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vol. 37 no. 2 - MARCH 2018







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Editor’s Note


elcome to the March issue of National Liquor News. I hope that you all enjoyed reading the Annual Industry Leaders Forum last month and were able to gain some valuable insights that will help you with the running of your businesses. While reading through a lot of the interviews last month, there was one word that I kept seeing pop up. ‘Millennial’. It seems as though the millennial shopper is one that many of you are trying to engage with, both as retailers and as suppliers. So in this issue our shopper insights guru Norrelle Goldring has taken a look at the shopping behaviour of these tech savvy, health focussed youngsters and broken down exactly what makes them tick, you can read her article on page 24. There have been a few legislative topics in the news over the past month, including one that I wouldn’t blame many of you for being tired of hearing about, and that is the shambles that is the Container Deposit Scheme. You would have seen that the Queensland Government has pushed back the rollout of its Container Refund Scheme, which was originally slated to kick off on 1 July. It now says that it wants more time to learn from the mistakes made in NSW and it will launch on 1 November instead. But am I the only one who thinks it’s a little strange that they originally said they would launch in July with a network of 300 Refund Points and now with an extra four months up their sleeves are saying they will launch in November with 200 Refund Points? Something’s not adding up and being based in NSW I’m feeling a little bit of déjà vu. Meanwhile over in the Northern Territory, the Government has announced that it plans to introduce minimum unit pricing on 1 July, as part of the Northern Territory Alcohol Harm Minimisation Plan 2018-19. The broad-based measure is extreme and will do little to nothing to change the habits of harmful drinkers. All it does is unfairly punish people who enjoy alcoholic drinks responsibly. Over in Western Australia, the Government has put forward its Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018, which proposes restricting the floor space of new bottle shops in areas where there are already a number of liquor stores. This proposal has been branded as anti-competitive and has led to Endeavour Drinks Group resigning its membership of LSA WA. But this magazine is not all about legislation, we’ve also got some great features for you as well. First up is our article on premium two litre cask wine. Despite a drop in overall sales there is a shining light within this iconic Australian category and that is smaller format premium casks, which are actually in growth. As such, we are seeing suppliers

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Shane T Williams and Deb Jackson. including Yalumba and De Bortoli really rallying behind that part of the segment, which you can read all about on page 27. In today’s market there is a lot of blurring of lines between what activations will work in the on- and off-premise, for example we’ve got consumers who have a renewed interest in creating classic cocktails at home and so this year we wanted to look not only at product segments, but also at how you could take events that are typically celebrated in the on-premise and use them to increase profits within your stores. In this issue we’ve taken a look at World Whisk(e)y Day, which is a global celebration that encourages whisk(e)y lovers to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with new or interesting drams. We’ve spoken to a few experts and put together some great ideas for World Whisk(e)y Day celebrations in your store on page 32. As always, we’ve got our monthly wine tasting panel, which this month tasted Chardonnay. And in this issue we’ve also collaborated with our sister publication, Beer & Brewer to publish our first beer tasting panel as well. As always, keep your feedback flowing ( This is your industry magazine, so make sure that it works for you! Happy reading! Deb

Deborah Jackson, Editor 02 8586 6206 |




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32 26 24

Contents March Wine


18 Wine News: All the latest releases and wine news 27 Premium Cask Wine: Small format premium casks are showing growth 44 New Releases: The latest release wines to hit bottle shop shelves 45 Wine Tasting Review: All the results from our Chardonnay tasting

22 Spirits News: The latest releases, news and promotions from the spirits category 32 World Whisk(e)y Day: How to drive profits around this global celebration 38 Cognac & Brandy: What retailers can expect from these growth categories


24 Shopper Insights: Norrelle Goldring looks at the shopping behaviour of millennials 26 Retailer Profile: We talk shop with Claire Janson from The Oak Barrel in Sydney

12 Australian Brewery: Set for growth in 2018 23 Brewing: What’s new in the world of beer? 42 New Releases: Our panel of experts reviews the latest release beers


Retail Focus

50 Shop Talk: Shop Talk catches up with the Australian Brewery and the Robin Hood Hotel in Sydney

Regulars 8 News: The latest liquor industry news for retailers around the country 13 People: All the latest industry appointments 14 Contributors: We share insights from the experts 16 IRI: The latest industry insights from IRI 48 Events: An exclusive peek at last month’s launches and events





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DAN MURPHY’S TRIALS NEW PICK UP MODEL Dan Murphy’s is trialling a new smaller format store model on the Gold Coast featuring an express pick up service that provides ‘ultra-convenience’ for the modern Australian shopper. The new format store is being trialled in the suburb of Miami and while similar to the more traditional pub drive-through, the new pick up service links to mobile technology to provide customers with a seamless end-to-end experience. Campbell Stott, Dan Murphy’s General Manager said: “Time is increasingly an Australian household’s most important currency, so we have reinvented our online order and collection system from the ground up to create a seamless and ultra convenient shopping experience for our customers. “Customers are in charge of their shopping trip and are able to alert us to when they are getting close to the store, so our team can have the order ready on arrival,” Stott said. The Dan Murphy’s App is now able to send customers a push notification to tell them their order is ready. The customer can use the app to let the store know they are close, or if Location Services are turned on, the store’s 400m geofence will automatically check them in and let staff know they are approaching. For customers without the app, they can click on a link in the notification SMS to let the store know they are approaching. Clearly marked signs indicate which lane the customer needs to use depending on whether they have checked-in or not.  “Our new pick up service provides shoppers with the frictionless convenience of driving into our clearly marked pickup area, and knowing their order is ready for collection. After RSA and ID checks, our friendly store teams happily load the order into the car and our customer can continue their journey. “This is a great service for people who live in an apartment or housing complex or workplace that cannot accept a home delivery or just want to pick something up on the way home or take to a special occasion. It also makes bulk orders for weddings, work events or special events a pleasure rather than a chore,” Stott said.

REGISTRATIONS OPEN FOR LSA NSW BUSINESS FORUM Registrations are open for the Liquor Stores Association NSW & ACT (LSA NSW) annual forum and expo – Working ‘On’ Your Business. The forum aims to give liquor retailers key insights and strategies to help them run their businesses more efficiently and effectively. LSA NSW’s Executive Director, Michael Waters said that the association has put together another strong program and urged retailers to get to the event. “To be successful in business, we all need to have access to the latest information, trends and ideas to assist us in making our business decisions, and this key annual industry event provides our members and the broader retail liquor industry with exactly that,” Waters said. “We’ve put together another cracking program this year, thanks to presenting partners


Human Tribe, National Retail Association, Endeavour Drinks Group, Black Box Security, NORA and DFK Crosbie, who will share their knowledge on a range of practical matters to reveal strategies and insights that will help your businesses run more efficiently and effectively. “I urge liquor store owners to not just make the time to attend themselves, but to consider making this event the cornerstone of professional development for their managers and staff.” The forum will also feature an expo which gives delegates the opportunity to “see and taste the latest product offerings from suppliers, learn about new product initiatives and take advantage of exclusive deals and offers”. Registrations for the forum are now open, closing on 1 May and full details are available on the LSW NSW website.

Coles Liquor has become the latest major participant to join the peak industry body Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA). Chairman Bryan Fry made the announcement, saying Coles Liquor was a significant business in the industry and an important participant for ABA to have at the table. “Coles Liquor is a leading voice in Australian business and its membership is a great boost for the ABA operation. “We’re delighted to welcome the Coles Liquor team into ABA and we look forward to their insight and experience as we refine our activity and operation to support the industry and protect the rights of our 15.5 million customers,” Fry said. Coles Liquor Director Greg Davis said he looked forward to working with industry counterparts to highlight the many positive contributions the industry makes across the country and to better engage with regulatory and community stakeholders. “Coles is committed to promoting the responsible consumption of our products and we look forward to working with other ABA members to ensure best practice across the industry,” Davis said. Coles Liquor joins existing ABA retail members including Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) and the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA).



ALDI WINS ROY MORGAN LIQUOR STORE OF THE YEAR Aldi Australia has been named as the Liquor Store of the Year at the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction awards. The awards recognise the leading businesses in the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction surveys, and so are voted on by the customer themselves. Aldi was understandably delighted with the award, which the company said reflected its range, quality and value. Jason Bowyer, Aldi Australia’s Wine and Champagne Buying Director, said: “At Aldi Australia, we were delighted to win the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award for Liquor Store of the Year 2017. We believe that all our products, from our award-winning $19.99 Monsigny Brut Champagne to our red and white wines, deliver exceptional value, quality, and consistency. It’s great to see our customers across Australia agree. “Our success is based on the close relationships we have with our suppliers, who all share our passion for awesome quality. Aldi partners with some of the best producers and winemakers both in Australia and internationally, which means we can deliver exceptional quality, value and consistency to our customers. Our partnerships with our suppliers are focused on a desire to see the customer win with great tasting wines at unbeatable prices. “One such partner is Alberto Antonini, named by Decanter Magazine in 2016 as one of the world’s most influential winemakers. Aldi Australia approached him directly to make great wine for Aldi and the result is the 2015 Corte Carista Chianti Superiore ($9.99), offering our customers Tuscany’s finest, at incredible value, which is in-store now.” Aldi Australia began to offer liquor in Victorian stores in 2003 and since then has gone on to offer liquor in more than 300 Aldi stores in NSW, ACT, VIC and WA, and the company said it is committed to growing its offer across Australia.


The Queensland Government has pushed back the launch of its Container Refund Scheme (CRS) in the hope it can learn from the “problematic introduction” of a similar scheme in NSW. Originally due to start 1 July this year, the CRS will now commence on 1 November. “It’s important we get the scheme right from day one so that its full community, environmental and recycling benefits are realised,” said Minister for Environment Leanne Enoch. “Extending the timeframe for the scheme’s introduction was requested by stakeholders to ensure Queensland did not run into the same rollout issues experienced in NSW when its scheme started 1 December last year. “While our scheme is not run along the same lines as that in NSW, it’s clear there are valuable lessons to be learned from the problematic introduction of their scheme.” The Queensland Government has appointed Container Exchange (CoEx) to work with local businesses and community groups to establish a network of Refund Points. CoEx will be governed by a board of nine directors, made up of the beverage industry, including CCA and Lion, and independent representation, including an independent chair. The CoEx website says that the Queensland CRS will require a network of about 300 Refund Points but the Minister for Environment’s statement says they expect around 200 to be ready to operate by 1 November. John Carmody, the Managing Director of Liquor Legends, which has stores nationally told National Liquor News that he would prefer to see the Queensland CRS scrapped completely. “We would prefer that the whole scheme was binned, but pushing it back does give us some relief in light of the absolute disaster that the NSW scheme has proven to be.”



WA GOVERNMENT TABLES LIQUOR LAW REFORMS The Western Australian Government has put forward its Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018, which details significant changes for the state’s liquor laws. And while there are many positive changes for the state’s on-premise sector, which have been widely welcomed, the Bill also proposes restricting the floor space of new bottle shops in areas where there are already a number of liquor stores. Peter Peck, the CEO of the Liquor Stores Association WA, told National Liquor News that the new proposals are not about introducing a blanket ban on the size of new bottle shops but, more that it was about preventing big box stores opening in an area where the consumer need has already been met. “The important part of this legislation is that it is not retrospective, but it meant that in the future if the need of an area was met then you could put a large liquor store in that area, to oversupply that area,” Peck said. “This is not like the Northern Territory where they proposed a blanket

ban on stores of a certain size. There is no ban on liquor stores, there is just a process for stores to be approved.” However, Giuseppe Minissale, the President of the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA), told National Liquor News that he believed this was anti-competitive legislation and that he could not understand why the liquor industry and packaged liquor licensees were being singled out when other retail industries were free to open stores of any size. “In any competitive market, whether it be furniture or hardware they are free to open stores of any size, but when it comes to the liquor industry they want to put in restrictions,” Minissale said. “There is absolutely no evidence that says the size of a store makes any difference when it comes to selling alcohol in relation to harm. As an independent retailer if I wanted to build a 500sqm store I would be restricted, but Bunnings can go and build a super-size warehouse store right next to a small hardware shop. “Why is it good for one sector and not the other?”

ROGUE OPERATOR FINED AND BANNED BY ILGA The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA) has fined a former bottle shop manager $40,000 and banned him from holding a licence for 10 years over a string of offences including selling stolen alcohol. Sherin Sylvester, the former approved manager of Glenfield Cellars, was subject to a complaint by NSW Police, which Sylvester ultimately did not contest. The Authority accepted the police investigation into a string of armed robberies throughout the Sydney metropolitan area, which among other outlets included “stealing large amounts of alcohol from retail liquor stores, namely BWS and Dan Murphy’s”. In its findings relating to the case, the Authority accepted the police evidence of phone calls between Sylvester and the perpetrators of the armed robberies, Shovikash Chandra and Kien Ly. In accepting these charges, plus Sylvester allowing a can of beer bought in the store to be consumed on the premises the ILGA ruled that Sylvester was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence and that the continuation of the licence was not in the public interest. In handing down its sentence the ILGA said: “A monetary penalty issued under Part 9 of the Act serves a protective rather than punitive purpose. Having regard to this broader purpose, and the seriousness of the matters found against him, the Authority is satisfied that a


monetary penalty at the upper end of the scale is appropriate in this case. “The Court order that Mr Sylvester pay compensation in the sum of $40,000 illustrates the financial value of the crime perpetrated by Mr Sylvester. It underscores the scale of the threat posed to the industry by permitting a person who is willing to engage in this level of dishonesty, with respect to the handling of liquor products to have a regulated role in the liquor industry. “The Authority accepts Mr Sylvester’s submission that he has paid a substantial price for his criminal conduct. Mr Sylvester

was issued with a 12 months intensive correction order that has only recently expired during June 2017. He was also ordered to pay $40,000 in compensation to Woolworths Pty Ltd and has had $80,000 worth of goods seized by Police during their investigation. These are penal consequences flowing from his criminal conduct.” Sylvester has 28 days to appeal the ILGA’s findings and penalties, the licence for the store has been passed to Dhingra Enterprises, which now controls the licence and the business conducted in relation to it.




ollowing on from a record breaking year in 2017 the Australian Brewery has a new distribution partnership that will see its beers become more widely available in 2018. Already distributed nationally through both major retail chains, Australian Brewery was able to secure national distribution with Equity Beverages in 2017, allowing the business to grow its distribution into Western Australia and South Australia. Both businesses are independent and family operated and have a shared goal to grow the Australian Brewery brand through independent retail and on-premise around the country. Australian Brewery had a record breaking year in 2017 in terms of sales volume, distribution and in national beer competitions. At the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), Craft Beer Awards and at the Royal Sydney Show, Australian Brewery won a combined total of nine gold medals. All Star IPA won five gold and Seis


Hermanos Lager and Australian Pale Ale both won two apiece. It also had two successful collaboration beers with Sydney-based independent retailer, brewer and bar operator, Bucket Boys. These were the If You Like Piña Colada and That’s How You Make Porridge. Collaborations will remain a major focus for Australian Brewery, building on the success of If You Like Piña Colada in particular. “Sharing ideas and innovating with new beer styles is something that the Australian Brewery prides itself on and will look to continue with old and new partners this year,” said Marcello Colosimo, the CEO of Australian Brewery. “I’m excited to work with Equity Beverages and our brewery team to continue to grow our brand. My family and I love being a part of growing this industry and helping to get great beer into more people’s hands.” The brewery has come a long way since being the first craft brewer in the country to package its beers exclusively in cans. The Australian Brewery opened its doors in

2010 and is independently owned and operated by a family of six brothers. In 2012 it was the first craft producer in Australia to package exclusively in cans for fresher beer and to be more environmentally friendly. The brewery has a new canning line on the way and its production and fermentation capacity increased by one-third over the summer period to meet the growing demand for independent beers. With craft beer set to soar again in 2018 amongst all the major acquisitions and mergers Australian Brewery is well placed to continue to grow.

THE AUSTRALIAN BREWERY: 350 ANNANGROVE ROAD, ROUSE HILL NSW For more information or for any questions please contact David Ward at or 0414 199 284


Shifting Rank ABE SALT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Villa Maria Estate Villa Maria Estate has appointed Abe Salt as Chief Executive Officer, commencing on 5 March. Salt takes over from Sir George Fistonich after more than 55 years at the helm. Sir Fistonich will continue to have a hands-on role in the company as Founder and President. “Due to Villa Maria’s success as a major player globally, my ambassador role has become extremely time consuming,” said Sir Fistonich. “As the CEO, Abe will be able to manage the important dayto-day operations and strategic priorities for the company. This will allow me to concentrate on my global brand ambassadorial role and drive other large projects such as the development of our new winery and retail centre in Hawkes Bay.” Salt is an avid wine enthusiast and is passionate about the wine industry. He has undertaken wine education courses with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and University of Adelaide and has also participated in a wide range of social wine education programs such as International Chardonnay and Pinot Masterclasses. He joins Villa Maria with 15 years’ experience across the wine industry, investment banking and strategic advisory. Most recently, he was Principal at Iron Gate Consulting where he focused on providing strategic advice to the wine industry.

EMMA NORBIATO CHIEF WINEMAKER Calabria Family Wines Calabria Family Wines has appointed Emma Norbiato to the role of Chief Winemaker. Norbiato joined the winemaking team at Calabria in 2009, during this time she was named 2016 Australia’s Women in Wine ‘Winemaker of the Year’. With 18 vintages of winemaking experience, she is also a senior wine show judge with over 15 years’ experience across both regional and capital city shows. Her new role of Chief Winemaker will see her responsible for the winemaking and stylistic direction of the Calabria Family Wines portfolio. Norbiato said: “They say you are only as good as the sum of your parts, and I am very fortunate to be part of a good team. I am truly excited about the upcoming wine developments we have ahead for 2018, from multiple regions around Australia.” Bill Calabria said the appointment reinforced the strong direction the family company will be investing in its portfolio moving forward.




Senior Partner Reilly Scott

OPERATIONS MANAGER Riverland Wine Jo Battersby has been appointed as the Operations Manager of Riverland Wine to support Executive Chair Chris Byrne and allow him to focus more on strategic issues and building relationships while she supports the organisation in delivering outcomes against the Strategic Plan. Byrne said, “This appointment has been made after much deliberation over the skill set needed for effective, implementation of the plan. The timing of this appointment will ensure Riverland Wine members will be best placed to ride the new wave of prosperity as values of grapes, wine and properties all reveal steady improvement. The selection process was rigorous. Jo has endured a baptism of fire in an intense first month of ‘induction’ to the grape and wine industry. To have discovered this talent right here in the Riverland was an extra bonus. It represents a further strengthening of Riverland Wine and the region.”

PATRICK HADDOCK BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Pepper Tree Wines Widely acclaimed Sommelier Patrick Haddock, also known from his years as a wine writer and the owner of one of Newcastle’s most popular wine bars, has been appointed as Business Development Manager for Pepper Tree Wines. Haddock’s appointment rounds out the Pepper Tree team, headed by Gwyn Olsen, with who he attended the Len Evans Tutorial in 2015. Pepper Tree Owner John Davis was thrilled with the appointment, saying: “Patrick is a highly respected sommelier and his experience in the wine industry will really enhance our alreadystrong team. To have someone of his calibre and dynamism step up as our Business Development Manager is exciting for us – it’s a really important role for Pepper Tree and we wanted to appoint the best person for the job. And that’s Patrick. We’re really looking forward to our next chapter”.

INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE The key purpose of any recruitment process is to find the candidate that is going to be the best fit for both the role and, more importantly, the culture of the business. Assessing a candidate’s skillset as it relates to a job, is often a lot easier than assessing their culture fit. Most people have prerehearsed answers to traditional interview questions and will typically be wearing their professional hat, so it can be difficult to get a sense of their true character. Including an informal interview as part of the recruitment process is a great way to get a more accurate reading on personality and culture fit. An informal interview is typically a meeting over coffee or in a casual setting. These meetings tend to be less structured and are more like a relaxed, two-way conversation, rather than an interviewer firing questions at a candidate. The key purpose is to help make the candidate feel more at ease and allow both parties to gauge if they could work well together. Although most candidates tend to prefer a more casual meeting with a hiring manager to a traditional style interview, there are a number of common mistakes that a candidate can make. For some reason, informal interviews seem to be when candidates commit the most faux pas. This might sound obvious but don’t swear, even if the hiring manager does; don’t speak negatively of your managers or employers; don’t slouch in your chair and don’t share overly personal information. Here are the things to do; prepare for the meeting to the same extent that you would any interview, arrive on time, ask well thought out questions and dress appropriately. Irrespective of what the meeting is called; ‘informal catch-up’, ‘exploratory chat’, ‘coffee meeting’, it’s important to remember that this is an interview. You are being assessed and this meeting could greatly influence whether you get the job or not. If you need advice on this or any other recruitment related topics, please contact Jo O’Reilly on


SWEEPING IMPOSTS ON CONSUMERS If ever the industry needed to not be complacent, to unite and to work together, this is definitely the time. A new raft of liquor regulation that will inconvenience and increase costs for customers is sweeping across the country. Much of it is without a proven evidence base and lacking a high likelihood of success. Recent proposals from governments in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are likely to set precedents for other jurisdictions and sadly will have little impact on those people who the measures are supposedly being aimed at. WA has proposed alcohol advertising bans on public transport, floor size limits (400sqm) on take away packaged liquor licence applications and minimum distance (5km) from another store with more than the prescribed floor size limit. In addition, their Health Minister has proposed a floor price or minimum unit pricing on alcohol that would have big impacts on pensioners and also on the wine industry. NT has dropped its floor size limit approach, but on its admission, without any evidence, intends to phase out the local NT Licensed Store liquor licence category, where both food and alcohol beverages including beer and wine have been sold responsibly for decades, while strangely, bottle shops attached to pubs are allowed to trade seven days a week. The NT Government has also announced intention to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of up to $1.50 per standard drink. That would mean no bottle of wine could be sold at less than around $12, a two litre cask would rise to around $30, and a four litre cask to around $60, depriving many pensioners the enjoyment of an economical glass or two a day. SA has also proposed to ban alcohol advertising on public transport, plus to prevent packaged liquor licences from having drive-throughs and to limit opening hours to no later than 10pm. As a further financial impost on all drinkers, the recent beverage container deposit charges levied on NSW consumers, are also now looming in the ACT and Queensland, as they are set to follow NSW with similar schemes over coming months. It is important that industry does work together to challenge Governments to stop and listen to advice before the development of these policies and to ensure that any new regulatory initiatives are based on sound evidence to only impact on those individuals who are doing the wrong thing by themselves or others around them. Have your say on these important issues in the ALSA – Australian Retail Drinks Conference 2018, to be held at the Peppers Salt Resort in Kingscliff NSW, from 7-10 August. Visit to download the registration brochure, or call ALSA (02) 8335 3250 to register and attend the conference.

PLEASE BASE POLICY DECISIONS ON CREDIBLE EVIDENCE The recently announced NSW parliamentary inquiry into an Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill and the Northern Territory Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review are yet more examples of industry being attacked by governments that are being given outdated and disproved evidence, ignoring moderate consumption benefits and positive statistics showing a reduction of harmful consumption and behaviours. These follow proposals in SA and WA to implement advertising bans to target underage drinking that have also not been based on credible research and have ignored evidence showing parental and peer influence, not advertising, as the main driver of underage drinking. The Northern Territory Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review has recommended the implementation of minimum pricing and restrictions on license density and advertising, despite such populationwide measures having already been proven as failures internationally. The measures proposed in the NSW Bill – including complete outdoor ad and sponsorship bans, development of ‘local option areas’, allowing local councils the ability to effectively declare their council area an ‘alcohol free zone’, and regulations that would dictate alcohol labelling – are alarming and constitute a threat to business investment and confidence. Alcohol advertising is often blamed as a cause of underage drinking, but this is not supported by official data or credible evidence. A significant decade-long decline in underage drinking shown in statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has coincided with an increase in alcohol advertising, including an expansion onto new digital platforms and social media – a clear indication that regulations in place are working well. In May, a survey of 1,225 Australians regarding alcohol marketing found that rulings made by ABAC are more conservative than general community standards. A significant majority of survey respondents were not particularly concerned about the content of alcohol advertising in Australia. Nonetheless, the robust ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code now includes even stronger protection for minors, to ensure all advertising and marketing of alcohol in Australia continues to reflect community expectations. New changes to the Code extend to the regulation of placement, prohibiting alcohol advertising on fixed signs within a 150m sight line of a school, and also stipulate that advertising must only be placed where the audience is expected to comprise a minimum of 75 per cent adults. Given consumption trends are heading in the right direction and current regulations have been successful in driving this change, further regulation would burden business and increase red tape, for no discernible public benefit.








Tourism Australia recently unveiled its $36 million USA marketing campaign to an audience of more than 100 million people during the Super Bowl. The campaign, backed by $1.5 million from the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, initially gives the appearance of a film trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie, Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home, before building into a spectacular showcase for Australian tourism. Featuring a scene at a winery, the ad stars Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride drinking Australian wine and praising its quality. So why the focus on the USA? 2017 was a year full of positive steps forward for the Australian wine sector and, according to Tourism Research Australia, the number of international visitors to Australian wineries surpassed one million during 2017, growing by three per cent, on track with the 10 year average growth rate. The total expenditure in Australia by these visitors grew by seven per cent to $5.1 billion. The money they spent on food, drink and accommodation grew by two per cent to $2.3 billion, nearly half of all expenditure in Australia. The top three countries of origin for international visitors to wineries are China, the UK and the US. These visitors spent a total of $2.4 billion in Australia, a six per cent increase from the previous year. Just over $1 billion of this expenditure was spent on food, drink and accommodation. Chinese tourists visiting wineries spent $1.4 billion in Australia during their stay, up 28 per cent from 2016. However, while Chinese tourists in total are the largest group with the highest expenditure, their spend on food, drink and accommodation only took a 35 per cent value share of their expenditure, one of the lowest shares for any country of origin. Instead, they spend a higher amount than average on shopping and education while in Australia. Expenditure by tourists from the US is growing at encouraging rates. American visitors to wineries spent $413 million in Australia in the year ended September 2017, up 17 per cent from the previous year. Money spent on food, drink and accommodation increased by 15 per cent to $213 million, which is more than 50 per cent of their total expenditure. This share is among the highest of all countries of origin, indicating the importance American visitors place on their culinary and accommodation experiences. The Tourism Australia campaign is designed to grow the total US visitor market from $4 billion to $6 billion over the next three years, culminating in an annual incremental increase of $860 million for the year 2020. The campaign can be followed at

We seem to be in the midst of a most unusual phenomenon – while volume in most categories of the drinks business is showing either very modest growth or in some cases decline, we are selling more and more highly priced items. Retailers across the country are reporting their average sales are increasing. This is a very positive development as generally speaking there tends to be more gross profit margin on these higher priced items. It certainly presents a significant opportunity to capitalise on this trend by ranging the right products according to your individual catchment area demographic as well as offering service levels commensurate with the selling of these products. No longer will simply serving the customer at the counter or just taking their money be enough. This trend of consumers trading up brings with it a greater expectation of an understanding of the product they are purchasing, or they at least expect the person serving them to have that understanding. This becomes both a challenge and an opportunity. Never before has it been so important to have staff – permanent and casual, trained in both product knowledge and selling skills. Product knowledge training is simple to arrange – almost every supplier has a resource dedicated to this. Most are currently focussing on the on-premise trade, especially in the small bar area of that sector, however they are always more than accommodating when it comes to including off-premise retailers in their various informational/educational programs as well. This form of training can be a very enjoyable experience for your staff as they get to try and learn about different brands and styles of drinks. This is equally accessible across craft beer, wine and spirits suppliers. The question we often associate with the trading up trend is how long it will last or surely this is a short term thing. Consumer research is indicating that it is far from short term. Consumers in many categories are looking to spoil or reward themselves. They believe they are working harder, have more stress in their lives and are busier than ever – never having enough time for the things they enjoy – and so spending a little more on their favourite things is a means of dealing with those perceptions. Combined with a generally more affluent consumer, many product categories are experiencing the same trend as the drinks business. There are no signs that this trend is going to disappear anytime soon. As a result, we all have an exciting opportunity to capitalise on this and work hard to get our product range, staff training and overall retail offering right. ALSA has been studying this and other trends in the marketplace constantly and works diligently to make sure there is information available to its membership base to assist.







IRI Overview



RI’s MarketEdge enables the industry to measure market performance using a comprehensive, and easy to use service. This information is used across the industry and is based on actual sales data from Australia’s off-premise liquor market. As well as providing industry with upto-date, month-by-month and year-by-year statistical information and details of brand, segment, category and overall sector value and volume movement, the IRI data forms the basis of the State of the Industry Report, which IRI produces in partnership with the Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA). With the third annual IRI-ALSA State of the Industry Report released in Canberra at the end of March, here’s a look at some of the key industry facts from 2017 that IRI’s data has thrown up. Once again the total value of the packaged liquor market saw growth in 2017, and was up to $17.4bn, which represents a $554m increase on 2016. The growth was driven by increases in the beer, wine, spirit and RTD categories. Those figures represent value growth of 3.4 per cent, and volume growth of 1.1 per cent. The powerhouse of the off-premise market remains beer in terms of overall size, and also in terms of driving much of the growth seen in the Australian off-premise liquor sector in 2017. Beer saw $226m worth of growth in 2017 up 3.3 per cent on the previous year and commanding 40.4 per cent of the overall total growth.


GROWTH BRANDS This strong growth performance is also demonstrated in the overall market’s top five growth brands all coming from the beer category. CUB’s Great Northern Super Crisp and Great Northern Original, were the two biggest growth brands, with the top five being rounded out by Lion’s Furphy Refreshing Ale, which is now being rolled out nationally, then Asahi’s Super Dry and CUB’s Wild Yak Pacific Ale. With the growth of Great Northern and Wild Yak, along with taking back the AB InBev brands from Lion, it is perhaps no surprise that CUB was the largest growth manufacturer in 2017, the other leading growth manufacturers include Asahi Premium Beverages, Pernod Ricard and Diageo. The huge growth seen by Great Northern Super Crisp, along with Iron Jack’s entry into the segment at the back end of the year has obviously been reflected in the growth of the mid-strength beer segment. It’s the largest growth segment within the overall beer category, followed by the Australian craft, low-carb and premium international segments. But it is not all good news for the beer category as the low alcohol and full strength beer segments are still areas of concern as they both suffered negative growth, as did the premium Australian and craft international segments. But there was growth in other categories as well and some strong brand performances for a number of manufacturers and outside

of the beer category there were some other very strong growth SKUs. Haig Dimple Scotch whisky was the biggest growth spirit and another Diageo product, Bundaberg Lazy Bear was the RTD category’s biggest growth SKU.

THE ROSÉ REVOLUTION The wine category has also enjoyed significant growth and the rosé revolution is reflected in it being the second biggest growth segment, with growth of 63.2 per cent. In terms of ‘vintage’ SKUs the Penfolds 2012 Grange and 2014 Bin 407 were strong performers, but those wines do not have a previous year’s comparable data. So the biggest growth SKU for wine was GH Mumm NV, which saw 18 per cent growth over the course of 2017. Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rosé was the biggest rosé growth SKU, and it was a double win for the brand as Jacob’s Creek Classic was the biggest growth brand in the wine category. There is also generally positive signs in the spirits category, where Scotch remains the biggest spirits segment, worth $833m which includes $14m worth of growth and while Bourbon remains the second largest segment, it did see negative growth of -$6m in 2017, with the segment now worth $785m. There are some trends that encapsulate whole sector and as well as being seen in beer with the growth of the mid-strength and low-carb segments the continuing health and well-being trend is also reflected in


BEER spirits with the growth of the gin and vodka segments. These two were the largest growth segments within the spirits category, with gin increasing by $26m, to be worth $203m and vodka increasing by $24m, to be worth $591m.

POSITIVE SIGNS There were other positive signs as well for the spirits category where the increasing popularity of Irish whiskey has been widely reported while ‘Other Whisky’ which includes Irish as well as Canadian and Japanese whiskies, is the third largest growth segment, up $15m, and is now worth $91m, making it the seventh largest segment within the spirits category. That growth in the Other Whisky segment has been driven significantly by Jameson Irish Whiskey, which was the second biggest growth brand in the overall spirits category, up by nearly 17 per cent. Only Haig Dimple Scotch whisky was ahead of Jameson’s growth, the brand was up 54.3 per cent. The other large growth spirits brands were Russian Standard vodka, Absolut vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin. Over in the RTD category there was more growth recorded, as RTDs benefitted from the innovations of Diageo with its Bundaberg Lazy Bear and Smirnoff Pure brands, plus Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s American Serve and the continuing growth of Canadian Club. Overall the RTD category grew by $60m in 2017 to be worth $2.3bn, turning around negative growth in 2016; with the Bundaberg and Jack Daniel’s innovations driving over 75 per cent of the total growth in the dark spirits segment. The cider category saw a slight drop of 0.8 per cent in value, but it’s not all doom and gloom as there was a 0.4 per cent increase in volume. Apple cider remains the biggest segment within the overall cider category and is worth $340m. There was also three per cent growth for the apple cider, worth $9m. The overall decline within the cider category was primarily driven by declines in the Pear/Perry and Fruit Flavoured segments.

The mid-strength beer segment was the largest growth sector within the overall beer category, followed by the Australian craft, low-carb and premium international segments.


The RTD category turned around negative growth in 2016 to record positive growth in 2017, helped by innovations in the category from Bundaberg, Smirnoff and Jack Daniel’s.

WINE While red wine saw the biggest value growth, the rosé segment grew by 63.2 per cent, while there was also growth for the white, sparkling, Champagne, fortified and rosé cask segments.


SPIRITS Scotch is the biggest spirits segment ahead of Bourbon, but the changing tastes of Australian drinkers can be seen in gin, vodka and other whiskey being the biggest growth segments.

While there was an overall value decline in the cider category there was volume growth and the biggest segment, apple cider, saw growth and large amounts of NPD.




TWE STARTS LEGAL ACTION OVER COPYCAT PRODUCER Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has kicked off legal action in the Federal Court of Australia against Rush Rich, over alleged trademark infringements of the Penfolds brand, including use of TWE’s Ben Fu trademark in China. Ben Fu is the Chinese translation for Penfolds and TWE has initiated the court case to stop Rush Rich infringing on its rights in both Australia and China. TWE said that without the action, the reputation of its iconic brands could be “significantly damaged”. TWE’s CEO Michael Clarke said it was “critical” for Australia’s producers, industry bodies, authorities and government to take action in order to protect the long term reputation and success of Australian wine in export markets from a few copycat operators. “We have become aware of a number of copycat operators that are taking illegal and unfair advantage of the success of iconic brands such as Penfolds,” Clarke said. “The infringing products and misleading claims these operators are making, and the association they falsely claim to have with our brands are unconscionable. We are putting on notice any bad faith operators in Australia – and anyone working with these operators – that this exploitation will not be tolerated. “There is no doubt that the Penfolds brand has played an instrumental role in the success Brand Australia is enjoying overseas. With this success comes the predatory behaviour of sophisticated copycat operators, which is bad for consumers, bad for Australian brand owners and bad for the Australian wine industry. “What’s worse is that some of this copycat product is being made and labelled in Australia – we must work to put a stop to this,” he added.

Margaret River winery, Voyager Estate, has announced that it is transitioning to organic certification, with 40 hectares of vineyards already in conversion as certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO). Steve James, Voyager’s Manager Winemaking & Viticulture said that the move underpins the winery’s long-term commitment to sustainable farming, and with the current farming techniques already in place it’s actually not a massive transition. “In many ways this is not a big move,” James said. “We’ve been heading down this pathway for a long time and we’ve been following a lot of principles of organic farming with using compost and eliminating herbicides at a lot of our vineyards. So the final steps to transition for us, have not been that great.” In explaining why the winery has decided to convert to organic, James said that there were a couple of key reasons behind the decision. “There is the focus on trying to make wines that truly reflect the soil and the character of our vineyard as much as possible. I think we are claiming to make wines of terroir then you need to be managing your vines, if not organically, then pretty close. “Also, a big one for me is farming in a more ecological way; working with nature as much as possible rather than trying to control nature.” The estate currently has around 40 hectares in conversion and James said he is about to sign the paper work to have another 40 hectares converted, which will be around 85 per cent of Voyager’s vines and by next year he is planning to have the whole estate under organic farming. The full certification of being organic by ACO is a three-year process.

BROWN BROTHERS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF PATRICIA Brown Brothers is celebrating 15 years of its Patricia range, named in honour of the family’s matriarch, with a full release of all five wines. The Patricia range named after Patricia Brown who dedicated 60 years of her life to the growth and prosperity of the Brown family and business, and the range is the culmination of the very best in viticulture and winemaking. Such is the commitment to the Patricia range, that if a wine does not meet stringent quality measures, it will not bear the Patricia name. Winemaker Katherine Brown, told National Liquor News: “In celebration of my grandmother Patricia Brown, this is our 15th release of this range which showcases only the very best wines from a vintage.” Ross Brown, Executive Director of Brown Brothers, added: “Put simply, Patricia is a labour of love. Not just for its matriarchal heritage, but for the dedication and commitment which highlight its long journey from vineyard to bottle. “Each year we release the range on Patricia’s birthday, 17 March. This year we are delighted to release all five wines for the 15th release of the Patricia range.”


This year’s release comprises the 2011 Patricia Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut, the 2015 Patricia Chardonnay, the 2013 Patricia Shiraz, the 2013 Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2014 Patricia Noble Riesling.

Introducing the NEW Villa Maria Private Bin Rosé Delightfully scented, this pale pink New Zealand Rosé presents a new sales growth opportunity. New Zealand’s #2 selling Rosé from the world’s 4th most admired wine brand. Now available in Australia. Light pink in colour, the wine is bright and floral with flavours of strawberry, red fruits and spice, with a delicious dry finish. Distributed in Australia by House of Fine Wine 1800 845 526 | orders@hofw.

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Winery



AUSTRALIAN WINE IN STRONGEST POSITION FOR DECADES A new report has shown that the Australian wine sector is in its strongest position for more than a decade, with historically high production levels, strong sales growth and solid inventory levels. The findings have been published in the Australian wine: production sales and inventory 2016-17 report. The report highlights that the 2017 vintage was the second year of historically high production, with a grape crush of 1.98 million tonne, up eight per cent on 2016. Overall wine production increased by five per cent to 1.37 billion litres, this was driven by a 15 per cent increase in red wine production up to 793 million litres, while white wine production declined five per cent to 576 million litres. Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Clark, highlighted that the large Australian vintage was well-timed, with global production in 2017 estimated to be the lowest since 1961 at 24.6 billion litres, and Australia was the only major wine producing country to have an aboveaverage harvest. “Australia is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunity, with stocks at reasonably high levels and well-established routes to market in the four largest wine markets in the world: the United States, United Kingdom, China and Germany,” Clark said. “The additional tariff cuts on Australian bottled wine into China from 1 January will further increase Australia’s competitiveness in the world’s fastest-growing major wine market, while on-going tariff cuts through the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement will also improve Australia’s competitiveness in Japan, the second biggest wine market in Asia behind China.”

Wine Australia has contributed to a $36m Tourism Australia marketing campaign in the hope of attracting more international visitors to the country’s wine regions. Using $1.5m from the Government’s $50m Export and Regional Wine Support Package, Wine Australia has partnered with the campaign, which included a television advert during the recent Super Bowl in the US. A key focus of the $50m Package is to leverage and grow international tourism to create demand and build awareness for premium Australian wine. Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the new ad broadcast will further strengthen one of Australia’s most important industries. “The Australian wine sector has enjoyed significant growth in recent years and the $50m package aims to build on this, with an ambitious agenda of targeted activities, including marketing campaigns in the USA and China,” Minister Ruston said. “At home, this investment will help to attract up to 40,000 additional international tourists to visit our world-renowned wine regions by 2019–20, delivering an estimated $170m to the economy. “I’m looking forward to seeing the sector leverage these investments as our reputation for producing fine Australian wine continues to build.” Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, said this campaign was the perfect opportunity to work with Tourism Australia to promote Australia as a desired destination and to showcase our world-class vineyards to a large and engaged audience. “This campaign puts the spotlight on contemporary Australia and we hope it inspires Americans to discover the beauty and sophistication of our wine regions and try some exceptional Australian wine.”

WINE SEARCHER NAMES THE WORLD’S BEST VALUE WINES Influential wine website, has named its best value wines in the world, with four Australian wines named in the top five. The website has come up with the list using a quality-price ratio algorithm, although it does admit that making a decision on which wines to include in the list is “a difficult task and one that is fraught with danger”. Speaking about the list Wine Searcher’s Editor, Don Kavanagh said that looking through the top 50 wines on the best value list does offer up some surprises. “The first thing you notice, casting an eye down the list, is the surprising number of wines from France, and Bordeaux in particular.


Bordeaux is rarely equated with value, because its top wines tend to be rib-rattlingly expensive, while its cheaper wines tend towards rotgut,” Kavanagh said. He added that having taken a lead from the algorithm the Wine Searcher team then worked together to come up with the final list. “Despite the cold, digital eye of the algorithm ruthlessly picking on a points-per-dollar basis, we decided that there should be a human element in all this, if only to ensure we had some wines that offered a little more than small change from a $50. And what we found were five absolute gems. Get ’em while they’re hot.”’s top five best-value

wines are: 2014 Artadi El Seque, Alicante, Spain; 2014 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge Riesling, Frankland River; 2015 Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley; 2013 Hardy’s Tintara McLaren Vale Shiraz; 2012 Grosset Springvale Riesling, Clare Valley.




JOHNNIE WALKER RELEASES NEW BLUE EXPRESSION Johnnie Walker has announced the Australian launch of a new Blue Label expression called Ghost and Rare, which will focus on a rare whisky from one of the distilleries which shapes the Blue Label flavour. This first edition of Ghost and Rare has whisky from the Brora Highland distillery at its heart; Brora closed its doors in 1983. In addition the expression includes whiskies from two other ghost distilleries in Cambus and Pittyvaich. The whisky has been blended by Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Jim Beveridge, who said: “Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the rarest whiskies ever to come out of Scotland. These whiskies and the distilleries they’re from, have a unique, inimitable character and they lend something very special to remarkable whiskies like Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I wanted to see what could happen if we explored particular aspects of that character in more depth. “Whiskies from these ghost distilleries are becoming increasingly rare. From our library of irreplaceable casks that we keep exclusively for Johnnie Walker Blue Label, I’ve chosen a few uniquely full-bodied expressions of these precious malts and grains to let people explore, in a new way, the extraordinary richness found in our pinnacle whisky.” The other whiskies in the blend are rare expressions of malt and grains from the existing distilleries of Royal Lochnagar, Clynelish, Glenkinchie, Glenlossie and Cameronbridge. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is presented in a custom design dark blue bottle, showing the distilleries used in the blend, on a map of Scotland and is available now at selected liquor retailers; the 46 per cent ABV whisky retails for $480.

SouthTrade International and Adelaide Hills Distillery have signed a partnership agreement which will see SouthTrade take on the sales, marketing and distribution for the South Australian distillery. Speaking about the deal SouthTrade’s Managing Director Ross Noble told National Liquor News that the company had been looking to expand its portfolio with a local, craft partner and that he was delighted to have Adelaide Hills on board. “This is a great, progressive company,” Noble told National Liquor News. “We wanted to find a local, craft product because of the local trend that is happening at the moment and fortunately for us the stars aligned and Adelaide Hills was exactly the kind of business we were looking for. We are very proud to have them on board.” He added: “We wanted to expand our gin offering because we’ve got a New Zealand and we’ve got a London Dry gin in the portfolio, but we wanted something that was more localised. When we started to look we met with these guys and we were really impressed with where they were going and this is the kind of partner that we want to be able to grow with. “The great thing as well is that they are really, really good at making juice and they said themselves that is what they are good at and not so much spreading the word beyond Adelaide and we said we could be a great partner to help them do that. We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with them. “We have built a strong reputation in the spirits industry and we pride ourselves on being an innovator in the training and drinks education space, which means we only want to work with the best. The addition of the Adelaide Hills Distillery brands bolsters our focus across the gin, aperitif and vermouth category and provides the foundations for ensuring long-term growth across the Adelaide Hills Distillery spirits portfolio.” Tobias Kline, the co-owner of the Adelaide Hills Distillery was equally delighted to be partnering with SouthTrade. “We are humbled to be joining SouthTrade International’s portfolio of high quality benchmark brands that are recognisable worldwide,” Kline said.

SCOTCH EXPORTS TO AUSTRALIA INCREASE AGAIN Scotch whisky enjoyed a record-breaking year for exports in 2017, with value and volume increasing both globally and to the Australian market. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has released the HMRC export data showing that the value of global exports grew by 8.9 per cent to £4.36bn, while volumes increased by 1.6 per cent to 1.23 billion bottles. A spokesperson for the SWA told National Liquor News that the value and volume of Scotch exports to Australia also increased in 2017.


“In 2017, Scotch Whisky exports to Australia were valued at over £103m, an increase of 2.8 per cent from the previous year,” the spokesperson said. “Volume also increased by 4.39 per cent compared to the year before, with a total of 30.25m, 70cl bottles shipped in 2017, showing that Australians clearly enjoy the unique heritage, taste and diversity of Scotland’s most well-known export.” The spokesperson told National Liquor News that

the Association is hopeful that Australia and the UK could sign free-trade agreement, which would help with whisky’s long-term growth in this country. “Post-Brexit, signing a free-trade deal with Australia will help secure long-term growth by eliminating the tariff and non-tariff barriers which continue to hold the industry back,” the spokesperson said. The current value and volume figures for Australia mean the country is sitting just outside the top 10 markets for Scotch around the world.



BALTER TAKES TOP SPOT IN THE GABS HOTTEST 100 CRAFT BEER COUNTDOWN Gold Coast Brewery Balter’s XPA has been named as the number one beer in the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2017. The brewery, which is part-owned by champion surfers Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Josh Kerr and Bede Durbidge, led a top five which was made up entirely of independent breweries. Over the past 12 months a number of popular craft breweries have been bought up by larger companies including 4 Pines and Pirate Life, which were bought by AB InBev and Feral Brewing which Coca-Cola Amatil bought. Rounding out the top five, behind the Balter XPA were Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale, a three-time winner of the poll which has also been a consistent top three beer since 2010 and was second this year. In third place was Crankshaft, an American-style IPA from BentSpoke Brewing Co in Canberra, followed by Young Henrys’ Australian Pale Ale Newtowner in fourth and Gage Roads’ International Pale Ale Single Fin. GABS Co-Founder Steve Jeffares told National Liquor News that he believes independence is a factor among craft beer aficionados and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in future polls. “The role that independents play is a very topical one and I am also involved with a small committee that is working with the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) to develop and launch a Seal of Independence. The IBA believes that this is going to be one way that independent breweries can differentiate themselves,” Jeffares said. “All the breweries that have been acquired over the last 12 months or so fell this year, but they also had results that any brewery would realistically be happy with. I do think it has an impact, but we’ve got a sample of one, so let’s see what’s going to happen next year – although who knows what will happen over the next 12 months. “The Hottest 100 has given really interesting insights over the last decade on how fast changing this sector of the industry is and this year was no different in my opinion. It’s very telling that CUB/AB InBev have moved from a possible two beers in the top 100 to nine simply through acquisitions.”

Lion has confirmed that in response to huge demand from across the country its Victorian beer, which is made with 100 per cent Victorian hops and malt beer – Furphy Refreshing Ale – is being rolled out nationally. As Lion gears up to meet the growing demand it has doubled the capacity of its Furphy brewery in Geelong and has started brewing the beer at its Lidcombe brewery outside of Sydney. Gordon Treanor, Lion’s GM of Craft, said: “The beer was originally imagined for Victoria; it’s been a runaway success across the state and people outside of Victoria are asking us for it and we want to give those people what they are looking for. “Furphy is growing at about 300 per cent year on year, and demand is growing outside of Victoria. “We’ve continued to expand the Furphy brewery as much and as quickly as we can, doubling the brew volume, investing $20m over the last two years and employing 21 new people in the brewery. “Despite this, we are still unable to brew enough to keep Victorian pubs stocked and to sell Furphy up north. “We are now shipping Victorian hops and malt to our Lidcombe brewery, with Head Brewer Warren Pawsey overseeing the brew up there. “The Geelong Brewery will always brew many millions of litres of Furphy for Victorians.” Speaking about where Furphy will be available, Treanor added: “In the off-premise cans have been a runaway success and that brings in a new set of consumers who enjoy drinking great beer out of a can. “We are getting requests for Furphy from all over the country from on-premise, off-premise, independents and the majors and we are going to make it available to all those that would like it. But Victorians will continue to be the first ones to get the beer and then everyone that we can supply outside of that it will be available to.”

GAGE ROAD SALES TO INDEPENDENT RETAILERS UP 165 PER CENT Western Australian brewer Gage Roads Brewing has reported a strong second quarter with an overall sales increase of its proprietary brands of 56 per cent, compared to the previous year’s corresponding period. The increase in sales was driven by a 165 per cent increase in sales to independent retailers as well as a tripling of its keg sales. The brewer also saw a 13 per cent uplift in sales of its proprietary brands to the national retail chains. The brewer has also recently signed partnerships with Perth’s new Optus Stadium and Rugby Australia, which Managing Director John Hoedemaker described as an important part of the company’s five-year strategy. “The East Coast of Australia is a key focus and the Rugby Australia partnership will get the Single Fin product in the hands of thousands of Australian rugby fans. We expect this to have a positive effect on our retail partners particularly in New South Wales, but also in other states as rugby fans return home after the event,” he said.






e’ve been hearing increasing amounts about millennials, aka ‘Gen Y’ or those born between 1980 and 2000. The latter ones are also known as ‘digital natives’. But are their shopping habits really different from the generations preceding them (X, boomer, ‘silent generation’)? In short, it’s the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ that are similar to other generations, but it’s the ‘how much’ that differs. Generally, the younger they are, the more smartphone-based they are likely to be, while tablets are increasingly for the Gen Xers and boomers (i.e. those over 40). Likewise, the younger the shopper, the more likely they are to use mobile payments. Gen Zs are using mobile payments more (for the limited categories they buy, given their young age) than are the Gen Ys. For shopping packaged food and beverage online, Gen Ys are more likely to use laptops for shopping than are Gen Zs or Xers. Gen Xers are more likely than Ys and Zs to use desktop computers and tablets for online shopping. Gen Ys and Zs prefer the smartphone. This means your website (and you must have one… for Gen Y and Gen Z, if you’re not online you don’t exist) must be optimised for mobile. The top uses of mobile devices are for

logistically-based searches – what is it, where is it, how much it is, is it in stock, what do others say about it. This doesn’t change much by generation, with the exception of the recommendations, which becomes more important the younger the shopping generation. Likewise the various uses of social media for shopping, and their levels of use, don’t differ much by generation. When it comes to shopping for packaged food and beverage, the younger they are the more likely they are to shop ‘omnichannel’ (across online and offline channels) and the less likely to shop only in a physical store. However, even for Gen Zs fewer than five per cent have done all of their packaged food and beverage shopping exclusively online in the past six months. Ninety-two per cent of Gen Ys and Gen Zs (and 95 per cent of Xers) bought packaged food and beverage in a physical store. So the physical store isn’t going away, but it’s about tangibility and increasingly about experience. In western countries there is a shift into experiences, rather than acquisitions of things and this is especially true for Gens Y and Z, for whom experiences are more important than things. This has implications for things like competitions and prizes – which generally appeal to a minority anyway – where the prize of an experience is more likely to be appealing

than is winning a ‘thing’. While the physical store is still very important to them, the Gen Y and Gen Z expectations of receiving personalised offers and service is higher than those for Gen X and the boomers. In terms of retail execution, the same rules apply for Gen Y as for other generations, and good retailing in general: • Ensure your mobile optimisation includes the most performed searches and tasks – and include payments. • Reduce customers’ need to ‘run around’ by optimising mobile search. • Tailor offers and service to individuals’ needs… personalisation is the name of the game. • Harness positive word of mouth – create offers around customer advocacy programs, publish and leverage reviews. Encourage sharing. • Leverage third party reviews and product information. • Make online search and transaction in one tap, one touch, one click, one screen. Particularly for mobile. • Make use of visual search shopping platforms: for instance, if they order a bottle of wine in a restaurant and take a photo of it to remember what it was, it should redirect to your store to buy it. • Make in-store more experiential and curated.

ABOUT NORRELLE GOLDRING Norrelle Goldring helps improve shopping experiences by understanding how and why people buy things. She has 20 years’ experience in shopper and retail research and marketing across manufacturer, retailer and agency roles with companies ranging from Diageo to Coca-Cola to Vodafone stores. Most recently she was Shopper Lead APAC at global consumer and retail research house GfK. Call Norrelle on 0411735190 or email




HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE BEER INDUSTRY? I’m from Perth originally and while I was studying criminology I decided it would be a good part time job to work in a wine store. It was part of a chain so the transfer to Sydney was easy, and it wasn’t until I was with the independents that I got interested in the craft beer scene. When I started at The Oak Barrel, Ian (Chainey) said he needed someone to look after craft and it’s been so much fun. I really didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it, because I have a passion for gin and wine obviously but had never really thought about beer until I came here. With the scope of the range it’s a bit hard not to be at least a little bit interested in what’s going on. And Sydney’s got an excellent beer scene around the Inner West, and it’s so much fun.

been a slow start because people are a bit unsure about what’s involved and don’t know how to price it and whose interest I’m going to pique, but it’s been good. I’ve had Ashley Huntington of Two Metre Tall in Tasmania come up to do one and Modus Operandi, so when you have a brewer people come.


All the time, especially when my mum brings up my HECS debt. When I was with the chains it was a job, it wasn’t a passion so I’d always tossed up what I wanted to do. The reason I came to Sydney was to do my grad diploma and I was offered an internship in mental health with ex-offenders and drug and alcohol addiction, and I thought that was the route I’d like to go. But then I started with the independents, I was Assistant Manager with another independent and then I came to The Oak Barrel and decided that I probably could make this my full time job.

Literally just its growth. Because the beer industry in Australia has kind of plateaued over the last five or so years, whereas craft beer has continued to rise. And in Sydney even just over the last two years it’s been nuts. The amount of new guys coming into it having left old jobs and opening their own breweries and having that amount of success, they’re small guys and they’re just having fun with it, with new styles. Australia has finally become a bit more in the spotlight, because America has always been there and even New Zealand was ahead of Australia and now we’re finally putting some stamps on it. Someone was asking me if I thought Marrickville was too saturated with breweries now, and I don’t think it is because people want to see new stuff, and they’ll stay loyal to the others but they then just add it into their craft beer crawl through Marrickville. So it’s not like any of them lose customers, everyone just gains. And everyone is so friendly, it’s just a massive big family.



I think being an independent you want to support the independents and when people see that they really appreciate it. Being a little guy it’s always hard to compete against the big guys, so it’s nice to support them.

There’s one called CoConspirators Brewing Co which has released a New England IPA and that was very highly anticipated. I am very sceptical of New England’s so I went and tried one and it was awesome, it was such a good beer. Also Capital Brewing from Canberra. One of their owners live in Sydney and he came and did a tasting recently which was good fun and they’ve got some good stuff in the pipeline.


HOW MANY BEERS DO YOU STOCK AND HOW FREQUENTLY DO YOU CHANGE THEM UP? We have on average 745 beers on the shelves here and I change them fairly often. I feel like in the last six months there’s been a lot of changeover because there’s been a lot more pop up, so usually, especially with the seasonal stuff or special releases, I will buy a case or two and then once it’s out, it’s out, but I’ll keep a few main stayers. Also with the change in the beer industry a lot of guys are doing these pilot brew systems and doing smaller batches, so they’re producing a lot and turnover is really high, the Australian stuff is ridiculous. I overhaul our shelves every two weeks to fit more stuff in.

HAVE YOU IMPLEMENTED ANY CHANGES SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE? I’ve started doing craft beer appreciation classes and I’ve also started doing brewer nights, so evenings where we’ll introduce the brewer. It’s


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR BEER RANGING? Really listen to what your customers want. Through the weekdays especially around lunchtime I get a lot of regulars in and it’s just nice having a chat to them and seeing what they’re enjoying at the moment. It helps me to keep an eye on what is trending. So New England IPA is on trend, Saison is on trend, that sort of thing. But just really catering to your punters and making sure that you’ve got a good mix as well. I know craft can be expensive on occasion but there are some guys out there that do really good, well priced, easy drinking beers and they’re easily in the name of craft, like Philter Brewing for instance, she’s an awesome brewer. Their XPA is super simple, it ticks craft and it’s delicious.







t’s been more than 50 years since the first cask of wine was introduced in Australia, and during that time the category has seen some highs and some lows. But while the data being supplied by IRI shows a drop of four per cent in the volume of sales within the overall category (to October 2017), it still demonstrates that cask wine sales equate to around 30 per cent of all wine sales in the off-trade. And while it is true that the total sales of cask wine have been in decline in recent years, it is important to note that this decline is being driven by large four and five litre cask wines. Meanwhile, the smaller format two and three litre segment of the category is actually in growth, particularly in the single varietals of Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Pinot Gris/Grigio and Rosé. It’s for this reason that we’re starting to see some of Australia’s leading suppliers of cask wine investing in the two-litre premium space.

PREMIUM TWO LITRE IN GROWTH This month Yalumba has released a packaging update across its traditional and premium collection of two litre casks, the first major refresh since the release more than 30 years ago. The Yalumba packaging refresh sees a fresh and contemporary pack design, while keeping the key identifiers to ensure shopper recognition. As small format canned wine establishes a toehold in the current market, the



same eco-values are being highlighted that apply to cask wine. They are environmentally friendly and this is often forgotten. “To ensure our consumers still recognise the pack on shelf we continue to use the key pack identifiers that were highlighted through research, the colour of the pack, the image panel and the ribbon,” says Matt Taylor, Yalumba Marketing Director. “Not only will they stay on pack, but through the new, more contemporary look, they are now more obvious and stand out straightaway on shelf.” Yalumba has been a leader of the two litre space for more than 30 years, since in 1984 then Managing Director and Proprietor, Robert HillSmith, saw an opportunity in the market and introduced the two litre varietal cask to the Australian wine consumer. Upon launch the Yalumba two litre cask sales surpassed the 12 month projections within the first four months, making it a veritable success and a true disruption to the Australian wine market. “Yalumba has long been a leader in the convenience category, maintaining significant market share for many years. Despite the challenges faced by the broader cask category, Yalumba’s two litre collection has shown resilience that is most heartening,” says Paul Midolo, Director of Strategy and Trading at Samuel Smith & Son. Another of Australia’s leading cask suppliers, De Bortoli, is also backing the two litre cask segment having revamped the look of its Premium Reserve range at the end of 2017. A spokesperson from De Bortoli Wines said that the packaging revamp was aimed to re-engage wine-savvy drinkers while also educating them on the merits of cask wine. “Trends are moving towards environmentally friendly packaging which has a lower carbon footprint. Consumers today don’t just choose a wine to drink, they are looking for brands and products that are sustainable. “Another trend we’ve seen around the globe are wine bars serving cask wine in carafes. It’s a great way to enjoy bag-in-box wine and we think it will become more popular in Australia. This trend inspired us to revamp our own two litre Premium Reserve bag-in-box with a contemporary look and feel. We love the idea of seeing our two litre Premium Reserve range in picnic baskets, as part of the trend towards al fresco dining or a staple in the caravan for the family summer holiday.”


Cask wine is an integral part of the Australian wine market with one in every three glasses consumed coming from a cask. So the best way to capitalise on the segment is to really understand the cask shopper and what drives them. Yalumba’s category research shows that 60 per cent of small cask shoppers are young couples with young families or no kids, with 75 per cent of those shoppers under 55 years of age. Whereas the demographic of the larger four and five litre casks is predominantly shoppers over 55-years-old, 59 per cent of which have no children at home. “Our advice to retailers is to call out food pairing inspirations and the at home dining experience on shelf; our two litre collection provides the shoppers with the single varietals they enjoy drinking in bottled wine, in cask such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. Make sure their favourite white wines are available chilled in the fridge, and easily accessible. Our research states that in most cases shoppers will want to pour a glass as soon as they get home and start to prepare the evening meal,” says Yalumba. And these shopper definitions are echoed by both De Bortoli Wines and Accolade Wines. Andrew Stark, General Manager Marketing and Category, ANZP – Sydney at Accolade Wines says that cask shoppers are very savvy and well researched so retailers should be sure to have key brands featured in catalogues to drive foot traffic. “Once in-store, we know that a shopper’s first decision relates to brand, so brand blocking products is the most impactful way of merchandising cask in-store. Finally, cask shoppers tell us that their biggest bug bear when it comes to cask is lack of availability. Retailers need to consider regular stock checks during busy periods to ensure that shoppers can pick up their favourite brand.” So with suppliers committed to backing the growth of the two litre premium cask category and a growing interest from consumers, there is no reason that this segment won’t continue with its upward momentum in 2018.

New Look same great taste


The Glenfiddich Distillery.




orld Whisk(e)y Day (WWD) is just around the corner and with it presents liquor retailers an occasion to entice more shoppers into this high margin, premium category. Held on the third Saturday in May each year, WWD now represents the third largest period of whisk(e)y sales, behind Christmas and Father’s Day (IRI Market Edge to 31/12/17). And as Bella Sufferini, the Assistant Brand Manager for Scotch Whisky & Gin at Pernod Ricard says, “WWD is an opportunity to encourage shoppers into store and educate about a broader depth of whiskies”. Scotch is still the biggest selling spirits segment in retail and we’re seeing an increase in interest in the ‘Other whisky’ segment, which includes Irish, Canadian and Japanese whiskies, according to data from IRI. “Scotch whisky is a traffic driver and should be used to drive the category. WWD can entice trade up to premium offerings and encourage trial of latest innovations such as Chivas Regal Mizunara, which has been recently released in Australia and is a newly released expression from Chivas Regal aged in Japanese Mizunara Oak barrels,” said Sufferini. WWD is a time where the whisk(e)y consumer is


receiving lots of fresh information through traditional media and social media, and therefore is a great opportunity for retailers to tap into that thirst and offer whisk(e)y samples as a part of the shopping experience. Andy Wren, the Brand Manager for Dewar’s at Bacardi-Martini Australia agrees, saying “What we love most about WWD is the opportunity to break down misconceptions with flavour. I’ve hosted many tasting experiences where people actually believe they don’t like blended whisky. Try blind tasting a delicious Dewar’s 18 Year Old Scotch, you’ll be impressed”.

WHY LET BARS REAP ALL THE BENEFITS? Kristie Asciak, the Marketing Manager – Malts at William Grant & Sons (WG&S) says they have been talking to their customers about hosting a full month of activity to make the most of WWD. In the on-premise WG&S will be partnering with some of Australia’s best bars to run a festival of consumer activities such as food pairing, menu collaborations and trade up offers to their aged expressions, along with some other exciting activity that she can’t talk about yet. In the off-premise they will be focusing on the


WG&S Malt Shop customer base. “Through this channel we are giving consumers the opportunity to win a range of our premium whisky or some luxury whisky barware,” she said. Retailers should get in touch with suppliers now (if you haven’t already) and ask about potential giveaways or to arrange a tasting or education event in-store. Failing that, ask your local reps for some tasting stock to host your own event and make sure that your staff is well informed about the whisk(e)y they are selling. Bars will be hosting an array of events for a full month around WWD. In a lot of venues they will be serving up flights of whisk(e)y to consumers who are eager to experiment and explore drams outside of their comfort zone. So an idea could be to check out what the bars in your local area are doing and offer complementary tastings in your store – sharing ideas isn’t a bad thing. James France, the Managing Director at Vanguard Luxury Brands suggests introducing food pairing to in-store tastings. “Tastings wherever possible are always a great way to go. They can be augmented if paired with suitable foods such smoked meats or cheeses. A blind tasting with a prize always adds a bit of theatre too,” he said. Dewar’s Brand Manager Wren, suggests working in collaboration with local bars on some small batch whisk(e)y cocktails to sell in-store or to look at asking a local bartender to come in and demonstrate a few easy to make at home cocktails. “Our team of passionate whisky ambassadors will be out in stores sampling Dewar’s whisky and our family of single malts,” said Wren. “[Consider] utilising local bartenders to create some whisky mixed NLN Michter's HP Ad.pdf 1 2/21/2018 10:45:28 AM

Glenfiddich Warehouse Casks..

It's all about the whiskey.






The Balvenie Distillery. drinks for customers to make at home starting with simple drinks like the Whisky Highball to Whisky Sours and the Old Fashioned cocktail. Showing the flexibility of whisky will make it a more attractive purchase.”

PREPARING FOR WWD To execute well, retailers should ensure their shelves are well stocked with not only their core range of whisk(e)y but also some limited releases or some interesting experimental drams. “Glenfiddich is Australia’s number one selling single malt and the world’s most awarded. While whisky lovers may think they know the brand they may be surprised by expressions such as the Experimental Series – Project XX (pronounced Twenty) Experiment, a top-secret project that brought together 20 whisky experts from around the globe to create one unexpected single malt; or Glenfiddich IPA Experiment which is the world’s first single malt finished in a Indian Pale Ale cask,” says WG&S’s Asciack. “The Balvenie, alternatively, is a unique range of single malt whiskies handcrafted using centuries-old skills passed down through generations. World Whisky Day presents the ideal platform to engage consumers with these wonderful stories.” Vanguard’s France says retailers should start keeping an eye out for special whiskies that will give them a point of difference as early as a few months before WWD. “Ideally, retailers should keep their eyes out for limited releases which will offer them a point of difference. So if this means buying limited lines and storing them for a couple of months, it will be worth it, so they can have a real presence on WWD itself. If no limited lines are about then they should be placing their orders with a couple of weeks’ notice so that they are fully stocked when the day comes.” Pernod’s Sufferini says that the biggest point of purchase improvement that shoppers are asking for is to make it easier to shop, so be sure to consider layout when creating in-store theatre for WWD. “Fifty-seven per cent of whisky shoppers say that ‘promotions encourage shopping’. However simple executions in-store such as off location displays with supporting communication and staff education can be turned on in a shorter timeframe – so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t started planning for WWD yet,” says Sufferini. “Floor staff education is crucial, whisky can be a daunting category so having knowledgeable staff that can help people navigate the category. Utilising digital channels around WWD is another opportunity to encourage customers into store.” So while you may think that WWD is an occasion to be celebrated in the on-premise, stop and remember that the whole premise of the day is for whisk(e)y lovers to be able to learn and experiment, and with that in mind try and think outside the square of ways you can use the occasion to help boost whisk(e)y sales in your store. Get in touch with bars in your local area and see how you can work together to really maximise on the opportunities presented by WWD.


Glenfiddich warehouseman.

The Dewar’s range.

Chivas at sunset.



PERNOD RICARD AUSTRALIA CHIVAS REGAL Generosity and ambition. You just need the right blend. Finding that balance is the true measure of success. “To build an unforgettable, spellbinding symphony, you must first understand how to combine flavours,” Colin Scott, Master Distiller. Chivas Regal launched in 1909 and is the world’s first luxury whisky, considered to be a timeless classic and renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells in more than 150 countries across the globe. The Chivas Regal range includes Chivas 12, Chivas 18, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 25 and the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon. In 2014, Chivas Regal announced the addition of a fifth permanent distribution: local drinks specialist media expression in the Chivas Regal family, Chivas Regal Extra, a new blend with a unique richness derived from selective maturation in rare ex-sherry oloroso casks. In 2016, Chivas Regal launched Ultis. The essence of who we are, in honour of the five generations of Chivas Regal Master Blenders, hand selected from five Speyside distilleries. The brand’s first blended malt Scotch whisky containing five precious signature single malts. For more information visit:

VANGUARD LUXURY BRANDS MICHTER’S DISTILLERY Michter’s celebrates an extraordinarily rich heritage that traces back to 1753, years before America’s Declaration of Independence. The company is 100 per cent family-owned. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the heart of the American whiskey industry, the Michter’s whiskey program is led by Master Distiller Pam Heilmann, who spent 15 years at Beam Global before joining Michter’s, working with Master Distiller Jerry Dalton. Michter’s uses various production methods including: • Air drying the wood used in the construction of barrels, up to 36 months, in order to enhance the natural properties of the wood and allow for better flavour. • Toasting barrels prior to charring them to make the wood’s sugars more accessible. • Using a barrel entry proof of 103 proof (51.5 per cent ABV) rather than the industry standard 125 proof (62.5 per cent) for smoother flavour and richer mouthfeel. • Utilising heat cycling to raise and lower the temperatures in the barrel warehouses, allowing the whiskey to absorb more rich flavour from the natural sugars in the wood. • Adopting the best individual filtration technique for each of its offerings rather than using the same filtration method for all of its whiskey. There are four core Michter’s whiskies available: US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey, US*1 Unblended American Whiskey (aged in second-use Bourbon barrels to achieve a rich and unique flavour profile), US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye and US*1 Small Batch Bourbon (typically composed of no more than two dozen barrels). From time to time there are also limited lines such as 10 Year Rye, 10 Year Bourbon and 20 Year Bourbon, but these never last long. For more information visit:



DEWAR’S Dewar’s is famed the world over for quality blended whiskies and a flair for innovative advertising and promotions. Today Dewar’s is the fifth largest blended whisky brand in the world, and the top selling Scotch Whisky in the USA. It was John Dewar’s dynamic sons, John Alexander and Tommy Dewar, who made Dewar’s an international success. The brothers also founded the Aberfeldy Distillery in 1898, the physical and spiritual home of Dewar’s, which to this day produces the Single Malt Whisky that lies at the heart of every Dewar’s blend. Thanks to the exceptional skill of Master Blenders, Dewar’s Whisky has become the most awarded blended Scotch whisky in the world. With more than 900 awards to its name and the longest continuous royal warrant. The Dewar’s Whisky portfolio also includes: Dewar’s 12 year old Blended Scotch Whisky; Dewar’s 15 year old Blended Scotch Whisky, Dewar’s 18 year old Blended Scotch Whisky; Dewar’s 25 year old Blended Scotch Whisky. Each of the Dewar’s premium blends are double aged for extra smoothness. This means the whiskies are carefully aged, then blended and aged again for up to six months to marry the liquid together. Our Master Blender, Stephanie McLeod, was recognised as the Master Blender of the Year at the 2018 Icons of Whisky Awards. For more information visit:

GLENFIDDICH Glenfiddich is the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky. Its unmistakable character and rich complexity are the product of more than 120 years of skill, wisdom and experience. Glenfiddich continues to pioneer new whisky making techniques such as the unique Solera vat used in the creation of the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera, the use of seasoned Caribbean Rum casks for the decadent Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and the exciting experimental series starting off with the world’s first ever Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been matured and finished in IPA (Indian Pale Ale) beer casks. For more information visit:


THE BALVENIE The Balvenie is a deliciously smooth and honeyed range whisky because it’s the most handcrafted malt. Nowhere else will you find a distillery that still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor malting, employs a team of coopers to tend all the casks, employs a coppersmith on site to maintain the stills and has the exceptional Malt Master – David Stewart, MBE. “Their biggest seller, the 12-year-old Doublewood is meant to be an entry point of sorts for single malt drinkers. As a veteran of many a dram of Scotch whisky, I can attest that experienced Scotch drinkers will enjoy its harmonious blend of sweet, spicy and earthy as well,” Tony Sachs, The Huffington Post. For more information visit:



A Cooper’s tools of the trade.


he overall trend of premiumisation is one that has been a huge factor across many categories within the liquor industry, not just in Australia but globally and across both the on- and off-premise. One category that truly reflects premium products is Cognac and brandy, and it’s something that producers here in Australia, as well as authorities in other countries are looking to secure and develop over the coming years. Recently the Bureau National Interprofessional du Cognac (BNIC), the association which governs the winemakers and traders within the Cognac region, ruled that the classifications of XO Cognac will change from 1 April this year, with the minimum age for XO Cognac increasing from six years to 10. The BNIC also confirmed that the classification for ‘Napoleon’ Cognac will remain unchanged at a minimum of being six years old. The BNIC first announced the move back in 2011, with the last seven years being given over to Cognac brands in order to prepare for the change. It’s a change that has also been happening here, with Tamara Kent of Vok Beverages saying that she does not expect it to have an impact on their products. “I don’t see any consequences in Australia with most producers already well over that minimum – our Black Bottle XO is aged for an average of 24 years so we won’t have any changes relating to the re-classification,” says Kent. And while this re-classification should help drive further premiumisation within the category, Kent adds that while the premium factor is real, it is not the only reason for the growth that Cognac and brandy have enjoyed recently. “As we’ve seen happen in other categories, the brandy category is being driven by premiumisation. In the last 12 months we’ve seen Australian Craft Distilleries bringing out premium local brandy that matches up with consumer appetite for Australian products that are made from locally sourced ingredients,” she says. “The growth of the category relies not only on premiumisation but revitalisation of the category through consumer education and understanding, and the on-premise will play a vital role in bringing about a similar resurgence as experienced by whisk(e)y and gin.” Matt Redin at St Agnes agrees that premium is a factor and adds that educating customers around the high quality of these drinks is also important. “For St Agnes Distillery it is all about our premium offers. The St Agnes VSOP is in double digit growth while our St Agnes XO continues to build its presence in the Australian marketplace. Our focus is very much on continuing to educate consumers and customers alike through extensive tastings and masterclasses about just how good these great Australian spirits are. “St Agnes is the original Australian craft distiller with every single bottle being carefully and meticulously crafted using the double distilled pot still method and ageing in small oak until it is deemed to be at the perfect point of maturation for release.”



Education is also something that is seen as a key factor in helping to drive further Cognac and brandy growth, but as Redin points out, there are different aspects to that education story. Not only is it educating consumers on Cognac and brandy drinking occasions, it’s also about helping consumers and retailers understand what the premium aspect to Cognac and brandy is. “There is still a long way to go in changing perception that brandy is not just for Christmas pudding and your nanna’s favourite tipple,” he said. “But we are steadily chipping away at it. Plenty of winemakers are having a go at distilling but are focusing on gin because of its immediacy in cash flow, and whisky because of its current popularity. It would be great to see a few more of these winemakers and distillers putting some boutique bottlings of brandy to barrel to assist in growing awareness and the category.” Kent agrees, adding, “The demographic of the brandy consumer in Australia has meant that there is strong support for mainstream brandy that is affordable and good quality. Demand for our premium products is strong at Christmas as the key seasonal period for brandy, however we see a huge opportunity for increasing demand of premium brandy year round with the reinvigoration of the category that attracts a new consumer engaging in craft Australian spirits and premium dark spirits in general.” Further Kent suggests that helping retailers and staff become more educated about the category and understand more about the different styles, price points and the premium nature will help with upselling and moving more stock. “Ensuring staff understand the key differences between products that justifies the difference in price is key to making the most of the Cognac and brandy trends and will help with cross-selling and up-selling. “Now is a great time to focus on staff training and to get the key suppliers to provide information that will help staff to engage consumers who are seeking more information on the category. Premiumisation will follow the same way in this market as others with support on education and understanding.”

According to the IRI data for 2017, the Cognac and brandy categories grew by close to $3 million in 2017, making the categories worth more than $100m. That growth is reflected in the export figures released by BNIC, which showed strong global growth in Cognac exports. Exports of Cognac saw a third consecutive year of growth in 2017 to reach the highest-ever levels in terms of both value and volume. The volume of exports increased by more than 10 per cent, while the value was up by 14 per cent with nearly 197.4 million bottles shipped in 2017 for a turnover of 3.15bn euros. Oceania, which incorporates Australia and New Zealand, saw above average growth for the year with the volume of exports growing by 13.2 per cent and the value increasing by 17.3 per cent. Each of the Cognac categories of VS, VSOP and older categories all saw growth, which was recognised by the President of BNIC, Patrick Raguenaud. “The great momentum we are experiencing today across all three categories can be explained by good results for Cognac in all of its markets, with varied consumption patterns,” he said. And while Australia hasn’t quite seen the levels of growth enjoyed in other markets, Redin believes that the pattern is there and it’s only a matter of time before the boom really hits here. “We are seeing Cognac booming overseas, particularly in the US and UK, where leading global brands are showing good growth signs and the cocktail culture has helped it to take hold. “As we saw with the whisky boom, Australia usually follows two to three years later so we are confident of an upsurge here and will be doing what we can as the leading brand to encourage this to happen.” Kent agrees, adding, “In Australia we haven’t seen as much uplift as in other markets around the world have seen, however we do have confidence that it will come”.

RETAILER OPPORTUNITIES Having a strong knowledge and understanding of the Cognac and brandy

Graham Buller, distiller at the Twenty Third Street Distillery.

Cognac XO must now be aged for 10 years.

A Martell Cooper shapes a barrel.


COGNAC AND BRANDY segment, what Cognac is and the different ways that it can be used by consumers will help drive sales. The Martell website, for instance, offers a range of advice on Cognac not only in terms of a history of that brand, but also details of how the Cognac can be used in cocktails, details of what VSOP, VS and XO means, and also some innovative food and Cognac matches. This type of knowledge, coming from one of the oldest Cognac houses is a strong example of how retailers can use improved knowledge to drive increased sales and make the most of the current growth and predicted boom. So while there is tremendous heritage and understanding to be had from the historic houses like Martell a further area that should help drive growth and opportunity for retailers is by making the most of the high quality products that are being made in this country, which will fit in with the continuing consumer trend of looking for premium local products, as Kent points out. “Australian brandy is every bit as good and as exciting as Cognac, craft distilleries and local products already available show that we don’t need to aspire to Cognac to enjoy diversification and premiumisation of the brandy category and the potential of this category is huge. “We’ve been really impressed with how easily consumers have connected to Not Your Nanna’s Brandy. It is delivering on our expectations to drive consideration of brandy and engage a new consumer that previously wouldn’t have been engaging in the category. We really hope to expand the availability of this product both to leverage that opportunity to engage a new consumer who is willing to pay more for quality Australian spirits. “Our plans for the future of brandy in Australia are to continue to focus on how we can recruit and engage a younger consumer to ensure the long term health and profitability of the category. Impactful packaging and a contemporary communication platform gives us confidence we can really start to make in-roads to diversify the category in a way that plays to the key trends of Australian craft, provenance and premium spirits.” Redin agrees and has this advice for retailers, “Support the local distilling scene and lead with one of the great locally made Australian brandies in your offer, don’t hide it in the back corner or on the bottom shelf but display it proudly in-store. Our sales team are available at any time for tastings and education sessions as well.” So with exports of Cognac growing and a strong, premium Australian brandy market developing there are huge opportunities for retailers to make the most of this exciting, premium-driven category. By simply showing some love and some innovation to the products you are stocking, it is possible to make some drastic changes to the sales levels of Cognac and brandy. As ever education is a crucial factor, but by understanding the different aspects of the categories, what the great grape distillation is all about and speaking to producers about their products and learning from them, retailers can make significant and profitable change.


Black Bottle Brandy is becoming a cocktail favourite.

St Agnes brandy.

The gates leading to the Martell Cognac cellar. The Not Your Nanna’s Brandy from Twenty Third Street Distillery is connecting with consumers.

Brandy ageing in the St Agnes warehouse.










HAWKERS WEST COAST IPA 7.2% ABV, 375ml can Most serious beer lovers have a vision in their mind of what a particular beer style should taste like. I suggest that this would be a common picture of this on-trend IPA. It’s a pineappley, passionfruity, juicy, fruity, fruit salad bomb of a beer with the important cloudiness also there in spades. Seems like the yeast has worked hard in amongst all these solids, producing a slightly Belgian, spicy alcohol character too – but it adds rather than detracts. Style: West Coast IPA

EXIT BREWING IPA 7% ABV, 375ml can This is a little weird. It’s a fabulous session ale but take a look at the alcohol – it’s massive! But get this: it tastes like a 5%. Such balance is amazing. The style is sweetly malty held in check by fruity hoppiness with crisp bitterness at the end. Very well-made. Bravo Exit Brewing! A second glass? Most definitely, and then a taxi home… Style: IPA

PRANCING PONY PAGAN’S EMPIRE IMPERIAL PALE ALE 6.6% ABV, 330ml Boy, oh boy, the deep amber colour really does take you in and then the nose takes hold of you and you just have to have a sip. Fresh fruity hop aroma, rich malty sweetness on entry, great balance and length, finishes with more sweet malt and resinous hop bitterness with a hint of pleasing nuttiness, which could be the rye. Second glass? Yes please. Style: IPA

AUSTRALIAN BREWERY FIRE AND BRIMSTONE SMOKED IPA 6% ABV, 375ml can Wow! Liquefied, cured smoked ham. And the smoke tastes like that famous Islay dram Laphroaig too. Dig deep and you get the hops. This is a very well made beer, and it certainly delivers what it promises, but it is challenging. However if you are looking for a smoked beer, this is it. Style: Smoked IPA


LITTLE CREATURES IPA 6.4% ABV, 330ml A wonderful interpretation of style with a bit of an Aussie twang to it. This IPA leaves a dense head in the glass that laces all the way to the bottom. The hop aroma is firm and tends towards the citrus and savoury side of the spectrum. A skilful use of hops play a nice role in presenting flavour that imitates sweetness and the bitterness. Style: IPA

SHIFTY LIZARD IPA 6.5% ABV, 330ml A unique expression of IPA, this beer is popping with freshness. It presents a fantastic head in the glass and then delivers a nice amber and crystal malt body with an intricate hop profile, laden with everything from stone fruit to citrus and even some berry and pine notes. An excellent beer for style with a distinct spin of its own. Style: IPA

YOUNG HENRYS & FOO FIGHTERS FOO TOWN LAGER 4% ABV, 375ml can Brewing a beer with the coolest rock and roll band in the world is pretty rad – but when you nail the beer it’s even better. This 4% lager delivers on flavour with gorgeous pineapple and peach flavours and yet maintains freshness through the beer. It’s a killer craft lager worthy of any legend. Style: Lager




6.5% ABV, 500ml An original style of beer that takes all the flavour of a NEIPA, the aroma from a juiced up summer ale and the malt backbone of an IPA. The complexities in this beer work quite well, as it delivers restrained carbonation with a tutti frutti aroma, strong pineapple and toasted toffee flavours backed up with a balanced hop bite. Style: Extra summer ale

4.7% ABV, 345ml Attractive amber colour, moderate head, lazy bead. An inviting smell of fresh, crisp malt and light, fruity hop aroma. But when you taste it, it is a massive palate chock full of sweet creamy malt, great length with distinct resinous hop flavours, and a bitter tang at end. However, some would say it’s a tad sweet. Style: XPA

8% ABV, 500ml This is the complete package for a classic American IPA. It pours with a rich head and has a beautiful light copper colour, but the real delight appears at the first aroma and just keeps on going! It is bursting with dank citrus and pine character typical of US hops and delivers a luscious lathering of hop envelopment to your entire mouth. Style: Double IPA


STONE & WOOD THE GATHERER 2018 4.6% ABV, 500ml This scintillating beer brewed with Byron Bay cucumber, mint and watermelon sounds intriguing, and tastes even better! It pours slightly hazy and has a thin persistent head, but once you get to the flavours that’s when things really happen. You can identify with all the individual flavours of the local ingredients, yet they are perfectly balanced with a delicate acidity and gentle malt structure. Style: Wheat beer

PHILTER RED SESSION ALE 4.8% ABV, 375ml can When your first release claims the Craft Beer Award Trophy for Champion Pale Ale (XPA), one cracks a can of the second release with a certain excitement and anticipation. Pouring a bright copper, with an immediate waft of pine cones and toffee malt mixed amongst earthy citrus highlights. Taste follows suit, with caramel malt providing more than enough sweetness to carry a mid-level bitterness. The brew is well balanced and drinks fuller than its ABV may lead you to expect.     Style: Red ale




8.1% ABV, 330ml Grapefruit jumps forth and throws its first of many punches as soon as the bottle is cracked. Cloudy pink with plenty of fizz and a smidge of foam, ruby red grapefruit mixes with a sour bite on the nose. The body is sweet and a little sticky but manages to bury the 8.1% ABV deep within, a zippy tartness being the dominant lingering note. Ready to slate the thirst of the sweet tooths among us while the weather is still warm. Style: Grapefruit cider

8.2% ABV, 500ml can There’s not a lot bad you can say about this brewery that has grabbed the hop end of the market by the short and curlies. This beer however divided the panel somewhat; the big mandarin, sweet fruitiness punched right where it should in the pleasure zone. But that’s a lot of alcohol to tuck away even in big flavoured beers like this one and whilst it didn’t hurt most palates, the purists would suggest it rather unnecessary. Style: Double IPA

6% ABV, 375ml can Attractive deep red or chestnut colour, with big head retention. Smelling of dark roasted malts with a hint of smokiness. The malt dominates the lightly resinous hops. And the taste? Long, and almost astringent with a big dose of embery smoke. The finish is very dry, bordering on puckering. Seems a curious style to be called an IPA, but very drinkable. Style: Red IPA




3.4% ABV, 330ml The baby brother of the infamous Bling collection from Bridge Road sees hops and malt toned back to maintain balance with the lower ABV. The brew pours a rusty burnt orange, yielding passionfruit, mango and a deep pine aroma that is reminiscent of the rest of the Bling family. The body is short and sweet, a quick blast of biscuity malt almost instantly dissolves to allow a pleasant hop flavour that delivers enough bitterness to let something linger on your tastebuds. Style: Session IPA

6.4% ABV, 330ml The raconteur is a creative way of defining an IPA, loosely translating to a story that showcases hops as the hero! That it does with spades, throwing lolly-like tropical fruits amongst strong orange liqueur, grassy hops and spice dabbling in the background. Rich golden in colour, caramel malt and orange combine on the palate for an appropriate medium bodied mouthfeel that keeps the bitterness in check. Some lingering candied grapefruit rounds things out and leaves one dwelling on the beauty of hoppy beer. Style: IPA

6.7% ABV, 330ml Now this is a back to basics, no nonsense, perfectly brewed IPA. There’s no doubt that you are drinking exactly what the brewer intended without any faults or missteps along the way. It has a delicate but firmly planted foot in both the malt and hop camps with the result being one of those beers where a ‘magic porridge pot’ beer glass would still not be enough. Give it a try and understand what a balanced, malty, piney, resiny, classic IPA should taste like. Style: American IPA

MODUS OPERANDI SONIC PRAYER IPA 6% ABV, 500ml can This style is very reminiscent of many high quality, US influenced IPAs. It just delivers what it says it is going to deliver: loads of new world hops and good malt, great balance and tons of appeal. It pours a medium amber colour with good head and a very slight murkiness. There’s a resinous hop burst, fruit salad notes and plenty of bitterness. Style: IPA

VAN DIEMAN ESTATE ALE: TÊTU 3.5% ABV, 375ml An enticingly delicate pink beer with a clean soft haze. Fresh berries abound on the nose, stemming from a secondary fermentation on blackberries and raspberries grown on the family farm. Sweet aromatics are cut with fresh hay that takes one’s mind straight there. The balance is impeccable, delicate and light yet spritely and intriguing. Drabs of earthy oak and further berry sweetness on the palate quickly round out for a dry finish that leaves your thirst quenched and a yearning for another sip. Style: Barrel fermented grisette with summer berries

This tasting was originally conducted for the Autumn Issue 44 of Beer & Brewer.



RRP: $35

Crisp lemons and limes lead to a richer mid palate of passionfruit complemented by more complex hints of asparagus and quince.


RRP: $30

A zesty elegant Chardonnay with a palate of white peach and soft oak integration. Freshness and vitality was preserved by inhibiting malolactic fermentation.


RRP: $28

A medium bodied soft wine with a fine tannin structure. Minimal residual sugars allow the true Shiraz flavours to shine.


RRP: $35

The palate is soft and mineral with flavours of Nashi pear and wild honey supported by a finish of crisp, citrus acidity.


RRP: $28


RRP: $28

Rich black fruit, cassis, vanilla and a touch of Christmas cake on the nose leads to lovely textural tannins and blackcurrant on the palate.


RRP: $35

A fine round palate showing fruit sweetness. Medium to full body in structure, it has fine, silky tannins and a great persistence of flavour.


VIN: 2016

RRP: $26

It has a full flavour in which the seamless, silky tannins mould with the concentrated fruit to provide richness, yet it retains a tight, elegant structure.


RRP: $26

This wine is made in a dry style with clean zesty acidity to balance the excellent length. Flavours are long and intense in a citrus spectrum and finish clean, zesty and refreshing.


RRP: $15

Full and creamy with a touch of nuttiness, as it grows the palate shows purity, with zingy citrus notes of limes and lemons. Freshness with a lovely acidity gives it length and a clean finish.


Fresh lemon and green apple spring out of the glass while the palate is smooth and generous with hints of cashew and toast.

VIN: 2016


RRP: $15

Cinnamon and baked apple fill out the mid palate after initial upfront fresh fruits of nashi pear and jasmine. Generous fruit length is complemented by a rich mouthfeel and lingering finish.


RRP: $15

The palate is moreish with flavours of pithy grapefruit, early season pineapple and granny smith apples. The finish on the wine is fleshy and zesty with a mouth-watering chalkiness.


THE CHARDONNAY TASTING THE CHARDONNAY TASTING REVEALED SOME EXCELLENT WINES ACROSS ALL PRICE POINTS, BUT OVERALL IT WAS THE COOL CLIMATE WINES THAT SCORED ESPECIALLY WELL WITH THE TASTING PANEL. “Disappointing. So many wines masquerading as tropical truly Sauvignon. The best wines had complexity and acid balance. I loved the proudly full flavoured, richer styles. The best wines were truly excellent. The 2016 St Hilary Chardonnay was a standout for me with so much width and flavour, and the 2015 Voyager Estate Broadvale Block 6 Chardonnay was another highlight.” – Andrew Graham, Cracka Wines “Most of the wines I tasted were middle of the road. Australia makes some really good examples but also some very boring ones. It is great to see flavour coming back into Chardonnay. Chardonnay that is very thin has become less of an issue as winemakers realise their consumers want some flavour without being too flabby. There were a few standout wines for me, including the 2017 Beresford Chardonnay, 2017 Briar Ridge Stockhausen Signature Series Chardonnay, 2017 Seppelt Jaluka Chardonnay, 2016 Devil’s Corner Resolution Chardonnay and the 2016 Brokenwood Forest Edge Vineyard Chardonnay.” – Tom Lynar, Handpicked Wines “A real mixed bag of Chardonnay, some terrible wines and some real gems. Cool climate Chardonnay is king, mainly because winemakers can get away with adding more oak which can enhance complexity. The Stoneleigh Wild Valley Chardonnay was the highlight for me, don’t let the nose fool you, this wine has some amazing oak and is balanced perfectly.” – Daryl Fisher, Fisher Fine Wines “My bracket included some varied wines, some lacked fruit weight and were a little simple in style. Others astounded with richness and integrated fruit. It was overall a very solid bracket. A great use of oak and ripe fruit, which is good as we want the wine to focus on richness and length and not stripped of fat to be a lean style without fruit

weight. Standouts were the 2016 Tahbilk Chardonnay, 2016 Henschke Archer’s Vineyard Chardonnay and the 2016 Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay.” – Andrew Stubbs, Vine “Overall the wines were very pleasant. There was some sameness across the early brackets but this led into some interesting winemaking and regionality. Cool climate stood out, it seems the winemakers were able to showcase the regions and their talent without losing all balance.” – Christine Ricketts, The Wine Quarter “This bracket was young and had a lot of acid coming through at all levels. Most sitting in the citrus/lemon sphere, there were the occasional wines showing very tropical and stone fruit flavours. These flavours were generally quite ripe and obvious. These wines were quite straight forward and easy to navigate. Was lovely to see how the integration of winemaker intervention (malo, oak etc) can enhance and in some cases elevate young wines. The standout wines for me were the styles that had a few more layers. Wines that still offered the vibrancy and bright acid but came through with a little something more just to keep me on my toes.” – Amy Hayes, McWilliam’s Wines “Overall it was a strong line-up with some excellent wines across both the style and price spectrums with the use, quality and integration of oak being unsurprisingly one of the strongest differentiating factors. It is encouraging to see that the gradual movement towards the production of leaner and more subtle, acid-driven styles of Chardonnay continues as this shift in style, combined with an increased focus on the variety in Australia’s cool climate wine regions, is helping to drive the resurgence of Chardonnay in the Australian market.” – Bryn Lucas, Heinemann Australia











1. Andrew Graham, Online Communications Manager, Cracka Wines

3. Daryl Fisher, General Manager, Fisher Fine Wines 4. Andrew Stubbs, Vine – Providore of Fine Wine

6. Amy Hayes, PR & Media Manager, McWilliam’s Wines

2. Tom Lynar, National Sales Manager, Handpicked Wines

5. Christine Ricketts, Wine Education Manager, The Wine Quarter

7. Bryn Lucas, Purchasing Manager, Heinemann Australia

The System: The wines are blind-tasted and scored on appearance, nose and palate against a 100 point system, before being averaged to find the top rating wines from each LUC price bracket. Top-rating wines over $17 LUC



with good balance. DF

A wine of poise & finesse that balanced primary & secondary characters exceptionally. BL

Carillion Brown Brothers The Crystals Patricia Chardonnay 2016 Orange Chardonnay 2015 Tasmania A lovely, complex wine A vibrant example displaying roasted pineapple, spicy aromatics & background notes of coconut. BL Distributed by Free Run Distributors LUC $17.90


Brokenwood Chardonnay 2016 Beechworth (VIC), Orange, Cowra & Hunter Valley (NSW)


Briar Ridge Stockhausen Signature Series Chardonnay 2017 Hunter Valley


Henschke Archer’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 Adelaide Hills


Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Hawke’s Bay

A really well made style Spicy, caramel, rich The palate has plenty of that creeps up with buttery palate, complex & lush fruit & well-balanced intensity. AS interesting. DF acid structure. TL Layered, great balance Leathery oak, sulphur Juicy citrus acidity An enjoyable wine with a of fruit & oak. Skilful nose, citrus, complex, spicy provided freshness & long satisfying finish. AH winemaking with a long & nutty. DF exceptional length. BL finish. CR Distributed by

Oaked but balanced, great fruit & winemaking with a lingering finish. Needs time. CR

Distributed by Brown Brothers LUC $29.58

Distributed by Pernod Ricard Australia LUC $27.17


Distributed by Samuel Smith & Son LUC $19.19

Free Run Distributors & Kollaras & Co LUC $18.28

Distributed by House of Fine Wine LUC $23.33

Mealy & a rather crisp style, it’s a carefully coiffed wine, if a bit lean. AG


Top-rating wines $13 to $17 LUC





Stoneleigh Wild Giesen Small Pepper Tree Beresford Valley Chardonnay Batch Chardonnay Limited Release Chardonnay 2017 2016 Marlborough, NZ 2015 Hawke’s Bay Orange Chardonnay 2016 McLaren Vale Tropical fruit aromas with Slightly smoky oak on the Orange One of the more textural subtle background oak. nose, the palate is fresh An elegant style of & mouth filling in the set. The integration of fruit & citrus driven & boasts Chardonnay with fruit A bit old school in style & oak on the palate is exceptional length. BL & oak coming together but moorish and utterly seamless. BL seamlessly. BL quaffable. AH Gun powder, citrus, Impressive palate, rich lovely honeyed oak with an amazing finish. DF

mineral, vegemite on palate, bit flabby, toffee finish. DF

Distributed by Pernod Ricard Australia LUC $15.73

Distributed by Oatley Fine Wine Merchants LUC $16.66

Spicy floral oak, violets, bit Rich, intense nose with of musk. Textured, good peach, toffee & oak. An fruit & oak, good finish. DF intensely flavoured wine with a beautiful acid. TL Distributed by Déjà Vu Wine Co LUC $16.13

Distributed by Vok Beverages LUC $13.33




Amadio Chardonnay 2016 Adelaide Hills


This Chardonnay strikes an excellent balance between primary & secondary characteristics. BL

The nose is savoury & yeasty, reminiscent of Vegemite on toast & the palate is surprisingly fresh & appetising. BL

Caramel & burnt butter, straw, peaches. Tight, complex palate, a bit short on finish. DF

Barwang Chardonnay 2016 Tumbarumba

Charred burnt toast, citrus of lemon & grapefruit & a balanced palate. DF

Distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers LUC $13.44

Distributed by McWilliam’s Wines LUC $14.41



Top-rating wines under $13 LUC


Jacob’s Creek Classic Chardonnay 2016 South Eastern Australia


Highgate Chardonnay 2016 Orange

Schild Estate Chardonnay 2017 Barossa Valley

Slightly vegetal on Toasty oak is the nose with aromas complemented by vibrant reminiscent of apple citrus acidity. BL stew. BL

Briar Ridge Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay 2016 Hunter Valley

Citrus lime character, bit of a bacon scent. Good balance, fruit & oak are well integrated. DF

The nose is tropical & vibrant. This is replicated Tropical aromas on the palate. A thirst reminiscent of canned quenching style. BL pineapple on both the nose & the palate. BL Closed, simple nose, citrus Mineral, citrus, orange & floral characters. It’s blossom, good fruit & Lime, citrus, spicy nutmeg, clean & balanced with a balance & good finish. DF great balanced palate but nice nutty finish. DF a bit short on finish. DF Distributed by Vintage

Distributed by Pernod Ricard Australia LUC $7.81

Distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers LUC $12.90

House Wine & Spirits LUC $10.75

Distributed by Kollaras & Co LUC $12.34

George Wyndham BIN 222 Chardonnay 2016 South Eastern Australia Citrus focused palate enhanced with vanilla on the mid palate & a satisfying mouthfeel. AH Ripe melon & white peach on the nose with some oak & buttery complexity. TL Distributed by Pernod Ricard Australia LUC $10.56

Tahbilk Chardonnay 2016 Nagambie Lakes The flavour is rich even if the malolactic acid is short. AG Stone fruits, butterscotch & spice on a well bodied palate with length. AS Distributed by The Wine Company (VIC), Porter & Co (SA), Off the Vine (WA), Red & White (TAS) LUC $12.36



1. SEEDLIP COLLABORATES WITH BONDI ICEBERGS Seedlip, the world’s first distilled nonalcoholic spirit collaborated with the iconic Bondi Icebergs to host a summer evening tasting event. The evening included signature cocktails created by Seedlip Australian Ambassador James Snelgrove with matched canapes by Icebergs’ Signature Chef. In attendance were Matt de Groot, Katrina Warren, Penne Dennison, Holly Brisley and Sophie Falkiner as well as Seedlip’s Wellness Ambassador Georgia Van Tiel.


The menu of non-alcoholic Seedlip cocktails.


Holly Brisley.

1 2

The DJ playing.


2. TAYLORS TOASTS SUMMER WITH TEMPERATURE POP UP Clare Valley winery Taylors hosted a ‘world first’ pop-up dining experience at Commune in Waterloo, Sydney, which focused on the importance of temperature. Head Chef of hatted restaurant Africola, Duncan Welgemoed, created Celsius – a unique evening of wine, food and technology to stimulate the sense and prove just how much temperature affects food and wine. Over four nights consumers were invited to experience a three-course dinner menu with matching Taylors wines, all centred around the importance of temperature. The pop-up was a part of Taylors’ ongoing campaign to educate about how the flavours and aromas of a wine can be transformed when served at the optimum drinking temperature.


Chef Duncan Welgemoed cooks up a feast.

Executive Chef Duncan Welgemoed, Mitchell Taylor.

3 EVENTS 3. THOR HEADS TO THE BAROSSA The 2018 vintage at Jacob’s Creek got the VIP treatment as Chris Hemsworth (the Aussie actor who made it big in the US when he was cast to play Marvel’s Thor) joined the team to get an insider’s view on creating Double Barrel. Hemsworth spent a few days in the Barossa getting to know the winemaking team, the region and the winery – even having a block of the Jacob’s Creek vineyard named after him. He said that being in the Barossa during vintage is an experience he will never forget. “We’ve been warmly welcomed in the Barossa by the Jacob’s Creek teams who have taken us into their home and shown us what makes this place and its wines world class,” said Hemsworth. Summing up his experience, Hemsworth said, “As someone who travels a lot I’m always looking for things that can remind me of home and a glass of Double Barrel does just that.”

3 Newly named Hemsworth Block.

4. WHISKEY FLIGHTS AT NOLA SMOKEHOUSE & BAR NOLA Smokehouse and Bar treated media to a sneak peek at a series of American whiskey flight masterclasses it would be hosting at the Barangaroo venue in Sydney. NOLA has an impressive collection of around 600 rare and interesting whiskies and each of the eight American whiskey flights was designed to highlight a different style. The eight flights included The Bourbon Flight, The Age Flight, The Rye Flight, The Flavoured Whiskey Flight, The Michter’s Flight, The High West Flight, The Whistlepig Flight, and The Seven Stills Flight.

Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky with Chief Winemaker Ben Bryant in the Hemsworth Block.


Illy performs on the Australian Open Live Stage.


5 A bartender pours a whiskey flight at NOLA.


Tennis fans enjoy some beers on Coopers Saturday.

Coopers was the official beer partner of the Australian Open, held in January this year at Melbourne Park. One of the major events was Coopers Saturday, which was held on Saturday 20 January at the feature concert area, Birrarung Marr. Illy was the headline music act and performed on the AO Live Stage to thousands of spectators. Tennis fans and music lovers enjoyed a range of Coopers’ beers throughout the day including Coopers Premium Lager, Coopers Original Pale Ale, Coopers Clear, and Coopers Premium Light.

One of the whiskey flights at NOLA.




Meet... JARED FRANCUZ Bottle Shop and Purchasing Manager, Robin Hood Hotel, NSW

DAVID WARD Sales Manager, Australian Brewery

ABOUT US: JARED: Like a lot of people in the industry, I began by picking up glasses. After slinging beers in various pubs around Sydney (mainly with a craft beer focus) I ended up in venue management, even setting up a new craft beer bar in the west. A few months into my time at the Robin Hood I was offered the position of Bottle Shop Manager. DAVID: I worked behind a few different bars while at university and fell in love with the hospitality industry at the same time as I fell in love with Little Creatures Pale Ale. After a short and somewhat boring stint in media I jumped at the chance to work for the Australian Brewery and the Colosimo family again. Six years later the rest is history.

HOW ARE YOU FINDING THE CURRENT MARKET? JARED: Despite only being in retail for a short time, I think the current trends are evident across the liquor industry as a whole, at least in Metropolitan Sydney. Although overall consumption is down, I have noticed a shift toward more premium offerings. Customers in the bottle shop and over the bar are taking a greater interest in such things as premium whisky, boutique gin, craft beer, and thanks to the boom of cocktail bars in Sydney it is even extending to more niche products such as aperitifs and vermouth for the more adventurous. DAVID: Long live the growth of the craft can. We were the first to package in cans back in 2012 and it is great to see so many brewers following suit and having customers chase them down. We are finding an increased interest in our craft lagers, especially our New World Pilsner. More venues are dipping their toes into craft beer and are looking for good gateway brews.


WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN TODAY’S MARKET? JARED: I think the biggest challenge currently is cost, with wage growth stagnating and prices continually rising, plus the addition of initiatives such as the NSW CDS, the consumer is really being hit hard at the moment. As an independent retailer to retain healthy profit margins while also maintaining consumer loyalty is increasingly difficult. All while competing against the big multinational liquor barns. DAVID: The biggest challenges in general is that so many brands are fighting for such a small slice of the market. For us specifically, being the little guy from North West Sydney we struggle a bit with manpower. Simply not being able to put as many boots on the ground as other brewers, some with four or five reps just in Sydney.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE BIG BEER TRENDS OF 2018? JARED: I think a shift toward premium craft lager and lightly hopped summer style ales has already begun. The wave of big, hoppy, American style beers was slowed dramatically and people are now seeking beer better suited to the Australian climate, while not sacrificing flavour or quality. Even sour ales are making their presence felt, and fruit infused ales always seem to be a hit. DAVID: It is rare for me to walk into a bar now and not hear the word collaboration mentioned, so a big year for that. As Jared mentioned, I believe lighter easier drinking styles of beer better suited to the climate will continue to thrive. Somewhat selfishly I would like to see an increased interest in Saison as I’m dying to bring ours back. Big

flavour expressions, solid 6-7% ABV but a nice light body. Can I say perfection?

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THE JOB? JARED: It would have to be the endless amount of learning there is to be had. No matter how long you spend in the industry, there is always something new to try, things to learn, and there is always something that will surprise you. So many products have rich histories and great stories and with the newer brands such as Australian craft breweries it is wonderful to be a part of their story as they develop. It is a relatively small industry, so building relationships with people over the years as we all grow and evolve is awesome. DAVID: It is a generally forward-thinking industry full of creative, fun people joined over the love of a beer. How could you go wrong? Watching so many successful local businesses working together to build each other up and continue to grow the industry is also exciting and it is great to feel a part of that. I still feel despite the rapid increase in competition that the rising tide is lifting all boats versus just the big boys.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH EACH OTHER? JARED: Over the years we have become friends. So sharing a laugh and a beer when we get the chance is always great. But, it seems now Dave is trying to out-beard me. DAVID: It is great when we get a chance to have a beer and not necessarily talk shop. It helps that the Robin Hood has the best craft beer happy hour in the eastern suburbs! Jared has a few beard years on me, but I think I have him for length.



Bookings for the second Bar Box are open now. Space is limited so get in quick! Your booking includes • Delivery of your product to over 4,000 key pubs and bars across Australia • DPS ad in the Bar Box magazine, delivered with Bar Box

R 2017 SUMME WIN! COULD & YOU RVEY eb R BOX SU BA http://th E to ad TH ETE and he COMPL ide for details


• Your deal on the Bar Box Deal Sheet to encourage sales

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Bar Box is a sales-driving and sampling system, targeting over 4,000 key pubs and bars across Australia. You can include full size bottles of wine, spirits, beer or non-alcoholic beverages.

OR We can help you rebottle your liquid into smaller, sample-sized packs.

Turn your products into samples. Turn your samples into sales. Contact Greg Walsom for more information Telephone 0408 110 863 Email

National Liquor News March 2018  

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 March 2018  

NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS prides itself on delivering Australia’s liquor industry the most relevant and accurate news across the trade. It includ...