tirelessly for our members to ensure that this continues. In the meantime, be proud of our industry, and remind your stakeholders about the great work you and others do to contribute to the Australian economy.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 23


LEASING

PREPARING YOUR LEASE EXIT?

Marianna Idas, the Principle Solicitor of eLease Lawyers, outlines the steps to prepare for the exit or extension of your lease.

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our lease will contain clauses specifying what occurs at the end of the lease. Generally, your lease will include: 1. Make good: This can be the most expensive part of the lease. Your lawyer should try and negotiate a make good that limits the amount of works that need to be completed at the end of the term. Generally there are three levels of make good: Basic – Leave the premises clean, tidy and secure. You will not need to remove any alterations to the premises which you have made resulting in minimal costs. Medium – Return the premises in the same condition as at the commencement date. This entails works to ensure that any fitout undertaken by you is removed and returned in the state you received the premises. We recommend taking notes and photographs before you sign the lease showing the condition of the premises. High – Return the premises in an open plan layout. The lease should specify the particulars of what is meant by open plan. Generally, this can include the medium level make good plus the reconfiguration of the premises to a base building standard which can include the removal of dividing walls, relocation of air conditioning vents and ducts and pipework to an open plan layout. This is the most expensive

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type of make good and should be avoided where possible in the negotiation of your lease. In addition to the above, any damage made to the premises should also be remedied before you vacate the premises. Some leases also specify that you repaint the premises and perform other types of redecoration works. It is possible that the landlord may accept a cash settlement in lieu of the above make good being completed which could be cheaper. Until the above is complied with, the landlord can continue to charge you rent. The landlord may also be able to take your items left in the premises and store them or dispose of them at your expense. 2. Holding over period: When your lease ends generally you will have the right to stay in the premises as a month to month tenant with the approval of the landlord with rent as agreed between the parties or as specified in the lease. Please note that either party only has to give one month’s notice to the other to terminate the lease. 3. Option: If you want to extend your lease and you have negotiated option period/s in your lease then you must exercise the option within the correct time frame. Your lease will contain a clause outlining when this option must be exercised, for example, between three and six months before the end of the

term. If you exercise the option outside of this timeframe then the landlord does not have to provide you with an extension. You must also ensure you comply with the correct notice requirements under the lease. For example, the lease can specify that all notices are to be provided to the landlord at a specified address and either delivered personally or sent to the address by registered post. Many tenants believe by emailing the landlord or the agent that this is a valid form of notice. Unfortunately, what you believe is valid notice may not be specified as such in the lease. Once the option is exercised it should be documented via a Variation of Lease or a new Lease based on the same terms. Depending on the state, we suggest registration of the Lease or Variation of Lease. If your lease doesn’t contain an option you should contact the landlord and request an extension well before the expiry date so that you can either come to an agreement on the extended lease terms or find another premises. It is recommended that in the last year of your lease, you should review the terms surrounding the termination and, if any, option clauses in the lease. This will ensure you are prepared for the exit or extension of your lease. You will then be able to plan adequately the next steps after the term of the lease ends.


INDEPENDENT BREWERS ASSOCIATION

SHOPPERS SWAY TOWARDS BUYING INDEPENDENT ATO data shows that one out of every 10 consumer dollars spent on beer is spent on indie beer, writes Independent Brewers Association (IBA) President, Jamie Cook.

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ne year on from the release of the Independent Brewers Association’s (IBA) Seal of Independence, we’re starting to see shifting consumer behaviour towards beer in a variety of ways, as well as a strong and sustained growth in the independent sector.

Indie beer is rising At a time when beer consumption in Australia is at an all-time low, the market share for independent brewers is growing by about 25 per cent. We recently obtained and released data sourced from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) revealing that independent brewers produce 5.9 per cent of Australia’s beer, more than double what it was five years ago. While this might seem like a small slice of the market, our sector employs 41.4 per cent of the workforce in the industry, creating opportunities and directly contributing to local and regional economies. A growing number of small and medium enterprises also means more competition in the market, providing consumers with choice.

“Consumers value authentic connections and are willing to pay more in order to support local businesses and communities. Consumers vote with their wallets, and Australia has overwhelmingly voted for independent beer.” – Jamie Cook Consumers care Higher overheads from these employment figures may translate to higher prices, but the numbers show that consumers are willing to

pay for the authenticity and quality that comes with a strong connection with indie brewers. When the same ATO figures are analysed by value rather than volume, independent brewers represent 10 per cent of the market. This means that one out of every 10 consumer dollars spent on beer is spent on indie beer. Consumers value authentic connections and are willing to pay more in order to support local businesses and communities. Consumers vote with their wallets, and Australia has overwhelmingly voted for independent beer.

Impact of the Seal The Independence Seal is an important driving factor behind these shifts in consumer behaviour, providing transparency and a way to navigate the category by making it easy to identify which beers are independent. Importantly, the ATO excise data only captures the first two months of trading after the Seal was released into the market last year. Now that 58 per cent of independent beer sold bears the Seal, we expect to see market share for indie beer continue to rise.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 25


WINE AUSTRALIA

FAR FROM ORDINARY CAMPAIGN TO TAKE ON THE USA MARKET The largest series of activities ever undertaken by the Australian wine sector in the USA is set to kick off in September, says Andreas Clark, CEO, Wine Australia.

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esearch suggests there is a large opportunity in the premium wine market in the USA in the next few years – particularly at the $US15 to $US25 per bottle price point. According to Wine Intelligence, there were 84 million regular wine drinkers in the USA in 2018, of whom around 14 million (17 per cent) consumed Australian wine. In comparison, there were around 29 million regular wine drinkers in the UK, of whom almost 13 million (44 per cent) consumed Australian wine. This suggests there is scope to convert more regular wine drinkers in the USA to Australian wine. And with the retail value of the USA market estimated by the International Wine and Spirit Record at US$38 billion – more than double that of second-placed China – there is good reason for this market segment to be a key focus of the Australian wine sector’s marketing strategy. So how do we leverage this opportunity and gain more shelf-space for fine Australian wines in the USA? Particularly when we know the three-tiered distribution system makes the USA market very challenging to navigate, as each state can have different rules and regulations. Increasing our market share in the USA requires a strong presence and a fundamental perception change. We cannot rely on one or two brands to turn the dial in the premium segment when most American consumers associate Australian wine with commercial/value wines. Nor can we can lift the American consumer’s perception of Australian wine from afar. During September to October 2019, the largest series of activities ever undertaken by

26 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

the Australian wine sector – the Far From Ordinary campaign: Aussie Wine Month – will take place in the USA. The multi-channel campaign is backed by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package and includes: a six-city roadshow with more than 100 Australian wine exhibitors; retail and distributor activations; a multi-sensory consumer experience; a New to Market Showcase; the Australian Women in Wine Awards in New York and Australia Decanted returning to Lake Tahoe. The campaign is big, bold and, as its name suggests, far from ordinary. It will drive awareness of Australian fine wine across social and digital media channels, and through strategic media partnerships with key USA titles. All activities will be underpinned by the Australian Wine Made Our Way brand platform, which celebrates the authenticity and diversity of Australian wine and the strong bonds of camaraderie in our wine community. In the lead-up to September, we are driving awareness of the category through a series called ‘Unmatched’. The social campaign pairs Australian wine with unexpected culture and features Australian winemakers sharing their craft with American personalities. The consumer-facing activity is targeting the American millennial audience with modern, surprising storytelling that reflects the quality of the Australian wine category. To enhance the perception of Australian wine in the USA, it is critical that we educate and excite key influencers, particularly distributors,

about Australia’s fine wines, and encourage more Australian premium wine exporters to enter/re-enter the USA market. To facilitate this, Wine Australia’s USA Market Entry Program provides in-market support to wineries interested in entering or re-entering the USA market. It also provides indepth brand strategy support to wineries ready to move commercially in the market. This includes market guidance, sample importation, compliance and logistics, and importer, distributor and trade outreach to assist entryto-market and brand exposure needs. By 2020, the USA market will need an extra 21 million cases of premium wine to meet demand. Australia has the production, mix of varieties and appropriate quality to gain a share of this increased USA demand. With its history of consistent vintages and varied regions, Australia is well positioned to take advantage of the USA market opportunities.

For more information about Wine Australia’s Market Entry Program or Far From Ordinary campaign in the USA, visit the links below: https://www.wineaustralia.com/whatshappening/events/us-market-entryprogram-2019-20 https://www.wineaustralia.com/whatshappening/events/aussie-wine-month-2019 https://www.australianwine.com/en-AU/ unmatched


NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS

A SMALL BUT STUNNING 2019 VINTAGE New Zealand’s vintage 2019 is being touted as exceptional quality, but with smaller-than-expected yields there will be more supply and demand tension overall, says Natalie Grace, the Manager – Australia for New Zealand Winegrowers.

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warm summer contributed to a superb vintage for New Zealand’s wine regions, with 413,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during vintage 2019 according to the latest New Zealand Winegrowers vintage survey. The quality of the harvest is being touted as exceptional from top of the North to bottom of the South Island which is good news for the industry as export growth continues, having New Zealand Wine seen an increase of four per cent to $1.78 Vintage Indicators - Variety 2019 billion over the last year. With vintage 2019 the third smaller-thanKey Varieties 2019 expected harvest in a row, volume growth is % TOTAL PRODUCTION AND TOTAL PRODUCED Total expected to be constrained. Smaller vintages in BLANC 75.8% Volume 1 SAUVIGNON 302,157 tonnes 2017 and 2018 meant wineries had to work hard of Grapes 2 PINOT NOIR 6.8% to manage product shortages, and many of our 26,944 tonnes Harvested members hoped for a larger harvest this year. The 3 CHARDONNAY 6.5% 25,729 tonnes smaller-than-expected 2019 vintage will mean PINOT GRIS 5.3% 4 more supply and demand tension overall. 20,953 tonnes Sauvignon Blanc, the country’s flagship 5 MERLOT 2.3% 9,240 tonnes variety and biggest selling white table wine in 6 RIESLING 1.2% Australia, saw a slight increase in production 4,776 tonnes * of two per cent to 302,157 tonnes. This represents 76 per cent of the national crush months ended 31 March 2019, Pinot Noir % Change onbiggest Last Year and 78 per cent of New Zealand’s exports to was the third selling red wine in the KEY VARIETIES RIESLING Australia. While Marlborough remains host to Australian off-trade market behind  26 Shiraz SAUVIGNON BLANC the majority of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon with a 10 per cent 2  plantings, the regions of Gisborne, Wairarapa share of total red wine sales. The variety CHARDONNAY  2Zealand’s and Nelson all saw an increase in production of accounts for 6.8 per cent of New PINOT GRIS the variety in 2019. As consumers increasingly production (26,944 tonnes) second  8 only to look to styles that pair well with food, we can Sauvignon Blanc and eight per MERLOT cent of exports 13 Central expect these diverse expressions of Sauvignon to Australia. Marlborough andPINOT Otago NOIR 23  regions, Blanc to find favour on wine lists and retail are the country’s lead producing shelves alongside their classic counterparts. representing 46 per cent and 36 per cent of the According to IRI Worldwide, in the 12 national crush respectively.

“With vintage 2019 the third smaller-thanexpected harvest in a row, volume growth is expected to be constrained.” – Natalie Grace

413,000 tonnes*  1% Estimated production figures based on the 2019 Vintage Survey.

Statistics collated from 2019 Vintage Survey

Closely following Pinot Noir production, Chardonnay represents 6.5 per cent of New Zealand’s production (25,729 tonnes), but a comparatively low proportion of exports to Australia at just two per cent. Together, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough account for 91 per cent of the country’s Chardonnay production, and vintage 2019 saw just Gisborne recording an increase in production of the variety of 15 per cent. Pinot Gris continues to gain popularity on wine lists and retail shelves, however it is unlikely Australia will see a significant increase of New Zealand Pinot Gris, with vintage 2019 seeing an eight per cent decrease in production to 20,953 tonnes. Merlot, predominantly from Hawke’s Bay, also saw a decrease of 15 per cent to 9,240 tonnes. While from a small base, Riesling was the New Zealand variety that saw the most significant increase in production of 26 per cent from 3,776 tonnes in 2018 to 4,776 tonnes in 2019, largely from Marlborough and North Canterbury. As the variety represents less than one per cent of New Zealand’s exports to Australia, these wines will most likely be seen in restaurant venues where the range of styles from bone dry to lush sweet can be paired appropriately. The New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Vintage Survey 2019 results are compiled from data received from more than 300 New Zealand wineries. The Vintage 2019 Data by Region and Variety is available for download from https://www.nzwine.com/en/media/ statistics/vintage-data/.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 27


FATHER’S DAY

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FATHER’S DAY

Saying

‘cheers’

CLEAN & CRISP

TO DAD

Occasion-based shopping is hugely important for every retailer and the ‘shopportunity’ presented by Father’s Day is no different. National Liquor News has taken a look at some of the key pointers you should remember and some of this year’s hot products.

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here are a plethora of surveys and reports which will give you detailed information regarding gifting opportunities and popular products to consider for Father’s Day. One thing is consistent throughout all of them and that is that liquor – primarily whisk(e)y, red wine, and beer – is a popular choice for Dad. And while it may be a popular purchase for Dad, a recent UK survey by Savvy Marketing also found that, after gift cards, beer was the most popular gift that fathers wanted to receive.

Preparation is key If retailers get their preparations right for Father’s Day it can make a huge difference and will mean they are able to take full advantage of the opportunities available. While Father’s Day spend population-wide is not as big as on Mother’s Day, it is estimated that Father’s Day spending will still be in excess of $750m, with an average gift price of around $65. That presents strong opportunities for retailers to put gift packs and bundles together, that make the shopping decision easier and quicker. Strong merchandising and highlighting these gift packs or bundles will also make the purchasing decision easier. Make sure your staff are well-trained around what is available and are able to talk about the items that are available for gifting. While the average spend is around $65 that obviously means some people will be spending a lot more than that, and also that some people will be spending a lot less. So make sure you’ve got options and ideas that will suit every budget. A six-pack of different local craft beers is a great gift for a beer-loving dad and presents a good opportunity to offer a lower budget gift pack that still delivers a good margin for retailers.

Shopper confidence A recent survey by ING found that many family members consider Dad to be the most difficult person to buy for, so again putting gifting ideas and bundles together across various budgets will help alleviate that struggle. That ING survey also found that almost half of all dads have received a Father’s Day gift that they have never worn or used. Meanwhile another study found that with those buying liquor they have confidence in the reasons for their purchase because they know that it is something that their Father will like. While online shopping is growing in popularity, the occasion-based shopping nature of Father’s Day means that most shoppers still prefer to visit bricks and mortar stores. It is estimated that more than 65 per cent of all Father’s Day gifts will come from in-store shopping, so have your store ready for people coming in with gift shopping in mind. And don’t lose faith, Father’s Day is well known for being a last minute shopping occasion, so expect to see people coming into your store on Saturday and even Sunday. To take advantage of those people make sure you are using your social media accounts to inform and remind people of the gifting opportunities that you have available. One final thing to remember is that homecooked meals are a popular gift for dad, or taking him out for a lunch or dinner. So think about food and drink matching options – tell people “We can match your food” – and have different options available in the gifting space to help shoppers ensure they can buy the perfect Father’s Day gift. So if retailers understand the type of gifts that people are looking to give this Father’s Day and have options to suit different budgets, you’ll be able to take advantage of this strong ‘shopportunity’ and to help you, here are a few ideas for this year’s hot gifts.

GIVE DAD THE SIMPLE PLEASURES HE REALLY WANTS THIS FATHER’S DAY: A SLEEP-IN THE WEEKEND PAPER A BACKYARD BBQ GREEN COAST LAGER, THE NATURAL CHOICE IN PREMIUM LAGER

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 29


FATHER’S DAY

Single Fin Summer Ale More refreshing than an afternoon sea-breeze, Single Fin Summer Ale is brewed with sun-drenched days in mind. It’s light-bodied, chock full of aromatic Galaxy and Enigma hops and its big tropical fruit bowl aroma is balanced by subtle bitterness and a clean finish. Its approachable nature appeals to drinkers discovering craft, but there’s so much flavour even hardened craft drinkers love it. Its light body and tropical flavour means it’s the perfect beer for any occasion. Gage Roads Brewing’s Single Fin Summer Ale was 2018’s fastest growing craft beer brand, while also finishing inside the top 10 of the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer list. Available in classic stubbies and cans, crack open a winner this Father’s Day.

2015 Deen Master’s Blend Deen De Bortoli was a true visionary whose mission was to create quality wine for everyone to enjoy. The ‘DEEN’ range is a true reflection of his pursuit and a great tribute to Deen himself. This Father’s Day, De Bortoli wines will be launching their premium DEEN ‘Master’s Blend’ in the delicious 2015 vintage. The DEEN ‘Master’s Blend’ is a flavorsome blend of Durif, Shiraz and Petit Verdot that is carefully assessed and selected by the winemaker to create a rich, full bodied wine, from the best of De Bortoli’s vineyards around Australia.

The Balvenie Range For those gifters seeking out a more undiscovered offering for Father’s Day, The Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood is the perfect present. Even Dad’s with the most discerning tastes will be delighted by The Balvenie, which is a testament to the craftsmen who have dedicated their working lives to handcrafting the whisky. Seeking out a more premium offering for high-end gifting opportunities? While starting at around $100 for the 12 Year Old DoubleWood, The Balvenie range ladders up to the luxurious 50 Year Old, retailing at $47,000.

Katnook Prodigy Shiraz

Stone & Wood Green Coast Lager

Guaranteed to make any Father happy, the 2014 Katnook Prodigy Shiraz is the 15th vintage release of this internationally awarded and iconic Coonawarra wine. Handcrafted only in outstanding vintages and with meticulous attention to detail, Katnook Prodigy is renowned for its power and finesse. A seamless blend of intense fruit and extended oak maturation, this wine will cellar gracefully for many years.

Father’s Day is a time for celebrating the simple pleasures of fatherhood and an occasion where family members are looking to spoil the fathers in their lives. Premium lagers are the obvious choice to celebrate, with customers trading up from familiar, mainstream lagers to premium, local lagers. Inspired by the lush hinterland that rolls into the Pacific Ocean at its birthplace in Byron Bay, Green Coast Lager reflects simplicity and enjoyment. Clean, crisp and naturally refreshing, this premium unfiltered lager is the perfect accompaniment to Father’s Day. Long lunches in the backyard, a beachside family barbecue or a day on the green, Green Coast Lager was brewed for sharing. A light golden lager with a natural yeast cloud, Green Coast Lager has the finest blend of malt and noble hops, that together balance aroma, soft flavours and a crisp finish.

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FATHER’S DAY

Glenfiddich Range Whisky is one of the most gifted categories in liquor with research indicating that over 60 per cent of all whisky is purchased as a gift. The Glenfiddich is the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, an accolade that provides shopper confidence for gifting, especially when the shopper is not a whisky drinker themselves. To support Father’s Day gifting opportunities, Glenfiddich has launched a new market-wide personalisation platform. Shoppers will be able to purchase a bottle of Glenfiddich whisky from any Australian liquor retailer and redeem a personalised label online at www.gflabels.com.au. The service is available on almost the entire Glenfiddich range, starting with its iconic 12 Year Old, and extending through to the 15, 18 and 21 as well as the Experimental Series IPA and Project XX (pronounced Project Twenty).

Coopers 2019 Vintage Ale Looking for something special for Dad this Father’s Day? Then the Coopers 2019 Vintage Ale is a perfect solution. The 2019 Vintage Ale is the 19th release in the limited edition seasonal series that was launched back in 1998. Each year Coopers’ brewers source different hops and malt from across the globe to create a flavoursome and well balanced beer. The 2019 Vintage Ale highlights Mosaic, a style of hops that is a favourite of the craft beer world since its inception a few years back. The malt used in this year beer has been sourced from Schooner barley grown in the Murray Mallee which was expertly malted at Coopers’ internationally renowned malting plant at Regency Park. At 7.5 per cent alcohol by volume, Vintage Ales are designed to drink well on release and then age over three to four years, giving the drinker an opportunity to explore how Vintage Ales develop over time.

Grants Triple Wood For those looking for a blended whisky gift or something under the $50 price point Grants Triple Wood is the only whisky blended in three types of oak and to deliver a smoother taste. Justine Millsom, Brand Manager Whisk(e)y explains, “American oak casks lend subtle vanilla smoothness, virgin oak casks add spicy robustness and refill Bourbon casks offer brown sugar sweetness. It really is triple wood, triple good.”

2011 Noble One Botrytis Semillon Darren De Bortoli created Noble One at the family winery in 1982, to this day it is still one of the most awarded wines in history. More than three decades after this pioneering Botrytis Semillon took the world by storm, internationally acclaimed Noble One remains the benchmark of Australian ‘Botrytis’ dessert winemaking. Fabulous concentration of citrus and honeyed stone fruits with vanilla bean accentuation from the French oak barriques that it matures in for 12 months make for a mouth-filling delight. And the fusion of sweetness, spice and deft acidity add even more layers of seductiveness to this impressive wine. This harmonious wine has great ageing potential of over 15-20 years. The perfect gift this Father’s Day. Available in a gift canister.

Black Bart Spiced Rum Father’s Day is a day to celebrate Fatherhood and to offer thanks to our fathers for all they have done, are doing, or will do in our lives. This day is celebrated around the world and has been in existence since the middle ages. Traditionally in Australia hand crafted gifts are exchanged after a ‘special dinner’ is enjoyed by the family. The perfect gift for Father’s Day this year is the hand crafted small batch rum Black Bart Spiced Rum RRP $65. It is available in all good independent liquor retail stores. This Spiced Rum has an aroma of sweet vanilla and caramel with undertones of spice with hints of coffee and ginger. The taste has extremely well balanced spices made up of cardamom, cloves along with cinnamon and hints of coffee with citrus and anise. Black Bart Spiced Rum can be enjoyed sipped over ice or blended with your favourite mixer.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 31


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Is 2019 the turning point in

South Australia is in a new wine era – one where Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay are not the only answers, and where climate change is not the future, it’s now, as Andrew Graham discovers.

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t’s a photo to make any grapegrower weep. Earlier this year, a contentious picture landed in wine industry inboxes that perfectly demonstrated the challenge of the 2019 South Australian vintage. It was a snap of Torbreck’s $2.2 million Laird vineyard looking very dry and brown, at a time when everything should be lush and green. Leaves had fallen off, the vines struggling, the grapes non-existent. While Torbreck were quick to point out that this was just an unflattering picture, and the vineyard still produced a crop, it’s a fair illustration of what Seppeltsfield’s General Manager Sales and Marketing Chad Elson, described as “a year where Mother Nature flexed her muscles”. For the Barossa, McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley, in particular, 2019 will go down as one of the lowest yielding vintages in decades. It’s a harvest marked by devastating late spring frosts, hail and – famously – almost no rain (just 18mm fell in Adelaide from the beginning of January to the end of April). How dry was it? Dudley Brown from Inkwell Wines puts it eloquently “numerous times I shook my fist at the sky and screamed: ‘is that all ya got?’. In the future, I won’t ask this question again”. But this was also a vintage that may serve as a line in the sand. Where the cooler climate of Coonawarra (again) shone, the smartest grapegrowers delivered healthy grapes despite all the odds, and heat tolerant varieties like Nero d’Avola performed better than traditional stalwarts like Shiraz. Further, these newer (for Australia) varieties are proving popular beyond viticulturists too, with grapes like Fiano and Touriga enjoying growing commercial appeal. Suddenly, in 2019 South Australia is in a new wine era – one where Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay are not the only answers, and where climate change is not the future, it’s now. Brown puts it well: “2019 has changed our mindset to anticipating and actively planning for more 2019s. A lot more 2019s. The game has changed fundamentally. The inflection point is undeniable now.”

Katnook vineyards under a full moon.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 33


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Seppetsfield winery in the Barossa Valley

Barossa heats up Aside from 2011, it’s difficult to find many vintages over the last 20 years which you’d call genuinely poor in the Barossa. As a region, it’s enjoyed a charmed run, with even tricky years like 2008 delivering great wines. Indeed for many of the better prepared (or just fortunate) producers, 2019 will be another solid, if low yielding, year, as Louisa Rose the Chief Winemaker at Yalumba believes. “We were lucky that our vineyards and those of our Barossa growers mostly had good protection from the late season frosts, were well managed through the season (particularly through January) and had access to adequate water for irrigation. The wines look amazing.” Elson believes that the miserable yields might have bumped up quality too. “Even though climatic records were broken, the lower yields resulted in excellent grape quality,” he said. “(The wines) have good depth of flavour and colour with firm tannins.” Despite the positivity, the facts paint a picture of a season of extremes. At Henschke, they took in just five tonnes of grapes off the entire 14ha Mount Edelstone Vineyard. Brett Hayes from Hayes Family Wines noted the “incredibly harsh conditions” with yields down by “perhaps 50 per cent or more on average”. Still, Hayes is upbeat: “The positive side? The quality looks extremely good at this early stage,” he said. “A vintage for the small winemaker (but) a tough one for the soul of the Barossa – the growers.” Interestingly, one of the heroes of this

34 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

“With the changing climate, we are working with varieties that may one day replace the traditional ones planted in the region like Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Montepulciano and Mencia, in particular, are my two favourite contenders to replace Shiraz in the future.” – Chester Osborn ‘challenging’ vintage is not one of the aforementioned alternative varieties, but a Barossa stalwart – Grenache. Despite some of the oldest Grenache plantings in the world, and the grape’s resistance to heat stress, Grenache has been cast over in recent years, with fruit prices often less than half that of Shiraz and Cabernet. But as Kym Farley from Kaesler Wines explains, this is a variety now enjoying a renewed appeal for Barossan producers and consumers. “Shiraz will always be king in the Barossa, but Grenache is what people are now starting to talk about,” he said. “We are seeing a shift from the big jammy

styles of the 90s to wines that are utilising the generous fruit that naturally happens in the Barossa (like) the Kaesler Fave Grenache. “From vineyards planted back in 1930, it is whole-bunch fermented and comes in at 13.5 per cent ABV. It is not your stereotypical Barossa wine.” That sentiment is echoed at Australian Vintage Limited (AVL), where the newish Barossa Valley Wine Company brand will also have a Grenache focus. Scott Burton, AVL’s General Manager – Marketing, explains: “Shiraz still dominates in the Barossa and we certainly expect it to be our top-selling varietal by some margin. However, Grenache and Grenache-based blends are also flourishing... we see that varietal mix as an emerging trend.” Winemakers love it too, as Saltram’s Alex MacKenzie notes: “(We’re) extremely excited to see Grenache get some focus as we love making the wines from these old vines. They have so much expression. “We release a Single Vineyard Survivor Vine Grenache from vines planted over 70 years ago. Utilising stalks and whole bunch fruit in the ferments, we can make a style that is approachable for early release, displaying lifted fruit and complexity.” There is another forgotten Barossa style well suited to warmer, drier vintages too – fortified wine. Classic tawny was once the most famous wine in the region, but with tastes shifting towards table wines, this most traditional wine category has been cast aside.


‘The Patritti winemaking team is a cut above, having long since created a well justified reputation for high quality McLaren Vale Grenache and Shiraz’ J A M E S H A L L I D AY, N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8

V I S I T PAT R I T T I .C O M . A U OR CALL 08 8296 8261


SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Seppeltsfield Centennial Cellar

The Kaesler vineyards

Seppeltsfield vineyards at sunrise

“People are rejecting the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) mantra of a few years ago and realising that Chardonnay which has quality and balanced oak characters (i.e. expensive French white Burgundy) is actually a really delicious wine style.” – Annelie Mitchell

Fascinatingly, some Barossan fortifieds are making a comeback. Seppetsfield’s fortifieds, for example, are enjoying a spike in popularity. “Our Para Tawny Collection is at allocation level in most markets,” Elson explains. “The patience required to make these wines, and their rarity, seems to now be better understood than ever – even to younger generations. The ‘Taste Your Birth Year’ Tawny experience, or standing next to an 1878 barrel at Sepppeltsfield, for example, has become an Instagram selfie moment.” That sense of fortified nostalgia isn’t lost at Saltram either, with MacKenzie about to release another new, Colheita-style single vintage Special Rare Tawny in the same mode as the 1959 Special Rare bottled in 2009. Celebrating birthdays with ancient fortified is not confined to Saltram, with Yalumba also unveiling a cellar-door-only range of aged tawny to mark 170 years. Still, while these mega-fortifieds might occupy a special niche, the stark reality is that they still lack mainstream appeal. The omnipotence of Barossan table wines like Shiraz and Cabernet can’t be denied, and even Grenache remains a nascent trend for retailers. Bert Werden of online merchant Winestar explains: “If there is hype surrounding an increase in Grenache sales I think I have missed it, ditto red blends. “I will admit to a spike post-Turkey Flat winning the Jimmy, but by and large with consumers (quite rightfully) being asked to pay a bit more for genuine old vine Grenache, sales are never going to match those of ‘mainstream’ varieties. “Of course, when we are able to bring to market a bargain, sub-$20 option, emanating from old vines, then there is certainly great interest, but these are few and far between.”

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Katnook Winemaker Tim Heath

Grape evolution in McLaren Vale While these ‘mainstream’ varieties might be dominating sales, many McLaren Vale winemakers are exploring both alternative and conventional options. Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins explains: “We’re all doing both now, it seems. The traditional varieties are so ingrained in the culture here and abroad, they will always be wildly popular. (But) there’s also interest in new things, and we’ll always be exploring those (alternative) channels.” Dudley Brown agrees: “Shiraz won’t disappear anytime soon. (But) if you told McLaren Vale growers in 1999 that Chardonnay would go from 10-20 per cent of production to near zero in 10 years, they would have howled you out of the room. “While (some) critics will pat themselves on the backs as alternative/climate-appropriate varieties increase dramatically, the reality is that the variety mix will change because the aggregate water supply isn’t going to increase and growers need to survive. “The beneficiary will be the consumer. Big time. Lots of new things will happen because they have to.” Those new things is where it gets interesting for Hickey. “We’re collaborating with Wildflower Brewing in Sydney for a beer made with our Zibibbo skins called, wait for it, ‘Zibeerbo’,” he said. “We have a new sparkling pet nat from a block of Crystal grapes called CRYSTAL. Crystal is a Greek white we’ve planted on our Omensetter Vineyard, and I guess we’ll see if Louis Roederer’s Cristal has a sense of humour. “Also, our second incarnation of 2012 BLOOM Chardonnay was released, and that’s a cool little wine, ageing in white Burg barrels for 6.5 years under flor.


SOUTH AUSTRALIA Ridiculous small production though, just 46 cases.” Meanwhile, the ever-restless Brown is tinkering with everything. “We have been playing with lots of varieties – Fiano, Vermentino, Slankamanka Bela, Arinto, Riesling, Touriga, etc. We are trying to identify what works in a warmer climate, with less water in styles people might be interested in – extended skin contact, light skin contact, blends, preservative free, different and no oak regimes, cans, etc.” Everywhere you look across the Vale, there are new wines and styles. D’Arenberg has just released the Danger Mouse Nero d’Avola and The Hunjee Heartstring Montepulciano, with the Nero d’Avola just the second ever certified organic (and vegan) wine from d’Arenberg too. Naturally, Chester Osborn is excited. “With the changing climate, we are working with varieties that may one day replace the traditional ones planted in the region like Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon,” he said. “Montepulciano and Mencia, in particular, are my two favourite contenders to replace Shiraz in the future.”

Good ol’ Coonawarra While it was all battle stations further north-west, Coonawarra enjoyed a much happier 2019 vintage, as Dan Redman of Redman Wines explains. “Coonawarra had a great vintage, some timely spring rainfall kept the vines healthy up to the new year. We had later picking dates which allowed for really impressive colours, lovely soft tannins with low alcohols.” Coonawarra felt like a world away from the heat of the Barossa. Fittingly, this is a region where the shift is not towards alternative varieties but to refining what’s in the ground. A gradual evolution and most of it is happening in the vineyard. At Katnook, this means judicious replanting, as Katnook’s Tim Heath notes. “Over the last number of years, the Katnook vineyard team has been replanting areas of the vineyard to new clones of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay,” he said.

“Some of this has already come online and is showing excellent quality potential – a common observation across the region.” The Coonawarra vignerons aren’t completely immune to the desire to fiddle with newer varieties, however, with Katnook planting Grenache, Tempranillo and Sangiovese as well. Still, the focus remains on Cabernet Sauvignon according to Redman. “The region does (Cabernet) so well. There is huge investment going into the vineyards by all wineries in Coonawarra, which will only lead to even better quality. Ninety per cent of Coonawarra is planted to red grapes with over 60 per cent Cabernet. Cabernet is king.” It’s not just Cabernet either, as Annelie Mitchell from Katnook observes. “Our Katnook Estate Chardonnay seems to be picking up sales nicely across Australia and Asia,” she said. “People are rejecting the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) mantra of a few years ago and realising that Chardonnay which has quality and balanced oak characters (i.e. expensive French white Burgundy) is actually a really delicious wine style.” Perhaps the real challenge for Coonawarra is not adapting to a changing climate, but a change in tastes. As Hickey observes, grapes are not immune to fashion. “Cabernet seems to be pitched to an older demographic now, younger folks associate it with what their parents drink, and rebel against it,” he said. “But this is just a trend, Cabernet is as noble a grape as a variety can get, and like tastefully oaked Chardonnay, will never disappear.” More broadly, this remains the challenge throughout South Australia. How to adapt to a changing climate, but also respect tastes and tradition. Brown poses it best: “We think 2019 was the rocket many people needed to fundamentally re-think all the big questions. Stay or sell? Change up or double down? Go organic or stay the course? Invest in water and soil, or harvesters and fermentation capacity? “The next 10 years just might be a golden age depending on how folks answer those questions.”

An old shed stands proudly at Kaesler vineyards

“We think 2019 was the rocket many people needed to fundamentally re-think all the big questions. Stay or sell? Change up or double down? Go organic or stay the course? Invest in water and soil, or harvesters and fermentation capacity? The next 10 years just might be a golden age depending on how folks answer those questions.” – Dudley Brown, Inkwell Wines

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 37


RUM

RUM for it!

A spirit of enormous diversity, it is time for rum to live up to its enormous potential, as Charlie Whitting discovers.

R

um is a spirit that is hard to pin down. It is both a dark and a clear spirit, and everything in between. It has premium credentials but also more mainstream associations. It is a sipping spirit, but is most commonly consumed mixed with cola, while its cocktail heritage is second to none. Geographically, it is made across the world, from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, from a variety of products like cane sugar and molasses, and to a variety of different rules and regulations. Indeed, there is no globally accepted definition for what constitutes a rum. In Australia, for example, if a cane spirit hasn’t been aged for at least two years in oak then it’s not a rum, a rule that’s not necessarily true elsewhere. For retailers, working out what to stock and how to promote it can therefore be a challenge. Rum doesn’t have the clearcut mixing appeal of gin nor the premium positioning of single malt, but at the same time it actually has both. Rum cocktails are synonymous with summer holidays on the beach, while dark sipping rums and spiced cocktails are perfect for a winter’s night. It’s all a matter of education and, in Australia, interest for learning more about this spirit is on the rise. After a period of sustained decline, rum sales are now on the up. “Rums and now spiced rums are in vogue now more than ever due to the increasing innovation and the want by the legal-age-to35-year-old seeking out more hand-crafted and artisan spirits to enjoy,” says David Hounsome, National Sales and Marketing Manager of Edgemill Group, which supplies Black Bart Spiced Rum. “They shy away from the longstanding brands. In Australia, rum has been consumed mostly with a mixer, be it cola or dry ginger, but the more discerning consumer is sipping their rum over ice now and finding the true essence of their rum of choice.”

Education, education, education The sheer diversity of rum can be daunting for retailers and consumers alike. How does one arrange these collections of rums – by geography, by style, by age, by occasion? Ultimately, it is important to consult with suppliers, staff and customers and find out where interests and expertise overlap. White and spiced rums, for example, tend to have more of a mixer vibe, while within the darker, premium varieties there might be more scope for geographical variation. “There are so many rums on the market and no real structure for how they should be categorised,” says Blake VanderfieldKramer, Senior Brand Manager of Rum Co. of Fiji and Vonu Export. “It depends on the retailer’s space and customer base,

38 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

A rum Old Fashioned made with Ratu Premium 5YO Dark Rum


RUM

IMPORTANT RUM-FOCUSED DATES 11 July – Mojito Day 19 July – National Daiquiri Day 16 August – National Rum Day 1 September – Father’s Day

Black Bart Spiced Rum from Edgemill Group

however I would look to either style (whites, darks, spiced) or geographical provenance and group all SKUs within a brand together. We recommend retailers group all the Rum Co. of Fiji rums together with other rums from the Fiji or South Pacific region. Depending on range though, it may prove difficult if you stock rums with no or blended provenance. Again, it’s up to the store to work out what is best suited to their customer base.” There are many ways to categorise your rums – whether it’s by colour, country of origin or base ingredient – and it is important that you and your team are able to explain the difference between them in terms of flavour profile, production methods and provenance. As a result, investment in staff education remains the best way to engage customers’ attention and interest. In an increasingly information-hungry (or thirsty) world, people are keen to learn about what they’re drinking and push themselves to experiment and understand. “It’s vital to pass on nuggets of useful and interesting information to your customers, so they can take these away with them and share their newfound knowledge with their friends,” says James France, Managing Director of Vanguard Luxury Brands. “People love to be ahead of the curve.” Talking to your suppliers and getting local manufacturers to come and visit your store is a great way to broaden knowledge and expertise. Hosting tastings can showcase to staff and

customers alike the variety on offer, as well as highlighting the differences that ingredients and terroir can have on your rum collection. In this increasingly diverse category, it may be increasingly simplistic to dogmatically ascribe certain characteristics to rums from former British colonies compared to former French and Spanish ones. However, there remain distinct correlations between ingredients, techniques and flavour profiles and a rum’s country of origin, providing a good starting point for a conversation in-store. We already differentiate an Islay whisky from a Speyside from a Bourbon, so why not do the same with rums? “There are delicacies and subtleties to the rum category that the general consumer isn’t aware of,” says Damien Barrow, Co-founder of Brix Distillers in Sydney. “There’s a lot of versatility in the category. Whether it’s white, spiced, gold and aged or extra old. And then it comes down to regionality as well. There are distinct flavour profiles and differences depending on each manufacturer’s idiosyncrasy in production. As a community, we’re trying to raise the profile of the category through education and appreciation. That’s a really important step or process that we need to take responsibility for in order to educate the punter.”

Premiumisation Premiumisation is a trend that has been gathering momentum for some time now, but consumers have perhaps been slower to get

“RUM AND NOW SPICED RUMS ARE IN VOGUE NOW MORE THAN EVER DUE TO THE INCREASING INNOVATION.” – DAVID HOUNSOME, NATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER OF EDGEMILL GROUP

on board with premium rums compared to other spirits. However, perceptions are starting to change and for retailers, this represents an advantage to expand their premium offering, as well as creating a more diverse and interesting rum offer. “The rum category is in growth but not your deep dark rough rums of the past,” says Hounsome. “They will be high-end, well-made lighter styles perfect for cocktails but even better when sipped over ice. They will have delicate taste profiles that are smooth and infinitely drinkable but will need to be tasted to be believed.” Building a strong and diverse premium rum section is critical to changing the overall perception of the spirit and educating customers about the premium credentials that it has been showing the rest of world for years. It is important that these spirts are showcased and promoted in ways that highlight not just the quality and taste that they bring to the table, but also encourage different approaches to drinking them compared to more mainstream ‘rum and cokes’. The premium rum category is also an arena where Australian distillers have been forging a strong path. “Excite them to explore and break down their perceptions of rum and Australian rum – there is so much complexity and versatility in rums,” advises Sarah Habenschuss, Brand Manager at Vok Beverages. “A rum aged in Bourbon barrels will appeal to a Bourbon drinker. Spiced

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 39


RUM

THE INTERNATIONAL RUM SCENE

Flor de Caña rum is made in Nicaragua

Barbados: Bajan rum is considered by many to be the origin of modern rum. Distilled in both pot and column stills (although mostly columns) and available from light to dark, they are generally well-balanced, ‘just right’ rums, neither too light nor heavy. Great for cocktails or sipping. Jamaica: Jamaica actually has its own official classification for rum, which makes it unusual. These rums, which have a longstanding history with the UK’s Royal Navy and are made with molasses, tend to be big and heavy on flavour. Cuba: Unlike other rums from former Spanish colonies, which tend to be smooth and sweet, Cuban rums exhibit a light and elegant style. Rums here are made with molasses and are generally aged for at least two years, often in older barrels, before being blended. Martinique: The rhum agricole style originates from former French colonies like Martinique. It differs from other countries’ rums primarily because it is made with pure cane sugar. These rums have high standards and high costs. Martinique has its own Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée, stating that it must be made on the island from fresh juice from cane harvested in specific locations and distilled in columns, among other specifications. Guyana: Guyana produces richer, darker rums than those of the Caribbean islands. This stems from their Demerara River terroir. Distilled in both pot and column stills, they can be aged for considerable lengths of time. Central America: The rums of the American mainland – think Venezuela, Guatemala and Colombia – are often premium. They tend to be smooth and sweet.

A tasting paddle of rums from Brix Distillers

rum and dry will appeal to whiskey drinkers. Rums can be sweet to dry to woody. And don’t forget rum liqueurs. An Australian craft beer drinker will find an Australian craft rum appealing. And it’s not just beer and wine that goes well with food – an Australian spiced rum goes amazingly with Australian seafood.”

Spice of life While there has been a growth in premium rums as consumers look for quality, provenance and heritage, another driving force behind rum comes from spices. Spiced rum is where distillers get to have some fun, and the spirits are becoming more diverse and complex with each passing year. When it comes to these styles, a more vibrant approach to promotion is advisable, focusing on fun beach and summer cocktails, as well as stressing the added ingredients that will make each rum unique. “Spiced rum would have been the biggest trend over the last five years,” says Kramer. “Fresh, vibrant

40 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

Black Bart Spiced Rum at Mt. Beauty, Victoria

drinks that showcase the rum’s characteristics are a great way to drink rum. Our twist on a classic daiquiri which has coconut water, Crawley’s falernum syrup and lime juice with our Ratu 5 YO spiced rum is a great drink to showcase this.” Perhaps a reason for spiced rum’s rise in fortune is linked to the growing interest in other categories to experiment with new and interesting flavours. In recent years, we have seen craft breweries incorporating different fruits, spices and grains into their beers, while gin distillers have looked ever further afield for botanicals to create that point of difference. The age of experimentation is well underway, and spiced rum is another to take advantage, particularly in Australia. Rum has the brands, flavours and provenance to take advantage of almost every current spirit trend in Australia. Retailers need to overcome preconceptions about the spirit and educate customers about the possibilities and varieties inherent in this spirit.


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EdgemillGroup Independents First National Sales & Marketing Manager: David Hounsome 0424 155 024

Edgemill Group Sales Team: Victoria-East/Tasmania: Peter Selinger 0410 484 246 Victoria-North: Andrew Keam 0410 484 147 Victoria-West: Andrew Scotto 0451 036 604 ACT: Icon Beverages· Travis Moule 0408 496 154 NSW: David Hounsome 0424 155 024 Queensland: Ilaria Di Dia 0451 136 604 SA: Exclusive Beverages - Craig Gurney 0447 806 744 WA: Exclusive Beverages - Craig Gurney 0447 806 744

Edgemill Group Pty Ltd ABN 65 120 361 159 37-39 William Angliss Drive Laverton North Victoria 3026 Phone 03 9982 8700 Fax 03 9982 8799 Email info@edgemill.com.au www.edgemill.com.au


BEER TASTING

Josh Quantrill

Cameron Flett

NSW Sales Manager, Capital Brewing Co

Manager, Warners at the Bay Bottle Shop

Rosemary Lilburne

Lou Dowling

Craft Beer & Cider Specialist, The Oak Barrel

Co-owner, PNV Merchants

Joe Wee

James Atkinson

Owner, Noble Hops

Beer Writer

Liam Pereira

Charlie Whitting

Venue and Events Manager, Batch Brewing

Editor, Beer & Brewer

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The Panel

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What’s our Seasonal Focus? This issue we zero in on Red, Amber and Brown Ales

THE BREW REVIEW O AS N

Willie Smith’s 2018 Traditional Cider Apple Blend ABV: 5.4% Style: Cider Butterscotch, stewed fruit, peach and spice on the nose make for an appealing aroma, not to mention the lovely hazy gold hue that greets the drinker in the glass. Taste-wise, this cider displays a warm sweetness up front that rapidly gives way to a crisp, bone dry finish. Thoroughly moreish, it’s got a great texture and overall, is a highly enjoyable drop. FOOD MATCH: Roast pork Williesmiths.com.au

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In this issue our panelists tasted the latest new release beer and cider. Here are the results.

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Prancing Pony India Red Ale ABV: 7.9% Style: India Red Ale Light red with a white, crisp head, this boozy little number from Prancing Pony immediately reveals a biscuit-like aroma. Upon taking a sip, there’s alcohol warmth to start that runs into a biscuit-like sweetness, as well as a solid bitterness for balance. A smooth drinking, well balanced beer, that utilises a lovely lingering bitterness to clean the palate and prepare you for the next sip. FOOD MATCH: Chilli con carne Prancingponybrewery. com.au

42 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

Little Bang Schwang Tangerine Sour ABV: 3% Style: Kettle Sour Pours a very bright yellow, with no head to speak of. Lemon tart, passionfruit and citrus aromas combine on this tart, smashable little number. There’s clearly loads of fruit addition, with only a hint of its beer backbone – but that’s no bad thing, as even the packaging speaks to the fun, fruity sour within that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. FOOD MATCH: Lemon meringue pie Littlebang.com.au

Wayward Brewing Hopped Porter ABV: 6% Style: Porter An espresso browncoloured beer in the glass that hints at the aromas and flavours to follow. A coffee-led nose, roasty and soft. Intense in flavour, with a coffee roundness, the hops in this porter add a nice bitter and tannic quality. Not super fullbodied, it’s actually really easy to drink – share with a friend who says they don’t like dark beer to change their perception of what a porter can be. FOOD MATCH: Chocolate torte Waywardbrewing.com.au

Exit Brewing #021 SXPA ABV: 3.5% Style: Session XPA A delicious fruity nose, with prickly pear and tropical fruit aromas. The palate reminded one panelist of green mangos; others commented on the “hop bite” of a beer that sits firmly in the session category. An impressive amount of flavour has been packed into this beer, given its low ABV, combining tropical flavours with a balancing bitterness. FOOD MATCH: Fried calamari Exitbrewing.com


Style: Red IPA Six Strings aren’t lying about the dark red – this pours a hazy, ruby brown colour that should have all red ale fans salivating. Displays an oaky and woody aroma, backed up by caramel, subtle chocolate and hints of raspberry. This is a complex beer; citrus hop notes are offset with deeper notes of wood, chocolate and dark fruit. Rounded and smooth. FOOD MATCH: Fresh cherries Sixstringbrewing.com.au/ ex2

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ABV: 4.8% Style: Pilsner Pours with a slight haze. Clean yeast characters come through on the nose, though one panelist detected very minor oxidation. A nice assertive bitterness, slightly peppery sweetness and a smooth mouthfeel make this a perfect beer to cut through fried food. A perfectly standard lager that is a great example of the style, with balanced flavours and good body. FOOD MATCH: Fish & chips Hemingwaysbrewery.com

Style: Irish Red Ale Burnt plums, raisins and a roasted coffee aroma greet the drinker, preluding a dependable take on the Irish red ale style from Bridge Road. Displays a soft and light mouthfeel with a quality that reminded one panelist of rum and raisin – but none of the stickiness you might expect from this sort of flavour, the whole thing balanced by a slightly smoky hint. FOOD MATCH: Roast turkey sandwich Bridgeroadbrewers.com.au

La Sirène Farmhouse Noir ABV: 6%

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ABV: 5.3%

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Style: Pale Ale Made using 100% Victorian ingredients, this pale ale from Bad Shepherd balances a fresh hop aroma with malty undertones, and a low-to-medium bitterness. Very bright clarity in the glass, there’s big tropical fruit aromas followed by a biscuit taste up-front when you take a sip. The same fruits that emerge on the nose come through on the palate a little later. A lovely, summery pale. FOOD MATCH: Garlic grilled prawns Badshepherd.com.au

Style: Cider Pours a deep gold, with unripe strawberries, mango, apples and pears abounding on the nose. Round and soft texture in the mouth, with a natural fruit sweetness and a lightly tannic quality. Overall, this is a super enjoyable and beautifully balanced cider that lingers on the palate. FOOD MATCH: Pork terrine with cornichons Williesmiths.com.au

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Bridge Road Brewers Celtic Red Ale

Willie Smith’s 2018 French Blend ABV: 6.3%

Style: Red IPA Presents a clear, haze-less but nonetheless rich amber to red colour in the glass. Pine, resin and slightly woody notes on the nose. While the ‘red’ holds the eye and the IPA elements hold the nose, the palate is a fight between the two, with malt sweetness perhaps succumbing slightly to a fairly loud bitterness. Nonetheless, this is a polished, wellbalanced RIPA. FOOD MATCH: Fatty steak Blackhops.com.au

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Style: Amber Ale Caramel in colour, and similar caramel notes on the nose – with a hint of coffee and gingernut biscuit as well. Good malt flavours on the palate, with soft hints of stone fruit and melon, but perhaps a little thin in terms of its mouthfeel. It’s not overpowering though and goes down easily. FOOD MATCH: Roast dinner Goatbeer.com.au

ABV: 4.2%

ABV: 6.2%

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Bad Shepherd Victoria Pale Ale

Black Hops Code Red

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Mountain Goat Fancy Pants

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ABV: 6%

Hemingway’s Brewery The Prospector Pilsner

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Style: Wet Hop Ale This wet/fresh hop ale from Prickly Moses is tropical fruit salad in a glass. Pours a deep gold colour with fine, beaded carbonation and good head. Pineapple skin, mango, cumquat on the nose; excellent mouthfeel and body with flavours of bright mango, passionfruit and a pithy bitterness that linger long after you swallow. Thoroughly moreish. FOOD MATCH: Pavlova Pricklymoses.com.au

Six Strings Dark Red IPA

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ABV: 6%

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Prickly Moses Harvest Ale 2019

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BEER TASTING

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2 Brother Grizz ABV: 5.7% Style: American

Style: Dark Saison While our panel enjoyed it, this beer offers an experience that would divide the masses. There’s a lot going on in the glass – from subtle phenolic and coffee aromas, to red sour cherry flavours that are also supported by a toasty, stout-like malt character – but together, it all seems to work. You’d need at least a second bottle to fully wrap your head around this extremely complex beer. FOOD MATCH: Black forest cake Lasirene.com.au

Amber Ale Whiffs of stewed stone fruit and biscuity caramel aromas backed up with a strong, malt forward palate – but with not a lot going on in the hop department – make this a slightly unbalanced but very accessible and warming beer. FOOD MATCH: Salami and other cold cuts 2brothers.com.au

This tasting was originally conducted for the Winter Issue 49 of Beer & Brewer.

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 43


WINE TASTING

SHIRAZ BLENDS AND CABERNET BLENDS

THE PANEL

1. Nigel Burton, CEO, Burton Premium Wines

5. Sabine Duval, Senior Wine Buyer, The Wine Collective

2. Daryl Fisher, General Manager, Fisher Fine Wine

6. Christine Ricketts, Wine Educator, The Wine Quarter

9. Andrew Milne, Brand Manager, SouthTrade International

3. Emma Fogarty, Senior Brand Manager, SouthTrade International

7. B ryn Lucas, Purchasing Manager, Heinemann Australia

10. Michelle Geber, Managing Director, Château Tanunda

4. Geoff Bollom, Retailer, Fennell Bay Cellars

8. M  ark Bradstreet, Key Account Manager, Joval Wine Group

11. Andrew Stubbs, Manager, Vine Wine

THE PANEL’S PICKS Tyrrell’s Winemaker’s Selection Vat 8 Shiraz Cabernet Region: Hunter Valley VIN: 2018 LUC: $62.35

Yalumba Barossa Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Barossa VIN: 2017 LUC: $16.13

“Elegant, balanced and persistent. Medicinal notes with blackberry and oak. Good length.” – Christine Ricketts Distributed by: Tyrrell’s Wines

“The aromatics are defined by vibrant, dark berry fruits. Silky on the palate with excellent length.” – Bryn Lucas Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Co

I Am George Shiraz Cabernet Region: Limestone Coast VIN: 2016 LUC: $10.45

“Dark fruits, lavender and perfumed violets. Rich, luscious. Good weight on the palate.” – Daryl Fisher Distributed by: Pernod Ricard Australia

THE SYSTEM 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine

44 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character

85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities


WINE TASTING LUC $18 AND OVER F  inders and Seekers Adored Shiraz Cabernet Region: McLaren Vale VIN: 2017 LUC: $65 “Good, fruity, jammy, fruit cake, vanilla on the nose. Big rich, dark dried fruit on the palate.” – Daryl Fisher “Fruit-forward with vanilla, oak and liquorice. Full-bodied and youthful but will soften out and has great promise.” – Christine Ricketts

Distributed by: Auswan Creek

S  aint Petri Shiraz Carignan Region: Barossa VIN: 2016 LUC: $46.22 “Smoke, oak, nutty chocolate, blackberry and cloves. A smooth mouthfeel with firm tannins and lovely layers and finish.” – Christine Ricketts “Dark berry fruits with pleasant spice highlights. An easy drinking, but enjoyable wine.” – Bryn Lucas

Distributed by: Calabria Family Wines

T  aylor Made BDX Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc Region: Clare Valley VIN: 2017 LUC: $18.28 “An opaque, lively red with a complex, dense nose of dark fruit and menthol. Silky smooth palate with blackcurrant.” – Michelle Geber “Violets and prunes. Brambles and black fruit. Some freshness. Delicate and well-structured.” – Andrew Milne

Distributed by: Taylors Wines

“Overall, luscious, fleshy, ripe fruit was dominant. A balance of complementary vs. more dominant oak character.” – Michelle Geber d’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier Region: McLaren Vale VIN: 2015 LUC: $21.07

 erton Vineyard The Bonsai Shiraz Cabernet B Region: Eden Valley VIN: 2016 LUC: $21.30 “Dark fruits, cassis, blackberries and fruitcake. Big, rich and complex. Loaded with fruit and oak.” – Daryl Fisher

“The nose is restrained with a background hint of minerality. Palate is simple and enjoyable.” – Bryn Lucas

“Attractive, fruit nose. A big, rich, fruit-heavy wine with a long finish.” – Nigel Burton

“Lavender, blackcurrant and spice. Firm tannins. Will do well with time.” – Daryl Fisher

Distributed by: Berton Vineyards

Distributed by: Off The Vine (WA); Empire Liquor (SA); Young & Rashleigh (ACT); The Wine Company (Vic); The Wine Tradition (QLD); Inglewood Wines (NSW)

The Three Graces Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Merlot Region: Barossa VIN: 2017 LUC: $19.35

DID YOU KNOW? • Australia’s most popular exported red blends were Shiraz blends. Australia exported $315 million litres of wine labelled as a Shiraz blend compared with $168 million litres of Cabernet or Cabernet Sauvignon blends. • The average value of Cabernet/Cabernet Sauvignon blends was much higher ($10.71 per litre compared with $7.85 per litre). • The most popular Shiraz blend was Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Shiraz/Mataro.

“Vibrant and spicy with layers of black fruits and a medium finish.” – Emma Fogarty “Broody dark fruits and pepper. A good finish. Slightly overbearing tannins but a good wine.” – Geoff Bollom

Distributed by: Crush Fine Wines

THE SYSTEM 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine

90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character

85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 45


WINE TASTING LUC $11-$18 S  hingleback Local Heroes Shiraz Grenache Region: McLaren Vale VIN: 2018 LUC: $15.05 “A sweet cassis character dominates the nose and palate. Easy drinking.” – Bryn Lucas “Lifted perfume with violet, blackberry, cedar and vanilla. There is blackberry, vanilla and liquorice on the palate. A long finish.” – Christine Ricketts Distributed by: Muster Wine & Spirit (SA); Domaines & Vineyards (WA); Shingleback (rest of Aus)

“Entry level wines were very drinkable and pleasant. Hunter Valley showed elegance and persistence, but McLaren and Barossa will definitely soften with age.” – Christine Ricketts S  hotfire Barossa Quartage Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot Region: Barossa VIN: 2016 LUC: $17.20

P  epper Tree Limited Release Classics Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot Region: Wrattonbully VIN: 2017 LUC: $16.66 “Lovely spice, nutmeg and all spice. Juicy red berry and chalky tannins on the palate.” – Andrew Milne “Light in colour with an earthy nose. Mushroom, cedar and eucalypt on the palate.” – Michelle Geber

“Dark fruits, cloves and cedar on the nose. The palate has forest fruits. Grainy tannins and superior length.” – Michelle Geber “Rich, opulent dark cassis. Earth and dark chocolate with great tannins.” – Andrew Stubbs

Distributed by: Mezzanine

Distributed by: Déjà Vu

J acob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz Cabernet Region: Limestone Coast VIN: 2016 LUC: $12.64

d  ’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache Region: McLaren Vale VIN: 2016 LUC: $14.41 “Lovely nose of toasty cedar and oak. Good palate weight with chalky tannins and stewed blackcurrants.” – Christine Ricketts “A clean nose. The tannins grip well and there is a good long finish.” – Nigel Burton

Distributed by: Off The Vine (WA); Empire Liquor (SA); Young & Rashleigh (ACT); The Wine Company (VIC); The Wine Tradition (QLD); Inglewood Wines (NSW)

FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT BLENDS • In the domestic retail (off-trade) market, Cabernet Merlot is the most popular red blend, but it only accounted for 5% of sales as the market is dominated by Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, followed by other straight varieties and sparkling. • Bottled Shiraz blends grew by 2% in value while Cabernet Merlot and other Cabernet blends declined (by 6% and 2%). • Of all the red blends, consumers are most likely to have drunk a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend in the past six months.

“Mint and eucalypt in the foreground on the nose. The palate is well-balanced.” – Bryn Lucas “Cigar box, spice and red berries. Soft and subtle palate with a bit of charred oak finish.” – Daryl Fisher

Distributed by: Pernod Ricard Australia

C  arillion Expressions Shiraz Pinot Noir Region: Hunter Valley and Orange VIN: 2017 LUC: $13.90 “Clean nose, peppery character and good fruit.” – Nigel Burton “Integrated mocha and eucalypt with blackberry and cinnamon. Very pleasant mouthfeel and nice berry fruit.” – Christine Ricketts

Distributed by: Free Run Distributors

THE SYSTEM 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine

46 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character

85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities


WINE TASTING LUC UNDER $11  aylors Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet T Region: South Australia VIN: 2016 LUC: $10.32 “Earthy and with some oak character. Full bodied with a good finish.” – Nigel Burton “Oak notes with some biscuit hints. Blackberry and juicy cranberry. Very pleasant mouthfeel and length.” – Christine Ricketts

Distributed by: Taylors Wines

“Shiraz predominated the Shiraz blends. It is a blend that is all but unique to Australia and showed well through the price points.” – Nigel Burton

T  aylors Promised Land Cabernet Merlot Region: South Australia VIN: 2017 LUC: $10.32 “Hint of leather, full stewed red fruits. Brambles and loganberries. Soft tannins. Well-rounded.” – Andrew Milne “Smells very jammy. Seems high on alcohol. Mint on the finish.” – Sabine Duval

P  eter Lehmann Art ‘n’ Soul Cabernet Merlot Region: South Australia VIN: 2016 LUC: $9.35 “Lots of red fruits on the palate. Medium body. A long finish with plenty of tannin. Will pair well with meat dishes.” – Emma Fogarty “Complex on the nose, with cedar, cured meats and leather. White pepper and dark berries. Tannins very prominent. Fantastic for price range.” – Geoff Bollom

Distributed by: Taylors Wines Distributed by: Casella Family Brands

“The greater levels of complexity evident in the higher price brackets tended to validate the old adage that ‘you get what you paid for’.” – Bryn Lucas

 I Am George Cabernet Merlot Region: Wine of Australia VIN: 2017 LUC: $7.53 “Dark berries in the glass. Supportive fruits. Solid tannins and acid followed by a lingering finish.” – Geoff Bollom “Nice note of liquorice on the nose that flows onto the palate.” – Mark Bradstreet

Distributed by: Pernod Ricard Australia

M  cGuigan Reserve Shiraz Cabernet

J acob’s Creek Barossa Signature Shiraz Cabernet Region: Barossa VIN: 2015 LUC: $9.76

Region: South Australia VIN: 2018 LUC: $7.92

“Blackcurrant, cassis and chocolate on the nose. Vanilla and oak on the palate. An earthy character.” – Daryl Fisher

“Mix of oak and bright fruit. Medium body.” – Christine Ricketts

“Dark berry fruits complemented by a subtle earthiness. Offers a good level of structure and complexity for the price point.” – Bryn Lucas

“Subtle berry fruits appear on both the nose and the palate. Overall, simplistic but pleasant wine.” – Bryn Lucas

Distributed by: Pernod Ricard Australia

Distributed by: Australian Vintage Limited

THE SYSTEM 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine

90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character

85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 47


EVENTS

1

Andrew Calabria of Calabria Family Wines introduces guests to Kings of Prohibition

1. KINGS OF PROHIBITION LANDS IN AUSTRALIA A craft-designed wine called Kings of Prohibition was unveiled at Sydney steakhouse The Cut Bar & Grill on 30 May. Designed by Calabria Family Wines, the wine is made with a Barossa Valley Shiraz and Hilltops Tempranillo, and tells the story of the Prohibition era in the United States, which Andrew Calabria, Sales Director at Calabria Family Wines, believes changed the face of wine. “It changed the wine industry and opened the door for innovation, essentially wine was reborn, and it created great wine brands which are still impacting the industry. Without Prohibition, winemakers would not have explored styles such as Fume Blanc or White Zinfandel. From the great era of the roaring twenties, Prohibition gave rise to the notorious ‘Kings of Prohibition’,” he said. The packaging drew attention at the event – it is shaped more like a gin bottle than a wine bottle.

1 2. ANGOVE TAKES THE MEDHYK SHIRAZ ON THE ROAD Angove celebrated the release of the 2016 The Medhyk old vine, basket-pressed Shiraz with a national roadshow hosting key trade around the country. Vintage House Managing Director Timothy Boydell, Angove Joint Managing Director Victoria Angove, and Chief Winemaker Tony Ingle hosted key trade for dinner and a casual wine tasting at the Officers’ Mess, The Kittyhawk, in Sydney on 21 May. Angove has a strong family tradition of winemaking going back five generations and The Medhyk is its flagship wine coming out of McLaren Vale. Boydell and Angove wrapped up the Medhyk events with a dinner in Hobart on 5 June following successful events in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Melbourne plus the consumer launch in the first week of May at the Angove McLaren Vale Cellar Door in the historic Warboys Vineyard.

2

Pouring a glass of Kings of Prohibition Shiraz Barossa

3. CAPE GRIM 666 VODKA UNVEILS NEW BRANDING Cape Grim 666 Vodka launched new branding, products and positioning at a masterclass held at Duclie’s in Sydney’s Kings Cross on 22 May. The distiller unveiled new packaging at the event, which was hosted by vodka guru Ben Davidson. Davidson has been working closely with Dean Lucas, Owner and Founder of Cape Grim, to develop new flavoured vodkas for the brand, and is the man behind the two new flavours – Lemon Myrtle Honey and Wattleseed Coffee Vodka. Davidson conducted the masterclass, explaining precisely how they go about creating the Australian-inspired, all-natural flavoured vodkas. “We collaborate with a number of local Tasmanian and mainland producers to supply our ingredients, especially awesome are the indigenous-owned Something Wild business, who supply us with ethically sourced bush botanicals for our flavoured vodkas,” said Davidson. Other masterclass relaunch events were held at Bad Frankie’s in Melbourne, Rude Boy in Hobart and Blackbird in Brisbane.

3

(l-r) Timothy Boydell, Victoria Angove and Tony Ingle

48 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

The new branding on a bottle of Cape Grim 666 Vodka


EVENTS 4. GREY GOOSE PARTNERS GQ GENTLEMEN’S BALL

4

Grey Goose was the official partner for the second annual GQ Gentlemen’s Ball, held on 6 June at Maia in Melbourne’s Docklands. The GQ Gentlemen’s Ball, which this year had ‘Big Ideas’ as its theme, featured a keynote address by environmentalist, explorer and entrepreneur David de Rothschild, and a panel discussion moderated by TV host and journalist Hamish Macdonald. Before sitting down to the three-course dinner, all 250 guests were welcomed with cocktails as the ultimate happy hour at the Grey Goose bar. Bespoke martini carts offered made to order crafted Grey Goose Martinis. A custom Grey Goose cocktail was created to pair with the main course, garnished with silver leaf foil to play to the intergalactic theme of the evening.

Guests enjoyed Grey Goose drinks at the black tie event

5. RECORD SESSION AT GABS SYDNEY The National Liquor News team was present at Session 1 of GABS Sydney on 1 June, which enjoyed the largest attendance of any GABS in history, with almost 7,000 people present. Over the course of the festivals, attendees were able to sample from up to 170 unique ‘Festival Beers & Ciders’ made for exclusive release at GABS – featuring flavours as diverse as bubblegum and kangaroo – along with hundreds of core range and limited release brews from many of Australia and New Zealand’s leading breweries and cidermakers. As well as Sydney, GABS was also held in Melbourne (17-19 May) and, for the first time, Brisbane (27 April). Overall, the festivals attracted 44,500 attendees, a record for each city and for overall attendance. The final GABS of 2019 was held in Auckland on Saturday 29 June. The Rate Beer People’s Choice Festival Beer was Currumbin Valley Brewing’s Grape Bubblegum Sour.

5

The Moët Impérial tower was the centrepiece of the event

6

6. MOËT IMPÉRIAL CELEBRATES 150TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT Moët & Chandon celebrated the 150th anniversary of Moët Impérial, the Champagne House’s signature Brut Champagne, at a glamorous event at Sydney Town Hall on 4 June. The black tie dinner was hosted by Stéphane Baschiera, President and CEO of Moët & Chandon, alongside Jesinta Franklin, Moët & Chandon Ambassador, and was attended by 150 celebrities, influencers, media and friends of the brand. A special Impérial 1869 cocktail was created for the occasion and enjoyed by guests on arrival. They then sat down to a two-course meal curated by renowned French chef Guillaume Brahimi paired with Moët Impérial, served from new limited edition anniversary bottles. As a final flourish, Baschiera and Franklin poured a 20-tier Moët Impérial Champagne tower before a surprise performance by Hayden James in the Moët Impérial Studio 1869 after party.

Punters taste an array of special GABS Festival beers

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS JULY 2019 | 49


SHOP TALK

Shop Talk We talk shop with Michael Jeffree from Con’s Liquor and Chris Featon from Good Drinks in Western Australia.

Meet... CHRIS FEATON, WA Brand Ambassador, Good Drinks

MICHAEL JEFFREE, Manager, Con’s Liquor

Chris Featon and Michael Jeffree

Q ABOUT US: MICHAEL: Con’s Liquor is a family-owned and run business established in 1983 by my father Peter Jeffree in Bunbury. He Purchased Con’s Manning Fine Wine in 2001 and has since operated five stores across the Perth metro area under the banner of Con’s Liquor. I have grown up in the liquor industry doing every job possible, from deliveries to running the stores today. CHRIS: I have worked in the liquor industry for the last 14 years, starting with my first job at The Victoria Park Hotel, before moving to First Choice Liquor in Riverton. I then moved into a bottle shop management role, where I reopened the new Kewdale Tavern back in 2009. I started with Gage Roads Brewing Co in September 2016. And over the past three years, the team and business have really grown.

Q HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE CURRENT MARKET? MICHAEL: The market is tough, as we know. Business is flat and we have had to work extremely hard trying new products, store layouts and promotions to maintain margins and turnover. CHRIS: Trade is very sporadic. I’m finding a lot of retailers are struggling to project income, staff wages and stock levels as consumer spending comes and goes in unpredictable waves. It means shop owners are reducing overheads and watching spending, which can sometimes mean stock levels and staffing during peak times can be difficult. In saying that, some on- and off-premise venues have recorded growth months in the first quarter of this year, which has provided much needed relief and encouragement for some.

Q WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING? MICHAEL: I would have to say a couple of the biggest challenges we face are the cost of doing business (rent, wages costs, delivery costs both

50 | JULY 2019 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS

in and out). And the customer perception of pricing, meaning our prices are competitive with the nationals and online but trying to convince the public is difficult. CHRIS: Some of the biggest challenges I face as a rep; • Competing with cost vs quality. Consumers are still buying low budget alcohol products that carry very little gross profit dollars for retailers, are made with higher preservatives and after shipping and transportation from overseas often have oxidisation. There are many products produced here in Australia with a higher quality, made with local ingredients and made by companies investing money back into local businesses and communities. • Brand loyalty can be difficult in the modernday market. People will often say ‘I drink your products all the time’ but will be quick to pick up the next new thing off the shelf.

Q WHAT DEALS OR PROMOTIONS ARE WORKING FOR YOU AT THE MOMENT? MICHAEL: As mentioned above we have had to try new lines and across multiple categories. The most prominent of these is the direct importing of European wines (not own brands). This has provided us with great margin and a real point of difference that has our customers returning to our shops for repeat sales. It has also allowed us to connect with our customers through the new wine experiences. We have also tried to continually update and rotate our beer and spirit range without neglecting our mainstream product mix. CHRIS: Working with stores to advertise sixpacks instead of cartons, especially with new products. Convincing a consumer to pick up a new product can be challenging as they don’t want to invest $55+ on a product they have never tried before. So running a promotion on the four-pack or six-pack allows the consumer

to try the product without investing a huge amount. Also, working with venues to promote our brands and their venue or store on social media is a win/win. Instagram and Facebook are a fixture for most of us so it’s a great way to promote product, promotions or key values to consumers.

Q HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE RETAILER/ REP RELATIONSHIP? MICHAEL: One thing I have learnt over the years in the liquor industry is that products move between portfolios and people move between companies. I’ve always taken the time to get to know the reps as it makes doing business over the years easier. As a retailer we are inundated with new products on a weekly basis; having trusted reps with a good understanding of our business makes the job of working out what will work for us faster, easier and more cost effective. CHRIS: Coming from a retail background, I wanted to make sure I was the kind of rep that I would like to work with. It’s important to understand the issues for customers, such as the plight of fridge space. I also think it’s important that customers know that I have 100 per cent faith in the brands I sell, and will never sell a product I wasn’t completely invested in. Follow up is also important and I always make sure brands are selling through. You will never get anywhere as a rep if you do not take ownership of underperforming brands. My main aim is to let the retailer know that I understand their problems and I’m keen to make sure the products I sell don’t become one of them. As Michael has said, reps come and go between companies, but you never know in what capacity you will ever see an individual again. Our industry is so small, you might bump into a customer years later in another venue and I would like to think it would be a nice reunion and a road to higher sales for everyone.


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National Liquor News July 2019  

National Liquor News prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...

National Liquor News July 2019  

National Liquor News prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...