National Liquor News May 2022

Page 1


vol. 41 no. 4 - May 2022

Enjoy the deliciousness responsibly.



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Editor’s note

Editor’s note


Welcome to another big issue of National Liquor

40, which is a sector that is bigger and better than

News for our May 2022 edition.

ever, and continues to build more strength too. Then

What a big month this past one has been! With

from page 46, Andrew Graham analyses the value

three public holidays and events well and truly back

of family wineries, while from page 30, Seamus May

on the industry’s calendar, myself and the whole team

looks into the opportunity behind the Aperitivo

at Food and Beverage Media have been as busy as ever.

occasion in the cooler months.

Amongst this flurry of activity, I was so excited

This content is rounded out by the latest news,

to get down to the Formula 1 Heineken Australian

as well as insights and analysis from regular

Grand Prix in Melbourne again – it’s been four years

contributors such as Alcohol Beverages Australia,

since I’ve enjoyed the hospitality, the cars and the

Retail Drinks Australia, Strikeforce, Wine

atmosphere of the event, and what an incredible

Australia, DrinkWise and IRI. Plus, our expert

example of how the country is reopening. Meanwhile

panel of wine tasters has reviewed a range of Pinot

in Sydney, it was also great to see our friends in the

Gris and Pinot Grigio wines, from page 54..

on-premise industry come back together at the Pub

May your May be busy and prosperous as the

Leaders Summit, hosted last month by our sister title,

weather cools down and the ground hopefully

Australian Hotelier. There’s also been a range of other

dries out. If you have any feedback or stories to

awesome industry events happening lately, some of

share, please do reach out, as I’m always keen to

which we’ve covered from page 14 of this issue.

hear from you! Cheers,

– all this movement definitely proves the vibrancy of


Australia’s entire liquor industry right now. In this issue we’ve looked into some topics that are

02 8586 6156

there is our feature on Australian spirits from page

Editor: Brydie Allen Journalist: Seamus May General Manager Sales – Liquor & Hospitality Group: Shane T. Williams Group Art Director – Liquor and Hospitality: Kea Thorburn Prepress: Tony Willson Production Manager: Jacqui Cooper

To subscribe and to view other overseas rates visit or Call: 1800 651 422 (Mon – Fri 8:30-5pm AEST) Email:

Brydie Allen, Editor

also key demonstrators of this vibrancy. For example,

Publisher: Paul Wootton

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Outside of events themselves, there has been a huge amount of activity across the industry recently

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40 Aussie spirits

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30 Aperitivo for winter


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Contents May 2022


30 Retailing Aperitivo:

10 News: The latest liquor

Ancient tradition meets

industry news for retailers


around Australia

58 E-commerce: Top themes

12 Changing Rank:

of opportunity for e-retail

BrightSide announces its latest industry appointments 14 Events: An exclusive look

Wine 26 Wine Australia: Online

into recent industry events 16 Marketplace: Brand news

with wine 46 Family Wineries: A family

and promotions 22 Alcohol Beverages

affair 54 Wine Tasting Review:

Australia: Maintaining

Pinot Gris and Grigio

global best practice 24 DrinkWise: A new take on the Never Have I Ever concept

Beer 36 Imported and International Beer: A

Retail Focused

window to the world 52 Brew Review: Autumn beers

23 Retail Drinks Australia: BOCSAR research doesn’t paint full picture of alcohol availability and harm 25 Strikeforce: Filling in the gaps 28 IRI: Reimagining retail for the roaring twenties

6 | National Liquor News

Spirits 8 Cover Story: Batch & Bottle celebrates cocktail confidence 40 Australian Spirits: A spirited country



O F YO U R D R I N K I S T H E M I X E R ,


Celebrate World Gin Day on 11th June with Fever-Tree. Follow Fever-Tree to find out more. #PERFECTPARING



Cover Story

Batch & Bottle celebrates cocktail confidence The Batch & Bottle range from William Grant & Sons is proving you don’t have to settle for anything less than the best when it comes to cocktails at home. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a

about the brands they drink. For decades

an opportunity to showcase the world-

premium cocktail that combines the

William Grant & Sons has continually

class brands in the William Grant &

highest quality spirits and ingredients. This

produced premium and luxury spirits, but

Sons portfolio, while also providing an

experience was once limited only to the

for the consumer who wants to indulge

uncomplicated solution to perfect cocktail

top bars of the on-premise industry, but

in an upgraded at-home experience,” said

serves created and produced using our

since the start of the pandemic, consumers

Nathan James, Marketing Manager at

industry expertise.”

have developed a taste for bringing their

William Grant & Sons.

favourite cocktails into the comfort of their own homes. These days, time-poor and mindful consumers are less willing than ever to compromise on quality with these drinks experiences. The only problem with this is confidence – actually creating these cocktails to bar-standards can be a hassle, especially for those who don’t have much mixology knowledge. This is why demand for premium home cocktail solutions has never been higher, and it’s a demand that William Grant & Sons has risen to with its Batch & Bottle range of world-class bottled cocktails. “Consumers are adopting a ‘less is better’ mentality and becoming more discerning 8 | National Liquor News

Batch & Bottle cocktails have carefully

“Now, with Batch & Bottle they can do so

combined the finest ingredients to provide

without the fuss or cocktail accoutrements.

sophisticated cocktails that can elevate any

The premium pre batch cocktails provide

occasion. The new and innovative range lets

Cover Story

consumers be confident around cocktails

went into the creation of Batch & Bottle

in the home – all they need to do is simply

also has an inherently local element. The

chill, pour, garnish and serve.

Hendrick’s Gin Martini was developed in

“From a dinner party at home to a picnic

collaboration with five of the world’s top bars,

in the park with friends, a perfect occasion

including Maybe Sammy in Sydney. It was

needs the right drink,” said James.

a unique way for William Grant & Sons to

“The varied Batch & Bottle range with

support the bartending community get back

four different flavours - Hendrick’s Gin

on their feet, while also delivering a great

Martini, Glenfiddich Scotch Manhattan,

outcome for consumers via the off-premise.

Monkey Shoulder Lazy Old Fashioned and

Each Batch & Bottle cocktail pours seven

Reyka Vodka Rhubarb Cosmopolitan –

serves, and is a cost effective and convenient

allows consumers to re-create the classics to

way to enjoy premium cocktails at home,

suit every taste. Mixed with precision, each

with any excuse. Today, consumers are

sip delivers an impeccable blend of quality

enjoying upgrading simple evenings spent

and flavour.”

at home with friends using interesting and

While these spirit brands are internationally renowned, the expertise that

exceptional drinks, and the Batch & Bottle allows them to do this with ease.

May 2022 | 9

News The latest liquor industry

For retailers around the country

AVC rebrands 21 liquor retail outlets with LMG Australian Venue Co (AVC) has selected Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) as its partner of choice to rebrand 21 liquor retail outlets. After an extensive tender submission process, AVC selected LMG to undertake the rebrand of the stores, located across five states. LMG began the rebranding in February this year, with the refreshed stores sitting under the Bottlemart, SipnSave and Harry Brown retail banners. LMG CEO, Gavin Saunders, said: “AVC’s portfolio is strong in both numbers and iconic venues and LMG is thrilled to

Dan Murphy’s unveils first premium wine Cellar store

have been appointed as their preferred

Endeavour Group has opened the first new premium concept Dan Murphy’s

goals – both AVC and LMG are steadfast in

store in Lane Cove, featuring a bottle of the first vintage of Penfolds Grange,

our commitment to creating exceptional,

worth $160,000.

local customer experiences and delivering

Dan Murphy’s Managing Director, Alex Freudmann, said the consumer

partner. This exciting new partnership is built on a foundation of shared business

excellence at scale.

preference for more premium products was a key motivator in opening the store.

“We look forward to working closely with

“We know that customers are drinking better, which is why we wanted to

AVC to expand our brand reach and bring the

create destinations where wine lovers can discover and access some of the

Bottlemart, SipnSave and Harry Brown retail

best wines from Australia and the world,” he said.

and e-commerce offers to many more locations

The Cellar features a range of over 2800 products, of which about 350 are so rare that the store only has one or two bottles available. The rarest and finest are housed in the ‘Icon Room’, which is also home to a 1951 Penfolds Grange, thought to be one of only 35 still in existence. Walter Henao, an experienced sommelier and WSET diploma holder, has been tapped to manage the new store. “We’re expecting some wine-loving customers to travel interstate to

across the country and unlock further growth opportunities within each of these venues.” AVC Chief Operating Officer, Craig Ellison, added: “We share a similar ethos to LMG of empowering our managers to tailor their business to the local community, so it’s a really strong alignment for us. LMG offers tailored

visit us to discover the range and access the wines we have in this store,”

marketing support to their member stores,

Henao commented.

which allows the store manager to stay in the

To accompany the new store, Dan Murphy’s has developed ‘the Merchant’s Signature Service’ – a personalised virtual curation service. “Customers will be able to live chat with the Cellar’s experts directly from our cellar during opening hours, which will help us to offer a highly trusted and personalised service digitally,” Henao explains. Temperature is set at 17 degrees at the store, considered ideal for the storage of red wine, while state-of-the-art wine cabinets contain other varietals at their perfect climate. On-demand tastings and events will be facilitated by enomatic machines, which allow for the tasting and preservation of premium wines. 10 | National Liquor News

driver’s seat and deliver customer experience designed specifically for the local community.”


Male millennials drive recent sparkling wine growth Top Newsletter reads

Wine Intelligence analysis has found that sparkling wine drinkers are likely to be urban affluent consumers from the under-45 demographic, a trend consistent across the English-speaking world. Wine Intelligence has found that there appears to be an acceleration of patterns that were already present in the sparkling wine category, including the exiting of the category by drinkers over the age of 55. This has been a pattern in sparkling wine since at least 2016, resulting in a net-reduction in the

total number of sparkling drinkers in certain markets.

A BAC announces changes to prevetting service

As with many drinks categories, sparkling wine is also seeing increased premiumisation amongst younger drinkers, who are more likely to trade up with their choices. This is further driven by the lack

of travel and the closure of venues, which has led to an increase in disposable income amongst millennials and adult-aged Gen Z consumers.

Drinkers in these cohorts are also more enthusiastic about socialising and visiting on-premise venues than older generations. Contrary to sparkling wine stereotypes, new drinkers in the sparkling

C oles Liquor moves to AI replenishment A ussies win big at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

wine category are more likely to be male than female. In a statement about this research, Wine Intelligence said: “While those over the age of 55 firmly believe that there is a time and place for sparkling wine, namely during special occasions, those in the 25-39 age bracket see no problem having a glass at the end of a weekday or breaking out the bottle during a casual meal at home.” The full report is available on the Wine Intelligence website.

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Australia stars on World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list Six Australian wine brands have been placed on The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands list by Drinks International, including a debut showing on the list for McWilliam’s Wines. The list, which is in its 12th year, comprises of 50 of the most loved and respected wine brands globally and is compiled by an academy of top retailers, sommeliers, buyers and Masters of Wine from six continents. Australian wine brands have emerged from a challenging period of bushfires, pandemic and tariffs and the strong showing on this year’s list will help wineries demonstrate the quality of Australian wine as they look to break into new international markets. McWilliam’s joins other familiar Australian producers on the list, including Penfolds (#2), 19 Crimes (#18), Henschke (#21), Yellow Tail (#24), and Yalumba (#33). The debut of McWilliam’s Wines on the list reflects the

Andrew Calabria and Scott McWilliam

significant development in the winery’s journey over the last two years. The sixth-generation family winery boasts over 140 years

all of the notable Australian producers who have received a

of winemaking history, embodied through its rich portfolio of

mention this year.

premium wines. Sixth-generation Global Brand Ambassador, Scott McWilliam,

“For McWilliam’s Wines to earn a spot among the most respected wineries in the world is a testament to our

said: “The growing collection of Australian wineries on this

perseverance, rich heritage, and unique partnership that we have

distinguished list is hugely exciting for our industry. We commend

formed with Calabria Family Wines.” May 2022 | 11

Changing Rank

BrightSide announces recent placements Amber King and Sue Lauritz, Directors at BrightSide Executive Search, have been trusted advisors to the drinks industry for well over a decade. It’s been a busy start to the year for BrightSide with the search for talent as demanding as ever! They have shared some of their recent placements and acknowledged an ongoing need for exceptional sales, marketing and digital/e-commerce candidates. BrightSide is the only dedicated drinks recruitment specialist nationally and has recently expanded their own team too.

Asahi Beverages is thrilled

Campari welcomed

Dan Killey is the new

Proximo is excited

Grant Howard will be

to have Ben Farlow

Josh Comerford to their

Chief Executive

to have Gabrielle

focusing on strategic

as Head of Innovation

National Accounts

Officer at Pure Wine

Bielawski join the team

growth in his new role

CUB, leading long-term

team to work alongside

Co bringing a wealth

as their On-Premise

as Head of Commerical

strategy for Beer &


of wine industry

Specialist in Brisbane.

Sales at Fever-Tree.

Darren Williamson is the new BDM for LMG SA, working with members and providing key solutions at store level.

Ingrid Archer is loving

Premium Beverages.


LMG is excited to have

BrightSide is looking

Alex Smith is enjoying

Jarryd McCormack join

forward to Vesna

his transition from

the VIC team as the

Pilovski’s return to

hospitality to sales with

new BDM.

recruitment as the new

Proximo as Area Sales

Talent Manager in VIC.

Manager VIC.

her role as State Activation Coordinator VIC with Fever-Tree.

For more information go to or to look for current opportunities check out the BrightSide LinkedIn page:

12 | National Liquor News

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The latest liquor industry

Events Manly Spirits unveils Coastal Stone whisky range. After flood-induced delays, Manly Spirits welcomed visitors to its Sydney distillery to celebrate the release of its line of single malt whiskies. At the launch, Manly Spirits Founders, David Whittaker and Vanessa Wilton, revealed that Coastal Stone had been years in the making,

Young Henrys honours 10 years with special beer

with the first spirit distilled and laid down in 2017 with the creation

Young Henrys has honoured a decade of ‘serving the

to Coastal Stone’s sherry, bourbon, port, Pinot and Shiraz cask

people’ with a birthday party at its Newtown brewery

whiskies. These guests were some of the first in Australia to try these

and distillery.

wine barrel expressions.

of Manly Spirits. Guests to the event were treated to a tasting of the range, beginning with the distillery’s new make spirit before continuing

In the limelight was the Young Henrys 10 Years Strong beer, a specially produced barrel-aged red ale which has been matured in a combination of rum and port

Vanguard finally gets together again The team at Vanguard Luxury Brands was finally able to come

wine casks. The beers were flowing on the night and

together in person again last month at the company’s first

in keeping with Young Henrys’ rebellious spirit, local

national conference in two years. Lockdowns meant the last

skateboarders demonstrated their best tricks in the

couple of conferences had been cancelled, but this event well

brewery’s forecourt.

and truly made up for it, with representatives coming from across

Volcan De Mi Tierra celebrates launch

the country to host tastings, and international brand partners hosting online trainings and drinks too. The team was also joined

The new tequila brand from Moët Hennessey’s portfolio,

by David Smith, the new Managing Director of Lion, to taste the

Volcan De Mi Tierra, has officially celebrated its Australian

new Four Pillars Fresh Yuzu Gin at the brand’s bar in Surry Hills.

launch with an intimate party in Sydney’s Rose Bay.

Vanguard’s General Manager, Danny Connolly, said: “It was

The event took place at lavish pink-hued mansion, Villa

fantastic for the team to finally meet each other in person. We

Biscaya, which emulates the style of the Mexican home of

can’t wait to show the industry what we have in store from our

Volcan De Mi Tierra. This home was also embodied by the

amazing Vanguard team.”

food and drinks served at the event, but it was the cocktails that shone the most, featuring the Volcan De Mi Tierra in classic tequila mixes such as Palomas, Margaritas and even a Jalisco Mule, a tequilariff on a Moscow Mule. Guests were also treated to a special mariachi band performance and a tasting of the most recently launched Volcan De Mi Tierra SKU, Cristalino. 14 | National Liquor News

Westward launches new expression in Australia Westward Whiskey has introduced its fourth permanent expression into Australia with the release of the American Single Malt Cask Strength. The whisky has already won a double gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition as it accentuates the elements of Oregon and the American Northwest where the brand calls home. To celebrate the launch of this new SKU, which features the brand’s latest

The Macallan connects chocolate and whisky Luxury single malt whisky brand The Macallan

striking packaging refresh, Westward

has released its latest limited edition whisky as

Whiskey hosted a dinner at Sydney’s Nel

part of the Harmony Collection. This collection

restaurant, pairing Westward whiskies with

is an exploration into the world of sustainability,

different foods to celebrate their different

fusing innovative techniques at all stages of

nuances. For the Cask Strength Whisky, that

production, both inside and outside the bottle.

reflected toasted almond, graham cracker

The new Rich Cacao SKU from this collection

and black pepper aromas, with flavours of

was created in collaboration between The

sesame, tobacco leaf and cacao with a

Macallan Whisky Maker, Polly Logan, and

honeyed deep and fiery malt finish.

world-renowned pastry chef, Jordi Roca. For this Australian launch, the brand partnered with

Idle Hour celebrates its first year as official vodka of the Australian Grand Prix Australian vodka brand Idle Hour has celebrated the first event of its three year

Jessica Pedemont from Chocolate Artisan, who paired the rare and indulgent chocolate notes of the whisky with specially crafted chocolate bon bons during at dinner at Rockpool.

partnership with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. As official vodka of the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix for 2022, Idle

Fellr Founders, Andy Skora and Will Morgan

Hour hosted a pop up bar in the event’s culture district, M-Lane, which included an exclusive private bar for invited guests. At these bars, guests sipped on specially designed cocktails that embodied a taste of Melbourne and the Formula 1, while all track-goers across the whole event enjoyed the brand’s range of vodka soda RTDs. The first year of this partnership went extremely well, with demand for all Idle Hour products sky-high, boding well for the 2023 and 2024 Grand Prix events to come. The Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix was an incredibly successful event for all drinks brands involved, including major sponsor Heineken, Aston Martin team sponsor Peroni, and fellow Australian distillery Patient Wolf.

Fellr showcases the Land of Fizz

Fellr recently launched the Land of Fizz, showcasing the works of Ondine Seabrook and Cloudy Rhodes, as captured by Sam Brumby. At the launch of this show, guests gathered at China Heights Gallery in Sydney to view the artworks and short film, while sipping on Fellr’s brewed alcoholic seltzers and cocktail seltzers, including the recently launched flavour of Passionfruit Martini. Food was provided by Fishbowl, with entertainment bolstered by a special DJ performance by Cousin.

May 2022 | 15

Marketplace Brand news and promotions New tequila soda RTD launches in Australia A new RTD tequila soda range has arrived in Australia, developed by the team behind Idle Hour. Delgados Tequila Soda is made with authentic tequila from Jalisco in Mexico, carefully blended with soda and fruit Nick Waterman

juice. It’s available in three light crisp and refreshing flavours, including Lime + Basil, Grapefruit + Jalapeño and Pineapple + Ginger. Co-founder and Director, Ewen Pettit, said the

Yalumba announces 48th Signatory This month Yalumba is releasing the 48th vintage of The Signature

brand was developed to stand apart in a busy

wine, dedicated to the brand’s Managing Director, Nick Waterman, and

category and offer something ‘bursting with the spirit

his significant contributions to Yalumba since 2003.

of a Mexican vacation.’ It also taps into some of the

The dedication was announced by fifth-generation proprietor,

biggest current market trends, such as the growing

Robert Hill-Smith, during his traditional speech on the Signature lawns

appeal of RTDs, premium spirits and tequila.

at Yalumba’s annual Christmas party. Just a few short months later,

“We know drinkers are seeking out higher quality ingredients in RTD and with tequila going from strength to strength, Delgados felt like a logical step. We are proud to be delivering something truly unique to the market here and something that focuses on what’s inside the can,” Pettit said. The distribution of Delgados is supported by Craft Revolution, with its Sales and Marketing Director, Vaughan Thomson, describing the brand as uniquely positioned to tap into the biggest beverage trends. “We jumped at the opportunity to help the guys

it was announced that Waterman would also retire from his role as Managing Director in September 2022. Waterman’s signature and story will be featured on the label of this year’s iconic Barossa Cabernet and Shiraz Signature release. “His leadership has been impactful in all roles, but more particularly of late as a strong reformer and decision-maker and fearless implementer of transformational initiatives across our company,” said Hill-Smith “For our family, he has been a safe pair of hands and loyalty to the success of the company has been profound.” Waterman was humbled to be honoured on his final year with Yalumba, and said he is just one of many who contribute great things

bring this to market because it’s something we know

to the business every day. He has always been struck by the unique

Australians will respond to and the team have what it

culture, commitment and pride of the company’s staff.

takes to introduce a new concept to Aussie drinkers,” Thomson said.

The 48th Signature release was made from the 2018 vintage, which Yalumba Senior Red Winemaker, Kevin Glastonbury described as “one of the very best vintages we’ve had in recent times.” “It gave us beautiful pristine fruit with richness and concentration. Blackberry, blueberries and dark stones with cassis, red currants and cedary spices, with a depth of palate refinement that almost remains timeless. A most sublime mineral framework of perfectly groomed fruit and fine oak tannins intertwine and carry through to the long finish,” said Glastonbury. “We always knew that The Signature 2018 would be a classic wine, one for the long haul in the cellar.”

16 | National Liquor News

Chandon unveils Winemaker Explorations series Brookvale Union releases low sugar ginger beer

Premium sparkling wine producer, Chandon, has officially launched its

Brookvale Union has launched a low sugar version

and harness the knowledge of Chandon’s expert winemaking team with a

of its incredibly popular alcoholic ginger beer,

sense of curiosity and exploration, using unexpected techniques, varietals

tapping into the continued growth of the category

and locations to bring fresh new expressions and experiences.

Winemaker Explorations Series. The two debut wines from the new range are the Chandon Field Blend 2017 and the Chandon Meunier Rosé 2019,

and the ‘better for you’ trend. Designed for consumers seeking lighter and more sessionable beverages, the Brookvale Union

Head Winemaker, Dan Buckle, said: “At Chandon, we are unconstrained by tradition or complex regulation, and so we are free to experiment with different varieties and winemaking techniques.

Low Sugar Full Flava Ginger Beer is set to play

“Our Winemaker Explorations tier allows us to examine the unusual flavours

a key role in introducing new consumers to the

which might come from different grape varieties, and/or the unexpected

category. The brand believes ginger beer is still in

characters that are derived from different winemaking techniques.”

its infancy, and growth will be driven by innovative

Both the new wines are said to emulate Chandon’s dedication and

formats and offerings such as this new SKU, but

commitment to innovation, showcasing the brand’s technical expertise in

also with its recently launched 10 can case.

blending and curation.

The new low sugar version comes in at four per cent ABV, like the original version, but with 70 per

“We see Chandon winemaking as an adventure that will never sit still,” concludes Buckle.

cent less sugar, leading to just 104 calories per can.

Wynns reveals new tier of wines with Reframed Wynns Coonawarra Estate has launched a new tier of wines

grapes. We’re picking earlier for freshness with barbeques,

named Reframed, which represent a “creative renaissance” of

beaches, picnics, and casual occasions in mind. We’re blending

Wynns’ early pioneering years.

in unexpected ways to build interest and texture, and we’re

Reframed includes four new wines, described as artistic and contemporary riffs on the classic Wynns offering. The debut wines of the new range include a Coonawarra Cabernet Rosé; a Limestone Coast Fiano, Pinot Grigio, Arneis; a Coonawarra

bringing a lighter touch to winemaking by using little or no oak to maintain the freshness and aromatics of each wine.” The new Wynns range is available to stock from Treasury Premium Brands.

‘Rogue Vines’ Shiraz Riesling; and a Coonawarra Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Wynns Winemaker, Sarah Pidgeon, said: “Our new Reframed wines give us licence to approach varieties in different ways using unusual varietal combinations for Coonawarra and the Limestone Coast. “We’re taking the knowledge and experience of the Wynns team and putting a modern twist on our traditional winemaking practices by exploring new ways to express our beautiful

May 2022 | 17


De Bortoli marks 40 years of Noble One De Bortoli Wines is this year celebrating 40 years of one of its most iconic and award-winning wines, Noble One, which was first pioneered by Darren De Bortoli in 1982 when he was experimenting with Semillon, shortly after finishing his studies at the Roseworthy wine college. Part of the experimentation was looking at the potential to make high-quality dessert wines from grapes that were infected with botrytis, or noble rot, and De Bortoli believed the conditions at the De Bortoli Bilbul Estate vineyard near Griffith in the NSW Riverina region were ideal for sweet wine production. He said: “It feels like only yesterday that Dad and I were asking the local growers to allow their grapes to go rotten. They thought we were both mad, yet here we are celebrating 40 years of Noble One and what a journey it has been.” Over that 40 years Noble One has only missed two rain causing issues for the botrytis. In fact, in 2012 the

Naked Malt launches Live Naked Experience competition

vineyards were flooded.

Scotch whisky brand, Naked Malt, is giving Australians the chance

vintages – 1989 and 2012 – both caused by too much

De Bortoli’s cellar doors kicked off the Noble One 40th celebrations last month with back vintage tastings and pairings with Noble One truffles. The pinnacle of the celebrations will be held later this year.

to go ‘off-grid’ at three of Australia’s most famous destinations with its Live Naked Experience. This competition offers winners a trip of a lifetime to one of three locations, including a five star experience at picturesque Uluru, a unique stay in the majestic Hunter Valley and a stunning architectural marvel on the south coast. Yvette Harapa, Naked Malt’s Brand Manager, said: “Our Live Naked experience could not come at a more suitable time. Whilst international borders are finally reopening for Australians, international travel is still quite challenging and stressful based on various restrictions.” Consumers can enter the competition by buying a bottle of Naked Malt from independent liquor stores, and using a code on the bottle to take an online quiz that will tailor the eventual winner’s holidaying experience. There are also other Camplify vouchers to be won. Spirits Platform’s Head of Marketing, MT Jones, said: “We wanted to showcase Naked Malt beyond the bottle and the Live Naked experience encapsulates what the brand ethos is all about – getting back to your true self. “We celebrate the fresh perspective freedom can bring, and believe doing things differently can lead to greater connections, new discoveries and better experiences.” The competition is running now until June 23, with a winner drawn June 27.

18 | National Liquor News


Crystal Head Vodka adds unique third expression Ultra-premium Crystal Head Vodka has added a

Did you know… Cystal Head Onyx Vodka is distributed in Australia via Amber Beverage Australia.

creative and innovative third expression to its range with the launch of Onyx. Crystal Head Onyx is one of the first agave-based vodkas on the market and comes in a glossy black version of the brand’s iconic skull shaped bottle. With a nose of fresh green grass, nuanced white pepper and hints of citrus, Crystal Head Onyx is soft and smooth on the palate, with a touch of spice and sweetness that develops into the subtle yet unmistakable earthiness of agave. Dan Aykroyd, actor, musician and Crystal Head Founder, said: “Creativity

Chivas celebrates the arts and a bottle redesign Scotch whisky brand, Chivas Regal, is

is at the heart of everything we do. We love to push boundaries and strive to

championing the arts community in its latest

introduce consumers to cutting edge products that create excitement. With

campaign, I Rise, We Rise, fronted by a range

Onyx, we wanted to make an innovative liquid, an agave-based vodka, with an

of creatives who share their definition of

equally imaginative bottle to match. Onyx is unlike anything you have tasted

success through community. It builds on the

before - it drinks like vodka but has the nuances of Blue Weber agave.”

Chivas Venture program, which has donated $6M in funding for cultural businesses since 2014, and has been refreshed this year to

Bacardi releases bottled cocktail range in Australia Bacardi-Martini Australia has introduced Tails Cocktails to Australia, a

support grassroots social change in local communities. I Rise, We Rise also marks the biggest bottle

bottled cocktail brand made using spirits from the Bacardi portfolio. The

redesign in the history of the brand for the

brand launches with four 500ml bottle SKUs - Whisky Sour, featuring Dewar’s

Chivas Regal 12 Year Old. The modern new

Blended Scotch whisky; Gin Gimlet, featuring Bombay Sapphire gin; and

look heroes sustainability with a lighter bottle

Espresso Martini and Passionfruit Martini, both featuring 42 Below vodka.

that reduces glass usage by approximately

Sarah Nichols, Marketing Director for Bacardi-Martini Australia, said: “You can never replace the bar experience, however, we’re wanting

1000 tonnes a year globally, and a fully recyclable outer pack.

to make it hassle-free for people to recreate the magic of a cocktail moment at home. We’re looking forward to working with our retail partners to establish the premium pre-batched cocktail segment to drive incremental value to the liquor category and deliver fantastic new choices and experiences for consumers.”

May 2022 | 19


Belhaven Brewery provides a unique Scottish stout for winter Belhaven Brewery is the oldest working brewery in Scotland, nestled among the rolling barley fields of East Lothian in Dunbar, just over 32km from Edinburgh. Belhaven brews are brought to Australia by Empire Liquor, and with winter in mind, the distributor is celebrating something truly unique from the brewery - Belhaven Black Scottish Stout, one of Scotland’s favourite stouts. The rich and welcoming stout is brewed from 100 per cent Scottish grown barley,

Tarsier Gin touches down in Australia

fresh local water and unique Belhaven yeast. Dark chocolate complexity is built with a

There’s a new entrant to Australia’s gin market, and it’s arrived thanks to

blend of roast barley, roasted black malt and

importer distributor, Jonathan Paige International.

lightly roasted chocolate malt, with simple

Tarsier Gin was created out of the UK by Tim Driver and Sherwin Acebuche,

Challenger hops for a clean and low-level

who developed the brand after being inspired by the flavours they loved

bitterness (which stands apart from the

experiencing while on a backpacking adventure around South East Asia.

bitterness of many other stouts).

On returning back to the UK, the pair said they thought these flavours weren’t being used to their full potential in the drinks market. “We ate our way across south east Asia, and were exposed to some of the

The resulting beer is a deliciously deep, smooth and full bodied stout, bursting with roast coffee and chocolate flavours with a

most amazing ingredients… what they did with flavour just blew our minds. We

rich dark finish. At 4.2 per cent ABV and in

thought - there are some really incredible flavours here, why is nobody putting

a 440ml can with widget, Belhaven Black

them in gin?” Driver said.

Scottish Stout draws on 300 years of brewing

“And so we had the idea that if nobody else was going to do it, why don’t we give it a go.” Acebuche was born in the Phillipines and also has a history in the drinks industry, so he already had some insight into how to do this. Everything about Tarsier has been created from scratch by he and Driver. The range that has entered Australia now includes the flagship Southeast Asian Dry Gin, which Driver described as the “expression of our whole backpacking trip.” It features signature botanicals such as calamansi citrus from the Philippines, galangal from Vietnam, Thai sweet basil and two types of Cambodian kampot peppercorns. Complementing this is the Oriental Pink Gin, which Acebuche described as a “classy take” on a pink gin. Signature botanicals for this gin include raspberry, lychee, red dragon fruit (as opposed to its less flavourful white counterpart), galangal and calamansi. During COVID lockdowns, Tarsier also branched out further with its Backpacker Series, which features the Khao San Gin and Taipei Old Tom Gin, both with unique botanicals embodying their name sakes in Thailand and Taiwan. With a striking bottle featuring the rare and adorable Tarsier primates found in parts of south east Asia, Tarsier Gin is eye-catching and well positioned to have customers follow through to purchase once they pick up the bottle and find out more. 20 | National Liquor News

heritage for a winter beer that pairs great with beef stews and casseroles.


Old Speckled Hen continues to deliver for shoppers More than 40 years since Old Speckled Hen was first brewed, it is continuing to deliver on shopper needs, with some of the highest consumer awareness and consideration of any premium British ale brand. Old Speckled Hen was originally brewed MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in

New Master’s Keep One celebrates two bourbon legends

England. It was named after the old run-

Wild Turkey has launched Master’s Keep One, the seventh limited-

around car for the factory, that was often

edition release in the award-winning series. The whiskey celebrates

parked outside the paint shop. It became

the distinct bourbon philosophies of Jimmy and Eddie Russell, the

spattered in paint and so was known as the

father and son Wild Turkey Distillers who share a combined 107 years

“Owld Speckl’d Un”.

of experience at the distillery.

to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the

Today, Old Speckled Hen is the number

Master’s Keep One combines Jimmy’s love of mid-aged bourbons,

one selling traditional premium canned ale in

those aged eight to 10 years, with Eddie’s passion for complex

the UK, 59 per cent bigger than the second

characteristics that come with bourbons aged longer.

highest selling brand. It’s proudly brought to Australia by distributor Empire Liquor, a local home for iconic British brews. Driving the Australian success of Old

Eddie said: “Wild Turkey’s heritage was built on family values, a love for whiskey-making, and an endless search for bold flavours. “Master’s Keep One honours the tools, techniques and tradition that my father handed down, and is a culmination of our shared love

Speckled Hen is the unique toffee malt flavour,

of bourbon. Jimmy instilled in me the most rewarding lessons for

contributing to a distinctively rich flavour

success in work and life – passion and discipline – and I’ll always be

and fruity aroma in this finely balanced and

grateful to him for setting me on this path 40 years ago.”

refreshing English Pale Ale. Old Speckled Hen comes in at five per cent

The Master’s Keep series launched in 2015 with the original Master’s Keep 17 Year Old and recent expressions have included

ABV and 500ml cans, making it the perfect

Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Cornerstone released in 2019, and

beverage for weekend BBQs, and even pairing

last year’s Master’s Keep Bottled in Bond, with further releases in the

with sticky toffee pudding.

series to come as well.

May 2022 | 21

Alcohol Beverages Australia

Maintaining global best practice The recent review of the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code shows Australia’s commitment to leading the world in alcohol harm minimisation, writes ABA CEO, Andrew Wilsmore.

ABA welcomed the opportunity to make a submission

Adjudication Panel ensures that marketing innovations

to the recent ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing

are captured by the scheme by setting ‘precedence’ in

Code Review.

its decision-making authority. Guidance notes provide

The ABAC Code provides industry, governments,

surety for alcohol marketers, and the regular testing of

and concerned health bodies the opportunity to work

decisions against community expectations ensures the

cooperatively to ensure our marketing is in line with

Scheme maintains a high level of credibility.

community expectations.

In a global comparison by the World Health

When it comes to drinking trends, Australia has

Organisation, Australia is a world leader in applying

witnessed a long-term trend towards responsible

co-regulation to all advertising, in stark contrast to

consumption with moderation the new norm. A

23 per cent of countries that have no regulation or

number of factors have contributed to this success,

advertising standards for alcohol marketing.

and some credit should rest with the ABAC Scheme

Australia is also one of the most thorough jurisdictions

and its ongoing commitment to maintaining the

in the application of its marketing regulation, through

world’s best practice in the demonstration of meeting

both a combination of pre-vetting and receiving

community expectations and with responding to

complaints and making determinations. The effect of

evolutions in marketing practices.

this is a scheme that has an inbuilt bias towards continual

The strong quasi-regulatory scheme places

improvement and international best practice.

Australia as a world leader in how it regulates alcohol

Australians would view it as our duty to fight the

marketing and reduces the potential for alcohol

harmful use of alcohol – as an industry, as producers,

related harms to develop.

as retailers, and as individuals – to help improve the

ABAC is the centrepiece of alcohol marketing regulation in Australia, and its role in ensuring the

health of Australians and reduce the risk of alcoholrelated harms and non-communicable diseases.

marketing of alcohol beverages occurs responsibly

We have an obligation to promote responsible

and consistently with standards of good practice via

drinking, and a duty to deliver a better and more

co-regulation, education and advice.

sustainable future for all.

It is also continually evolving and keeping pace with

The ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code

advances in marketing practices. For example, ABAC

is rightly recognised as global best practice, and we

was a global pioneer in ensuring social marketing,

appreciate the leadership of the ABAC Management

influencers, and other new marketing techniques were

Committee to undertake regular reviews that will

captured by the scheme.

lead to further improvements in meeting community

The expertise and powers invested in the ABAC 22 | National Liquor News

expectations for responsible marketing.

“The strong quasiregulatory scheme places Australia as a world leader in how it regulates alcohol marketing and reduces the potential for alcohol related harms to develop.” Andrew Wilsmore CEO Alcohol Beverages Australia

Retail Drinks Australia

BOCSAR research doesn’t paint full picture of alcohol availability and harm The recent report misses the complexity of the issues it addresses, writes Michael Waters, CEO of Retail Drinks Australia.

“Retail Drinks continues to support a targeted, evidencebased approach to policy making based on robust research and delivered in partnership with all stakeholders.” Michael Waters CEO Retail Drinks Australia

In late March, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics

have declined by over 45 per cent – 22 per cent for

and Research (BOCSAR), released research

alcohol-related domestic violence and 60 per cent for

suggesting that a one hour extension of bottle shop

alcohol-related non-domestic violence. In contrast,

opening hours from 10pm to 11pm was associated

non-alcohol related incidents have continued to

with an additional 1,120 domestic violence assaults.

increase steadily over the same period. When

The research examined the period from December

considering incidents attributed to the misuse and

2016, when this state-wide extension came into effect,

abuse of alcohol, in December 2016, alcohol-related

until February 2020, concluding that this correlated

incidents represented 32 per cent of all assaults across

with a “small but statistically significant” increase in

NSW, and by December 2020 this proportion had

domestic violence assaults.

decreased to 27 per cent. However, the proportion of

Domestic violence is an incredibly complex issue and Retail Drinks, as well as the broader retail liquor

non-alcohol related incidents increased from 68 to 73 per cent over the same period.

industry, share community concern over the human

It should also be noted that the geographic locations

tragedy that comes from senseless violence that is

of the various domestic violence assaults were not

sometimes alcohol-related. Our members’ staff are

considered as part of the BOCSAR research and

often at the coal face of dealing with challenging

that leads to difficulties in interpreting the results.

circumstances that come with the responsibilities of

Importantly, the study does not provide a breakdown

selling alcohol beverages.

of where the additional 1,120 domestic violence assaults

Whilst the authors of the research attempt to

occurred and in which local government areas (LGAs).

draw a link between bottle shop opening hours and

Further to this, not all bottle shops across the state

domestic violence assaults, the other complex factors

traded until 11pm following the extension and the lack

leading to assaults should also be considered when

of data from retailers is acknowledged by the authors.

interpreting the research results. Notably, the study

Retail Drinks continues to support a targeted,

did not distinguish between assaults which were

evidence-based approach to policy making based on

alcohol-related and those which were not. Further

robust research and delivered in partnership with all

analysis of BOCSAR data shows that the majority

stakeholders. As part of this approach, Retail Drinks is

of assaults occurring between December 2016 and

committed to the implementation of specific measures

December 2020 (whether or not they involved

that can have a real effect on harm minimisation,

domestic violence) were non-alcohol related. Also,

without negatively impacting the vast majority of

while the number of alcohol-related incidents

individuals who enjoy alcohol beverages responsibly.

decreased by 13 per cent over this period, non-alcohol

We look forward to working collaboratively with

related incidents increased by nine per cent.

governments throughout the country on specific

These statistics are consistent with the longitudinal

and targeted measures in those individual LGAs that

trend which shows that in the 11 years since

are consistently tracking above the state average to

December 2009, all alcohol related incidents in NSW

address alcohol-related violence.

May 2022 | 23

Susan Templeman, Liam Holt, Tahlia Palminha, Caitlin Daley and Simon Strahan


DrinkWise launches new take on Never Have I Ever concept Simon Strahan, CEO of DrinkWise, discusses the new campaign’s initial launch in the Macquarie electorate.

DrinkWise recently launched the Never Have I Ever

and a proportion were turning to alcohol or drugs

campaign in the Macquarie electorate to help support

during tough times.

young people when it comes to alcohol moderation,

The Macquarie electorate youth advisory

their mental health and coping strategies.

committee wanted a campaign that could connect

The new initiative is a non-drinking take on the popular ‘never have I ever’ concept, to prompt young people to think about their mental health and to remind them that alcohol is not the answer to coping with those challenges. It reinforces that asking for help is ok and that support services are there to provide help and advice if needed. DrinkWise created the campaign following a request for assistance from Federal Member for

with young adults in places they socialise – hotels.

“Getting young adults to openup about their challenges is vital.” Simon Strahan CEO DrinkWise

DrinkWise connected with the Australian Hotels Association NSW to implement the initiative via posters and coasters in 28 pubs throughout the Macquarie electorate (in regional New South Wales). The messaging will also be pushed via social media to reach young adults within the region. Never Have I Ever helps to ensure that as people come back together at licensed venues to socialise,

Macquarie, Susan Templeman MP, and the Australian

have a meal and catch up with friends and family,

Hotels Association. Feedback from Susan’s Macquarie

they also use these opportunities to talk about local

youth advisory committee indicated that feelings of

issues and support each other. Getting young adults

stress and anxiety might be heightened for local young

to open-up about their challenges is vital. They need

adults in the community, particularly given that over

to know that professional support is available from

the last few years they have endured bushfires, floods,

ReachOut and other mental health services.

COVID-19 and recently, floods again.

DrinkWise will continue to work with the

This concern was echoed in research conducted

Australian Hotels Association and ReachOut to

by ReachOut which found a substantial increase

evaluate the campaign in the Macquarie electorate

in the number of young people feeling more

and look to roll out in other areas where young adults

negatively about the future, compared to before

might need some support. If you’d like to get involved,

COVID (44 per cent vs 20 per cent pre-COVID)

please get in contact with us.

24 | National Liquor News


Filling in the gaps Stephen Wilson, Category and Insights Manager at Strikeforce, asks some key questions when it comes to the current supply chain issues.

Stephen Wilson Category & Insights Manager Strikeforce

Regardless of where you might have been

desire for new products and experiences.

seeking your favourite brand in liquor, recently

Who would have thought a decade ago

you might have been challenged to find what

that the humble gin bottle would be at the

Does your current offering reflect macro trends driving shopper purchase?

you were looking for, with supply chain issues

forefront of an experiential wave?

As an example, the trend of no and low

continuing to influence on-shelf availability.

Hard seltzers were not even on the radar a

alcohol consumption has become entrenched

We have all experienced the frustration

few years ago. Both these subcategories now

behaviour amongst drinkers. A recent survey

of popping down to the local store to pick

command a share of space that previously

found that most drinkers are not seeking to

up a few things only to come home with

would have been allocated to other products.

abstain from alcohol altogether, but there

less items than we set out for or substituting

are some occasions where they choose not to consume alcohol. So in order to retain a

still meeting your customer needs presents

Have fulfilment issues with reduced product options actually led to a decrease in revenue?

an enormous challenge for retailers, however

Having to make do with the available stock

to no and low alcohol alternatives.

this situation also provides opportunity to

on hand to fill holes on shelves is never ideal,

Drinkers are also seeking no and low

reassess space apportioned to brands across

however increased facings of familiar brands

alcohol alternatives as part of their holistic

categories, cool rooms and shelf locations

or filling slots with alternative brands has a

health and wellbeing regime, driven out

within the store.

potential silver lining. For familiar brands,

of personal lifestyle evaluation during

each item on shelf is front and centre with

COVID lockdowns.

brands due to lack of choice. Juggling insufficient stock weight while

sale, liquor retailers need to apportion at least some of their available space in each category

How long is it since you really had a forensic look at the shape and make up of your overall range?

increased stock weight helping to avoid a lost

In summary we look forward to seeing a

sale. Alternative brands appearing on shelf

reliable and consistent supply chain back up

can also satisfy shoppers who like exploring

and running. In the interim, the opportunity

There is constant change and product

new brands, particularly craft and artisan

exists to experiment with brands and

evolution within individual categories as

products, so an opportunity has been created

range shape to satisfy your customers and

suppliers look to satisfy drinkers’ insatiable

to drive an incremental sale.

maintain a healthy cash flow.

May 2022 | 25

Wine Australia

Online with wine E-commerce is becoming increasingly important to the Australian wine sector, writes Angelica Crabb, Senior Analyst at Wine Australia.

E-commerce, the business model that allows

The IWSR estimates the total e-commerce value

customers to purchase goods and services over the

of alcoholic beverages in Australia to be just under

internet, has become incredibly important over the

US$2 billion, of which 70 per cent are wine sales, 20

past couple of years. It was a growing market before

per cent spirits, eight per cent beer and the rest RTDs

the COVID-19 pandemic, but the need to isolate and

and cider. Overall, e-commerce alcohol sales grew by

conduct business remotely accelerated the already

about 50 per cent in 2020. The largest sites driving this

emerging trends.

growth are Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, Naked

According to Statista’s ecommerceDB, there are 19

Wines and First Choice Liquor.

million e-commerce consumers who have bought

According to the Wine Channel Purchase

at least one item online in the past 12 months in

Behaviour of Australian Wine Consumers report,

Australia, or about 75 per cent of the population.

commissioned by Wine Australia in 2021, online

Australia has a very similar e-commerce penetration

retailer sales overtook cellar doors in 2020 as the

to Germany (77 per cent) and South Korea (74 per

second most popular channel for purchasing wine

cent), while the United States is slightly higher at 79

(after bottle shops) and many consumers indicated

per cent and the United Kingdom is the highest in the

that this would continue in the future. Following

world at 86 per cent.

closely behind online retailers were purchases from

Australian e-commerce sales of the top 100 online

a winery’s own website.

stores were worth US$14 billion in 2020, representing

Around half of consumers surveyed did not buy

a growth rate of 65 per cent compared to 2018. The

any wine online since 2019. This is despite three

number of e-commerce users is expected to grow by

quarters being confident in using the internet to

seven per cent to 21 million users by 2025. Food and

make purchases, with the majority buying other

personal care (which includes alcoholic beverages)

items online. While there are many that will not

is the largest category, representing more than US$4

change their minds about using this channel to

billion in sales by the top 100 stores in 2020. However,

purchase wine, there are some common issues

this only represents six per cent of the total food and

raised that could be addressed to encourage use of

personal care market in Australia. The category with

the channel. Some of these include concerns about

the highest online saturation is electronics and media,

damages through delivery or not knowing which

with 38 per cent of sales taking place online.

website to buy from.

26 | National Liquor News

“Online retailer sales overtook cellar doors in 2020 as the second most popular channel for purchasing wine (after bottle shops) and many consumers indicated that this would continue in the future.” Angelica Crabb Senior Analyst Wine Australia



Reimagining retail for the roaring twenties

IRI describes the key pandemic behavioural changes and habits that will be developed this year thanks to new-found resilience and renewed values.

After a rollercoaster two years, Australia

at their disposal to shop safely, ascertain

between those who have embraced digital

is reopening to the ‘roaring twenties’

availability and get the best prices, our

and are thriving, and those that have not

with renewed optimism. We only need to

values are also influencing shopping

and are struggling” with a quarter (23.3

delve into history to see how resilience,

behaviours. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of

per cent) investing in digitalisation to

technology and innovation can change

us are more willing to pay higher prices

reduce costs and improve profitability

lives for the better. Coupled with the re-

to support small business and nearly all

and 17.5 per cent wanting to improve

focus of what’s important in our work and

of us (93 per cent) are more likely to buy

customer experience to drive revenue and/

home lives, Australia will likely see many

Australian-made as provenance continues

or increase KPI scores.

pandemic behavioural changes and habits

to fill our shopping baskets.

stay in complement to new-found resilience

Also be aware of the impending demise of third-party digital cookies. Put more

A fine balance between connecting choice with purchase

emphasis on first-party data to learn about

The influence of digital and values

For online shoppers, retailers must consider

tracking apps, it will be harder than ever to

The pandemic-driven digital transformation

larger and more valuable basket sizes and

know where Australians are shopping and

forced us to reassess how and where we live,

offer the ability to save a shopping list.

what they’re interested in. Your data, and

as hybrid working went mainstream. One

While Australians are keen to shop local,

knowing how to effectively use it, will be

million more Australians are now shopping

understanding new in-store behaviours is

more valuable than ever before.

online and two-thirds of those who did so

critical to long-term success. Elevating the

over the three months to September 2021

in-store experience is fundamental.

and renewed values.

your customers. Along with the opt-out of

Perfecting the omni-channel is key

(64 per cent) chose websites of retailers with

But beware of a digital divide. While

More businesses than ever are investing in

physical shops. Meanwhile, more than half of

recent Google research finds Australian

improving and augmenting omni-channel

us are willing to pay for shipping (54 per cent).

retail “to be steadily advancing towards

efforts because Australians expect retailers

While price and value remain very

becoming more digitally resilient”, it

to be present everywhere they are. No matter

important as Australians use every channel

also finds that “the market shows a split

the device, channel, platform, locale and time

28 | National Liquor News


of day, we command consistent information

sustainability trade-offs in a world where

address major barriers to democratising

and experiences and the ability to seamlessly

convenience and safety rule alongside

sustainability and demonstrating clear value

move between channels. Omni-channel

self-awareness and empowerment. Your

to shoppers.

will thrive if the logistics and supply chain

sustainability messages therefore must be

continue to evolve rapidly to support it.

transparent, clear and concise.

In 2022, Australians want you to be ‘the retailer for me’ Those businesses that roar to the forefront

While the purpose of physical spaces may

Protecting and nurturing the environment for a better society

have shifted, they remain important to

One in four online shoppers purchase a

with suppliers, manufacturers, industry,

the shopper journey, and in many cases,

brand because of its ethics and sustainability

community and the individual shopper.

the end point of buy-online-pickup-

practices – a trend driven by 18-24 year olds.

If you put data and insights at the heart

in-store sales strategies. 2022 will drive

As such, we are increasingly seeing these

of your business, you will hear the roar of

sensorial activation in physical outlets, as

brands outperform.

Australians as they navigate a bold new

But remember, bricks-and-mortar remains key to omni-channel success.

Australians are increasingly nuanced in shopping habits.

While packaging was much of the focus,

are those that lean into collaboration –

world and recalibrate their ways of living.

shoppers now expect brands to do more

Constructive disruption must be

about ethical and sustainable sourcing

conducted in harmony and unity. Retailers

Lean towards green

of ingredients. Almost three-quarters

and suppliers must come together to drive the

From reuse to single use and back again,

appreciate it when brands make it clear

industry to new levels by creating experiences

sustainability is returning to lead Aussie

what they stand for and stay true to their

that excite and engage Australians.

shopper brand preference as we leave

value and seven in 10 (69 per cent) agree

As Kirk Perry, President and CEO at IRI

pandemic anxiety behind. Three-quarters

that living in more ‘green’ ways can improve

says: “This next year is going to be about

(72 per cent) are willing to pay a price

their health.

having the best intelligence to understand

premium for brands with sustainability

Australian businesses must also be

the changes that are really here to stay and

practices and we expect brands to be

proactive with sustainability innovations.

those changes that were just because of the

transparent and do more about ethical and

It has profound environmental, social

pandemic. Those that get ahead will be the

sustainable sourcing.

and economic implications and beneficial

ones that use that data most effectively.”

As we learn to live with COVID,

outcomes for reputation, investor buying

Australians will support brands with a

and value creation. Higher acceptance and

To learn more about leading and winning in

sustainability mindset, but they are also

concern can drive deeper engagement.

the retail of the roaring twenties, download

grappling with new ethical decisions around

Retailers and manufacturers must

the complete report at

May 2022 | 29

Retailing Aperitivo

Ancient tradition meets modernity Seamus May explores how retailers can harness the timeless stories and techniques of aperitifs to connect with drinkers.

Three top tips for winter

Aperitifs and amari have always possessed

“Aperitivo is deeply ingrained in Italian social

a sense of old world mystique, and

culture – an excuse to meet friends before a meal,

1. Offer bundles to make

recent trends have breathed new life into

as well as a time to wind down in the evening

the occasion more

the category.

with a refreshing drink after a day at work.


An emphasis on authenticity and the renewed

“This shared experience that remains the

popularity of classic cocktails means that the

spirit of aperitivo occasions is what should

offering special discounts or

secret recipes and storied histories of aperitifs

be continually shared and celebrated among

offers on bundles of winter

have added commercial value for retailers.

consumers around the world.”

aperitivo cocktail ingredients.

Similarly, Mungo Gilchrist, CEO of Spirits

Aperitivo: an opportunity ‘opens’

Platform (which imports brands like Villa

Traditionally, many of the brands in the

Massa, Select Spritz, Disaronno and Amaro

aperitif category have been enjoyed during the

Montenegro), believes that “Australians are great

aperitivo occasion, which takes its name from

world travellers and, having experienced the

the Latin word ‘aperire’, meaning ‘to open’, as

aperitivo on their European vacations, it’s natural

these drinks were said to open the appetite and

to want to replicate their aperitivo experience

prepare the body for a meal.

back home.”

Maja Cunningham, Marketing Assistant

Gilchrist also said Google Trends data

at Beam Suntory (distributor of Galliano),

indicates an increasing interest in the aperitivo

outlined how aperitifs, and particularly the

occasion over the last five years.

aperitivo pre-dinner occasion, are resonating more than ever with drinkers.

Within the aperitif category, Campari is undoubtedly one of the most well known,

Multiple brands recommended

Pairing with vermouth or Prosecco is an easy option. 2. Use the resources available As Gilchrist said: “Liquor retailers can tap into their supplier’s resources, such as their brand ambassadors who offer tailored training. Their websites are full of cocktail recipe ideas and specific product information.” 3. Menus, recipes and displays Several brands recommended

“Aperitivo culture has become more widely

producing both its eponymous bitter liqueur, as

appreciated – now a prevalent drinking

well as Aperol, among the most popular liquor

menus and point-of-sale displays.

occasion among both traditional and western

brands of the 21st century. For Marketing

It’s a well-worn tactic, but one

culture across the globe,” Cunningham said.

Director, Paolo Marinoni, it’s the focus on

that continues to get results.

30 | National Liquor News

providing how-to guides, cocktail

Retailing Aperitivo

drinks specific to this category that makes

can perhaps give aperitifs a cutting edge

the aperitivo occasion so special.

when it comes to connecting with drinkers.

Aperol Sunny, lively and social,

“Consumers are wanting to try

Galliano is one of the category’s historic

something different to wine to pair with

brands – originating as a medicinal tonic

drink to bring a touch

meals,” Marinoni says.

Aperol Spritz is the perfect

developed in the late 19th century. The

of Italian style to any

“Refreshing alternatives like Aperol Spritz

brand now boasts a range of aperitif

occasion. Aperol Spritz

or Campari and soda are a popular choice

options, including a vanilla-flavoured

is best enjoyed during

to pair with a meal. They are also popular as

expression, expanding the opportunity of

aperitivo, Italy’s iconic

they are often lower in ABV and have healthier

the aperitivo occasion.

perceptions than other choices.”

“The Galliano selection celebrates a

And as Marinoni reminds us, for some

range of occasions, whether it’s Galliano

people, aperitivo has always been an

L’Aperitivo stirred gently with a selection

important occasion.

of light fruits, citrus and bubble, or Galliano

“The aperitivo ritual has been celebrated

Ristretto for an indulgent, rich Espresso

in Italy and across Europe for well over 100

Martini – there’s a place for Galliano in

years – it is culturally embedded in society

every occasion,” Cunningham explains.

and daily or weekly routines.”

Jonathan Howells, Group Marketing

take on happy hour. Enjoy your own aperitivo moment by sharing an Aperol Spritz with friends and food that complements Aperol’s bittersweet notes. Drinkers can scan the QR code on the back of the bottle and explore

Manage for Amber Beverage Australia

an interactive augmented

Liquid history

(which distributes Fernet-Branca) echoes

reality experience showcasing how to

Indeed, the tradition that Marinoni describes

the sentiments of Cunningham and

create the perfect Aperol Spritz.

Marinoni and believes the spread of aperitivo culture is joined by a deepening understanding of drinks suitable for the occasion. “Internationally we are seeing both a growth in understanding of aperitivo as an occasion and greater consumer understanding of the diversity of drinks that fit into the aperitivo category,” Howells commented. “Specifically with reference to Fernet-Branca, we are seeing more consumers who enter the category through more bittersweet expressions looking to move further into the world of amari and appreciate the idiosyncrasy of styles such as Fernet.” Fernet-Branca remains family-owned and is one of the oldest brands in the category, having first been produced in Milan in 1845. As Howells explains, effective communication of these stories is a priority. “We as brand owners obviously need to make sure our stories are well-understood, and primarily that is our responsibility,” he said.

Capturing current trends For Howells, there’s a clear link between historic aperitif brands, and the drinks trends of 2022. “Premiumisation and mindful drinking are also trends that grew strongly over the past few years, with people tending to drink less quantity but of a better drink,” he said. Gilchrist concurs, saying: “As consumers explore lower alcohol options, aperitif-style drinks are gaining popularity, especially among millennials.” May 2022 | 31

Retailing Aperitivo

Amaro Montenegro Created in 1885, Amaro Montenegro is a blend of 40 hand selected

The desire for authenticity and high quality among younger drinkers leaves the aperitif category auspiciously positioned to attract a new market of consumers. “We want retailers to be able to articulate how this historic, unique drink fits into the day to day life of their consumers, as this advocacy is ultimately what will drive more people to try amari,” Howells said. Yet this weight of tradition does not mean there is no room for innovation. At the other end of the spectrum is Hotel Starlino, a recent addition to the aperitif category, which is imported by Stuart Alexander & Co. As Liquor Marketing Manager, Gemma Eastwood, says, Hotel Starlino is hoping to capture the attention of drinkers with a lighter style, and natural fruit distillates designed for the modern palate. “Starlino takes cues from the golden age of aperitivos with its ‘art nouveau’

botanicals and the recipe remains unchanged, unmistakable, with its unique flavour developing a prestigious reputation around the world. There are six distinct and unmistakable aromatic notes of Amaro Montenegro – bitter and herbaceous; spicy and floral; sweet and roasted; fresh and balsamic; fruity and vegetal; warm and tropical. The final and fundamental element of this unique amaro is called the

inspired bottles and labels, then gives the range a modern twist with the use of

‘premio.’ Created by the Master

on-trend fruit flavours,” she said.

Herbalist, the premio, meaning ‘prize’ in Italian, is a micro-

A drink for all seasons

distillate that creates the unrivalled, delicate,

Spritz-style drinks, which hero aperitifs, remain enormously popular during the

complexity of Amaro Montenegro.

Australian summer and are widely understood by drinkers. However, as Eastwood explained, there is work to be done by both producers and retailers to communicate the potential of aperitifs in the cooler months. “Consumers understand the spritz concept very well, but are less aware of the versatility of aperitifs in winter,” she said. Retailers can help drinkers understand how to drink their favourite aperitif in winter, through the use of simple recipe cards or product bundles. “That’s the beauty of the aperitivo – it doesn’t have to be over-complicated,” Eastwood adds. “A simple serve of vermouth with tonic of your choice or Prosecco and soda plus a twist of citrus is enough to satisfy.” This combination of adaptability and simplicity is also touched upon by Joe Molinari of Combined Wines, distributors of brands like Capo Amaro, Strega and Santa Maria al Monte. “Although aperitifs are being used more and more as cocktail ingredients, in winter, they are meant be drunk straight,” Molinari says. 32 | National Liquor News

Italys most popular digestive

Vecchio Amaro del Capo Vecchio Amaro del Capo is a herb-based liqueur, fruit of an ancient recipe from the Caffo family. Amaro del Capo is made using more than 29 beneficial and medicinal herbs, flowers, fruits and roots from the rich land of Calabria. Enjoy Vecchio Amaro del Capo ice cold (suggested serving temperature -20) to enhance flavours and scents of the herbs in the liqueur, or in long drinks and cocktails. Due to the high quality of the raw materials and the expertise of the Master Distillers, Caffo family products have received many awards and

“The sector is growing more and more every year because of its versatility.” Surveying the category at large, Sophie Smallwood, Events Manager for Beam Suntory, said: “Competition is hot for the conventional liquids linked to the aperitif category.” Nevertheless, with the revival of classic cocktails an ongoing trend in the drinks

recognitions over the years at prestigious international competitions. Amaro del Capo has been awarded with a Platinum Medal at the SIP Awards 2017, and a Gold Medal at Concuour Mondial de Bruxelles in

industry, aperitifs are well-placed to take advantage as more and more traditional cocktails

2010 and 2014, Internationaler Spititousen

come back into the limelight.

Wettdewerb 2014 and 2016, Selections

As Cunningham says: “Cocktails are evolving year on year, as are the interests,

Mondiales des Spiriteux Canada 2011, and Wine Enthusiast 94.

preferences and tastes of consumers.” Howells also believes that “the unique nature of products such as Fernet-Branca provide bartenders with an instant means of adding complexity to the profile of other classic cocktails.” He points to the Milano-Torino (or ‘Mi-To’), one of the oldest aperitif cocktails, as a possible winter option for drinkers. This cocktail combines Milanese liqueurs (such as Campari or Fernet-Branca) with Italian vermouth from Turin. Somewhat Negroniadjacent, this is a winter-warmer that is perfect for introducing the aperitivo occasion as the temperatures dip. Cunningham outlined a possible avenue for aperitif brands and retailers in the winter months, playing into the after-dinner, or ‘digestivo’ occasion. One suggestion for this occasion using Galliano is the ‘Hot Shot’, a drink created

Select Aperitivo Select Aperitivo was created in 1920 in the Castello district of Venice and soon became a favourite, establishing Select Aperitivo as the star of the Venetian cocktail scene. Its made by blending 30 botanicals, including juniper berries and rhubarb roots that contribute to creating a sophisticated and

to warm up winter nights in the frosty regions of Sweden, and an alternative to one of

approachable bittersweet flavour.

Australia’s preferred ‘digestif ’ cocktails, the Espresso Martini.

Rhubarb roots are macerated

Cunningham said: “The Hot Shot involves gentle layering of 15ml Galliano Vanilla,

artisanal mastery to give the product its

15ml hot espresso and 15ml cream.” Ultimately though, aperitifs will always be intrinsically linked to the tradition from which they were born, the ‘original happy hour’ of the aperitivo occasion. Indeed, Howells believes that the eventual success of the category in the winter months depends upon the success of selling the occasion of aperitivo to drinkers. “The best strategy would be to educate consumers and remind them of what aperitivo stands for: preparing for a big meal, with great company around them,” Howells said. “Isn’t that exactly what we do in winter time?” 34 | National Liquor News

individually and carefully processed with

intense bitter note. Juniper berries are macerated and extracted so their fresh, resinous notes add a strong structure and balance to the bitter, making it perfect for mixing. Select Aperitivo is characterised by a sophisticated aromatic profile and well-balanced bittersweet taste.

Imported and International Beer

A window to the world Provenance, authenticity and diversity prove to be determining factors for the imported and international beer category, as Seamus May explores.

After two years of travel disruption, borders have

Quirini, Owner and Managing Director of

reopened and Australians are slowly beginning to

international beer specialist distributor, Empire

return to the piazzas of Europe, the dive-bars of

Liquor, has highlighted.

America and the beach clubs of Asia.

“Imported beers are still as important as ever,

It is within these venues that overseas travellers

especially as Australians are longing to relive their last

have forged the memories that keep them returning

overseas visit and good times in a beer hall, ancient

to imported and international beers, long after they

English pub or Belgian town square,” Quirini says.

have touched down in Australia. During the pandemic years, and with continuing reticence among would-be travellers, imported beers

His sentiments are echoed by Richard Kelsey, Cofounder and Director of leading e-commerce beer retailer, Beer Cartel.

have had a crucial role to play. For many drinkers,

“We’re seeing the growth among traditional Belgian

these beers have represented a form of ‘safe escapism’

and German breweries. These are largely based around

for Aussies eager to connect with memories their

brands and styles people have previously experienced

previous voyages.

in Australia or overseas that they’re seeking out again,” he said.

Imported beer, important beer This shared experience is something that Brenton 36 | National Liquor News

“COVID and the inability to travel overseas may have had some impact on increased demand for these

“Imported beers are still as important as ever, especially as Australians are longing to relive their last overseas visit. Brenton Quirini Owner and Managing Director Empire Liquor

Imported and International Beer

beers, providing a window to places people

“We previously had a big focus on

expanded company at the top of the US

hop-forward beers from the USA, [but] as

craft beer market in sales volume and

In terms of beer marketing, this tactic is

we’ve seen the quality of comparable beers

growth, with an extraordinary line up of

nothing new. Corona’s famous ‘From Where

produced in Australia increase, we’ve seen a

brands including Voodoo Ranger, along

You’d Rather Be’ campaign lives long in the

huge slowing down in this space,” Kelsey says.

with Fat Tire, Two Hearted Ale, and

memory, and continues to be referenced by

One brand hoping to buck this trend is

the brand’s importer, Carlton and United

Voodoo Ranger IPA, produced by American

“Given how difficult international travel

Breweries (CUB).

brewery New Belgium Brewing, and

has been in recent times, trying beers

couldn’t travel to.”

Oberon Ale.”

Kym Bonollo, Head of International

imported to Australia by Lion. New Belgium

from some of America’s most famous craft

Brands for CUB, believes the company’s

itself began after its founders took a bicycle

breweries is a fantastic way to stay in touch

broad range of international beers leaves it

tour of Belgian breweries.

with beer trends around the world.”

well-placed to capitalise on the desire for escapism among drinkers. “Our international portfolio allows consumers the opportunity to experience

Lion’s Brand Ambassador for Voodoo Ranger, Johnny Day, believes that the beer’s

A taste of tradition

strong performance in the United States will

Nevertheless, there are certain traditional

translate to sales in Australia.

overseas beer varieties and brands that

a taste of escapism, whether it be Japanese

“Voodoo’s focus on big flavourful IPAs

continue to resonate strongly with Australian

discovery through Asahi Super Dry, the

has seen great success in the US, placing it

drinkers. In some cases, similar products

Italian lifestyle through Peroni or the beaches

as the number one IPA,” says Day.

made in Australia prove less popular than

of Mexico with Corona,” Bonnollo said.

So far, Day has been proven correct,

their overseas counterparts.

Yet there’s more to this phenomenon

with the 6.8 per cent ABV Voodoo Ranger

“When the traditional European styles

than pure emotion – Quirini and Kelsey’s

clearing the 200,000 litre mark for Australian

are produced locally, even when they are

observations are borne out in the statistics.

sales earlier in the year.

well made, the demand is significantly

According to analysis shared with

Lion Little World Beverages (Lion’s global

National Liquor News by CUB, imported

craft arm) acquired New Belgium Brewing in

beer continues to account for one in every

2019, and followed this purchase by picking

six dollars spent on all beer in Australia,

up Bell’s Brewery, based in Michigan.

contributing some $1.1 billion in retail sales per annum.

lower,” Kelsey says. Bonollo believes this is down to the narratives that certain brands possess. “We think that the defining point of

According to Day, “the combination

difference for international beers are the

of Bell’s and New Belgium places the

stories around those brands, their overseas

And Cam Pearce, Director of Marketing and Innovation for Coopers, which imports brands like Carlsberg, Sapporo and Yebisu, says the closure of travel helped produce strong growth for these brands. “During 2020 and 2021, at a time when international travel was halted, Sapporo experienced double-digit sales growth, and rose to become one of the fastest growing premium international beer brands in Australia,” Pearce said.

The craft beer challenge There’s no doubt that the recent explosion in craft beer means that there are more home-grown products for Aussie consumers to enjoy than ever before, and this has had an impact on the popularity of certain imported beers. May 2022 | 37

Imported and International Beer

Beyond the imported beer fridge Brands recommend innovative tactics to capitalise on the unique opportunities of imported beer. Celebrate national days “Not hiding from the culture the international beer category brings to different markets is a great way to attract more attention to international beer products. Celebrating a national day, sporting event or putting cultural nuances forward as part of the in-store

provenance, commitment to quality and history

Lager remains king

adds a degree of romance and appeal that builds

It is an inescapable truth that the imported beer

in premium value,” Bonnollo said.

category remains dominated by ‘bigger brand’

point of difference.” - Johnny Day, Lion.

“These stories give the shopper/consumer a

lagers, from the likes of Corona, Peroni and Asahi,

taste of distant and diverse cultures, a sense of

all of which are distributed in Australia by CUB.

discovery that you would get from travelling

CUB’s Category Manager, Rebekah Healy,

to those destinations and experiencing it

was on-hand to explain the leading trends in the

all firsthand.”

imported beer category.

For Quirini, “the unique qualities of many

“Lager remains the most popular style across

imports, including trappist, wheat, pils, stouts

both Australian and international beers,” said Healy.

and ales are not easy to replicate.”

“There’s also a trend towards the larger format

communication is a great way to create a

Treat it like a wine list “Retailers should treat this category like a restaurant considers a wine list – interest, balance, value and consumer satisfaction. Having a ‘Category

This difficulty in replication is not just down

(500ml) cans, which are driving significant

Champion’ who knows

to the particular ambience of the pub in which

growth for the segment, up 15 per cent on the

imported beer, styles and

drinkers first sampled the beer, as Quirini

previous year (adding $11.6m) and have gained

how they differ from local

explained. It’s a result of “many factors including

share from six per cent to eight per cent of all

products can contribute a

but not limited to, yeast strains, raw ingredients,

international beer value.

great deal.” - Brenton Quirini,

equipment and in many cases generations of history and experience.” In particular, Kelsey points to the increasing popularity of traditional Belgian and German

“However, the stubby is still king here, making up 84 per cent of all international beer value, which is ahead of the beer category average for stubbies at 53 per cent share.”

Empire Liquor. Tap into communities Certain brands have historic connections that retailers

styles including hefeweizens, helles or pale

Coopers is hoping to take advantage of the

lagers, pilsners, dark lagers, strong Belgian ales

trend toward larger cans, introducing a 500ml

example, Carlsberg and

and trappist style tripels.

Sapporo can in late 2021.

soccer fans.

“These traditional styles have had their beer

As Pearce said: “Bigger cans in smaller pack

recipes honed over decades, and in some cases,

sizes offer a strong value proposition for those

centuries,” Kelsey adds.

looking to try new beers or purchase premium

Traditional imported beer is an area where

products for occasions.

retailers can have an edge over the on-premise,

“The single can offering of Sapporo in the

as venues are less likely to have such offerings

iconic 650ml silver steel can is an example

– particularly in bulk keg format.

of this.”

38 | National Liquor News

might not be aware of, for

“Carlsberg’s strong association with world football is also attracting consumers and creating opportunities to align the brand with communities.” - Cam Pearce, Coopers.

Australian Spirits

A spirited country Australian spirits are enjoying strong momentum right now, so Brydie Allen investigated what’s behind this trajectory to find areas of opportunity for retail.

It was only a handful of years ago that Australia

Blake Vanderfield-Kramer, Founder of

had just a handful of distilleries to enjoy. Today,

local eau de vie brand Feels Botanical, also

Premiumisation and an appreciation for

there are hundreds, big and small, dotted

sees that growth opportunity, and likens it to

craft are a couple of elements that can also

across our great vast continent, delivering

what other sectors have already experienced.

claim responsibility for this preference shift.

internationally renowned spirits that continue

“I think we will see a boom in Australian

“Consumers are rewarding themselves

manufacturers and brands, as we have seen

with high quality spirits that help elevate

to excite consumers the world over.

but there is definitely more behind it.

And the sector is not finished yet. Despite

within the wine and beer categories,” he said.

their drinking experience, whether they’re

the popularity explosion in recent years,

Brendan Moynihan, Marketing Director

sipping whisky neat or stirring it down

Australian spirits are still accounting for a

at Starward Distillery, also sees this, and

in classic cocktails. Now more than ever,

relatively small proportion of spirits bought

said: “The Australian spirits category is on

consumers are willing to reach into their

and consumed locally. Considering the

an exciting trajectory which continues to go

pockets if it means they are supporting local

incredibly high quality of these products, this

from strength to strength.”

brands, and quality products with engaging

points to a huge opportunity for local retailers. “At the moment, Australian craft spirits

stories to tell,” said Moynihan.

Spirited growth

“It is important that Australian distilleries

amount to less than one per cent of the spirits

“For me, Australian drinkers are driving the

continue to produce approachable high-

consumed in Australia, in comparison to

growth of Australian spirits. Aussie drinkers

quality products to recruit a new consumer.”

international markets, we’re informed this

are choosing local in every category where it

When Syme was asked what is setting

is usually 10 per cent. So, there is massive

is available,” said Sebastian Reaburn, Master

Aussie spirits apart from international

opportunity to grow the segment, and

Distiller for Top Shelf Group, maker of

products right now, he also said quality

for consumers to support local product,”

Grainshaker Vodka and NED Whisky.

was key.

said Cameron Syme, Master Distiller and

Reaburn is certainly right there, as local

“I was judging the World Gin Awards

Founder of Limeburners, Giniversity, Tiger

consumers continue to place an every-

recently, and a fellow judge who is a gin

Snake and Dugite in WA, and a recent

growing emphasis on products that are

distiller from the UK said that Australia is

inaugural inductee into the Australian

closer to home. The pandemic is one thing

making the best gins in the world and is the

Distillers Hall of Fame.

that is often credited with this movement,

country to try to match,” he said.

40 | National Liquor News

Australian Spirits

The quality of the liquid itself is just part of it though – consumers are also looking to connect with other premium cues of the wider brands too. An example from Reaburn is about transparency and authenticity. “People want to connect with producers, they want to know who, where and from what their spirits are made,” he said. Vanderfield-Kramer noted this was especially prevalent in younger adult consumers, an important thing to note. “Half the Australian drinking population will be Gen Z or younger Millennials by 2026 and they are craving variety and choice,” he said. Australian spirits certainly deliver on the need for premium variety, tapping into drinkers’ desire to experiment. Jon Lioulios, Director of South Australia’s 36 Short Distillery, said: “Supporting local plays such an important role within Australia and we’re finding that customers really enjoy experimenting and finding new ways to drink premium Australian spirits with their friends and family.” Vanessa Wilton, Co-founder and Marketing Manager at Sydney’s Manly Spirits Co., believes it’s easy for drinkers to do this right now, and said: “Consumers are spoiled for choice in quality Australian spirits across multiple categories. “With an increase in curiosity and an excitement to find and share the next big thing, we are seeing big boosts in flavoured gins/spirits.”

Make the most of Aussie spirits Here are four top retail tips collated from producers in this story: 1. Create an ‘Australian spirits zone’ as an in-store destination to hero local distillers. Keep control of this space without the use of plannograms, and cycle stock seasonally to showcase more products. 2. Contact your suppliers to find out their stories so you can communicate them to customers. This will help drinkers connect more with local brands. 3. Do your research – know who you’re supporting and their standards. If they are a member of the Australian Distillers Association, they will follow an industry code of conduct and comply with relevant laws. 4. Upsell customers from other options, including in the nonalcoholic space. Show them what variety exists and what is possible with Australian spirits of all kinds.

May 2022 | 41

Australian Spirits

A new taste of local, without the alcohol Australian made and owned brand, Naked Life, has built on the raving success of its non-alcoholic cocktail cans with the expansion into the bottled non-alcoholic spirits sector. The new Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spirits range is crafted with distilled

The innovation nation

Pillars’ new Yuzu Gin, Manly Spirits’ Lilly

One of the great Australian spirit success

Pilly Pink Gin or a number of local Shiraz

of 700ml bottles will include non-alcoholic

stories is Four Pillars from Victoria, which

or rosé wine gin combinations, for example.

spirits such as London Dry, Italian

has just opened its brand new distillery

Gregor said: “The Aussie distilling scene

Aperitivo, Veneto Spritz, Tennessee Malt,

in its home of Healesville after a $7m

is red hot right now; there are more than

Scottish Malt, Caribbean Blanco and

investment. According to Co-founder Stu

200 distilleries making gin and so many of

Caribbean Spiced, all perfect for crafting

Gregor, one of the things that sets both

them are absolutely world class.

non-alcoholic versions of the cocktails we

Four Pillars and the wider local spirits

know and love.

scene apart right now is innovation.

botanicals with no artificial flavours or colours, and is low in calories. The range

Naked Life is aiming for this new range to further expand its breadth of offer and build on the incredible success of the RTD range, which sold 2.5 million cans over its first seven months, and is a leader in the space overall, with a market share of 60 per cent in the non-alcoholic RTD cocktail sector in grocery.

botanicals like lemon myrtle, finger limes,

“We’re known as a country of

Davidson plums, Tasmanian mountain

innovation, a country of produce,” he said.

pepper... the list just goes on and on.

“The thing that sets us apart at Four

Nowhere tastes like Australia! Aussie gins

Pillars I guess is a relentless pursuit of

are growing faster, at almost double the

improvement and innovation. We’re

pace of all other gins in a market where

constantly experimenting with new

gin is growing incredibly quickly.”

flavours and combinations.” As Moynihan said, this is growing the appeal of the sector at many levels.

But there is also now more and more innovation across the board too, both in categories like whisky and rum, which are

“Australian brands are not afraid to push

tipped to grow at the rate that gin has, and also

the boundaries whilst highlighting the best

in emerging categories where producers are

of what we have to offer, creating an appeal

reinventing spirits with an Australian twist.

to both local and international audiences,” he said.

Some examples can be found in NED Whisky’s Sour Mash SKU, alongside Top

Syme said the unique abilities of

Shelf ’s upcoming foray into the agave

Australian spirits to explore in new and

sector; 36 Short’s handcrafted take on the

unusual ways has certainly served the sector

Eastern European spirit of Rakia; non-

well, and fostered this innovative approach.

alcoholic spirits created by non-alcoholic

“There has always been a trend in

distillers like Naked Life and also extending

pushing boundaries, incorporating more

lines from existing alcoholic brands like

unique Australian botanicals, and even

Manly Spirits; and a focus on the eau de

green ants in gin, to using Australian

vie category from Feels Botanical.

hardwoods in barrels. Australia’s laws

At the heart of these boundary-pushing

around spirit definitions give more room

products, and the wider Australian spirits

for manoeuvring and developing great

industry, is flavour experimentation.

spirits with unique tastes,” Syme said.

Lioulios noted: “The liquor industry is

Gin is a category of Australian spirit that

always screaming for more, and we truly

is known to have started a lot of innovation,

love experimenting with different flavour

through the use of native local botanicals and

combinations at our distillery.

other interesting flavour infusions, like Four 42 | National Liquor News

“We have some amazing native

“We’re passionate about quality

Australian Spirits

Introducing NED Sour Mash Australian Whisky A whisky for all occasions, NED is a clean, smooth and powerful whisky – a whisky that uses the best of bourbon and single malt production to create something quintessentially Aussie. Distilled from a mash bill that is predominately corn, with supporting wheat and malted barley, all of the grains are Australian grown and fermented using lautering and sour mash techniques. Matured in American Oak, Melbourne’s dynamic climate provides the perfect stage for NED to develop into a bold, rich finished whisky. The new make spirit showcases caramel, dark chocolate and

ingredients and believe that’s why our spirits

David Andrew, Founder of Naked Life

provide a real point of difference to customers.

Non-Alcoholic Spirits, said: “The non-

Most of our ingredients are sourced from our

alcoholic trend is definitely very visible. IWSR

farm, otherwise we ensure to source it locally.

forecasts that the no and low alcohol volume

We have amazing produce that is grown all

in Australia will grow by +16 per cent 2020

around our distillery and this enables us to

to 2024. This is no different for spirits as we

experiment with different flavour profiles.”

see a continued interest from consumer (60

subtle vanilla, flavours checked in every run with all spirit cuts made by sensory assessment. Those aromas beautifully integrate with mocha and dried fruits when fully mature, the local grains giving a soft and viscous texture. Created for sharing, celebrating and

For Vanderfield-Kramer this is also a point

per cent of the consumers indicate to want to

enjoying whether that be neat

of difference, both with using Australian

drink less) and we see more brands launching

or mixed.

grapes and also interesting botanicals such

in the market.

as hemp (in Feels Botanical BASK) and horny goat weed (in Feels Botanical ROUSE).

“As Naked Life is Australian made and owned, the brand has been able to really

Reaburn added: “Our climate is unique, the

answer to the local consumer need which is

earth our raw materials are grown in is unique

a need for a non-alcoholic drink that looks

and that Australian want to never sit still and

and tastes like an alcoholic drink.”

forever innovate is entrenched in everything we

The future is certainly bright in a number

do. Right now there is a huge local movement;

of ways for local distillers, and its a future

people want local jobs, local farmers, local

they want to protect. Many of the brands

distillers. But it is more than that as well. People

in this story noted sustainability as a huge

want to connect with authentic spirits that are

point of focus for this year and beyond, as

made with care and passion.”

producers seek to up their environmental

The local movement is not only causing

credentials and get behind to ‘green

existing Australian distillers to innovate, but

movement.’ As the industry finds new

also innovating new companies into existence

avenues to thrive in, this will become even

to meet emerging trends, such as that of no

more important, driven both by consumers

and low alcohol.

and the industry itself.

44 | National Liquor News


Non-alcoholic RTD brand in retail* expands into mixology with a non-alcoholic Spirits range

Following the success of Naked Life's award-winning non-alcoholic cocktails range, selling over 2.5 million cans in the past 7 months, the ready-to-drink market leader is now launching a range of non-alcoholic spirits in 700ml bottles. The range of seven spirits has been expertly crafted to deliver unparalleled authenticity in flavour combinations for a classic cocktail experience. This addition creates your venue’s non-alcoholic portfolio, covering the most popular cocktails through to a ready-to-drink dine-in or take-away range. Available from major wholesalers nationwide. *Data source: Quantium P26W ending 05/04/2022.

Crafted with Distilled Botanicals Non-Alcoholic

Made & Owned in Australia

Low in Calories


Family Wineries

r i a f f a y l i m a f A Andrew Graham analyses the continued success of family-led businesses and their impact on Australia’s wine industry.

46 | National Liquor News

It’s impossible to understate the importance of

economies of scale and global brand recognition,

family companies to Australia’s wine industry.

surely it should be corporations dominating the top

But sure, let’s look at the numbers. According to

20, not the other way around?

the latest Wine Australia estimates, there are 2156

I went to the source for an answer, hitting up a

wineries in the country (and 6000 growers), most of

few members of some of our most important family

which are family businesses. That trend continues all

wineries to work out what it is that really helps them

the way up, from boutique to large producers, with

not just survive, but thrive.

more than half of our top 20 largest wine producers (by revenue) all family-owned and operated.

It’s all about patience

It doesn’t stop there either, with many in that top

The benefits of a long view - that’s the most obvious

20 list (from the Wine Industry Directory 2021) also

answer as to why family wineries are more succesful.

multi-generational businesses - including Tahbilk,

It’s the benefit of looking beyond immediate

Brown Family Wine Group and Yalumba, who each

shareholder returns and instead gazing far into the

boast histories of more than a century.

future to spot a path, even if it means a few lean years.

But have you ever really wondered why? What

As Caroline Brown, from the venerable Brown

is it about family wine businesses that make them

Family Wine Group (Australia’s seventh largest wine

so successful, and for so long? Especially in a world

company in 2021), explains, time works differently

where larger corporations enjoy much greater

in a family winery.

Family Wineries

“We’re not in it for the quick wins. Patience is the

Calabria-Staltare made a similar point by saying:

key to our success (for over 130 years), and from this,

“There’s something about family businesses that bring

the rewards do come,” she said.

the concept of a ‘higher purpose’ to the forefront of

Elizabeth Calabria-Staltare, of Calabria Family

how we operate.

Wines (Australia’s 13th largest wine company in

“Our name is on every bottle of wine that comes

2021) agrees, and said: “The decisions we make in

out of the winery, so it’s very important the wines live

business today have a long-lasting impact on future

up to the high standards we aim to achieve.”

generations to come.

The sentiment doesn’t go unnoticed in the trade

“Our actions today will affect our children and our

either, as Will Figueira from Wine Selectors explained.

grandchildren when and if they decide to step into

“Being family, you can’t be more tied into

the business, so while we need to make decisions that make ‘business sense’, we also need to factor in the long term impacts as well.”

something - it’s blood,” he said. “You can’t run away when things go bad. You are often tied to it for life, so you have to stick, and tough

The other undeniable motivator for any family

it out. This creates many things - pride, pressure,

winery is the sense of responsibility when something

responsibility, accountability… all of it helps family

feels like it is ‘yours’. Mitchell Taylor of Taylors Wines

wineries be enduring success stories.”

(Australia’s 12th largest wine company in 2021) puts it succinctly.

Calabria family

It’s also about culture

“When your family name is on the building, the

It’s easy to explain away some of these family’s success

bottle and the letterhead, it results in an enthusiastic

stories by focusing on a sense of duty. But the most

obsession with quality and a respect of the heritage

successful producers also foster a culture beyond the

that the family has built up over many years,” he said.

names on the door.

Taylors vineyards

“When your family name is on the building, the bottle and the letterhead, it results in an enthusiastic obsession with quality and a respect of the heritage that the family has built up over many years.” Mitchell Taylor Taylors Wines

May 2022 | 47

Family Wineries

Take Yalumba (Australia’s ninth largest wine company in 2021) and the Hill-Smith family for an example. Here, the family places an emphasis on treating employees more like family, with the result a winery with a legendary low staff turnover. Indeed, when the latest member of the family Jess Hill-Smith entered the business in 2019, it was a surreal experience “It felt like coming home. There were so many people around the winery who were there when I was born. They were talking about meeting me first as a baby. I have to say that this is what makes us unique. I wouldn’t be here as the sixth generation in the business unless we didn’t have those incredible people working alongside the family,” she said. While Hill-Smith family members are encouraged to work in the business, there’s also a rule that states they must work elsewhere for at least five years before they can apply for a role within the company - a move widely respected for creating sense of real-

Yalumba Managing Director, Nick Waterman, and Robert Hill-Smith

world grounding.

Spotlight: McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate

The same rule applies at fellow First Family of Wine member, Brown Family Wine Group, with good effect. But it goes deeper than that. One of the benefits of finally entering the business

McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate 10 Year

for these next generation wine producers is that working with your family can be

Old Tawny is fragrant and fresh with oak

fun, as Brown explained.

complexity. Displaying obvious aged wood

“I love working alongside my best mates (sisters and cousins) and the way we

complexing flavours with raisins and toffee

work together and bounce ideas off one another is probably quite unique,” she said.

notes also present, the wine has spent a minimum age of 10 years in small oak casks. These years spent maturing, combined with six generations of fortified winemaking experience, ensures that the wine is consistent in its style and quality every year. Discover the new look packaging in-store soon. Visit for more details on the Hanwood Estate Premium Fortified range.

“No doubt we drive each other nuts at times but knowing what each other is thinking probably helps too!” For Casella Family Brands (Australia’s third largest winemaker in 2021), the sense of family permeates the business too, with a stated belief that ‘a company built on family values fosters a workforce of dedicated and resilient people.’

Innovation and adaptation is the ultimate answer It’s no coincidence that Australia’s most successful family wineries are also among the most innovative in the country too, with a storied history of bold moves (which don’t always work out) that simply wouldn’t fly in a larger corporation. Casella is a perfect place to start. We all know the legacy of Yellow Tail, which singlehandedly launched bright and cheerful Australian wines into millions of affordable wine glasses around the world. But what’s fascinating is how they’ve carried that brand forward, now featuring new products like Yellow Tail Pure Bright, a ‘lighter in calories and alcohol’ range, and the latest to market, and Yellow Tail Whiskey Barrel, aged in Australian Whiskey barrels. It’s a move straight out of the big brand playbook, and it’s hard to argue against. On the topic of ‘lighter things’, the no and low alcohol category is where many of these family businesses are investing their effort. Brown is especially excited.

48 | National Liquor News



The Signature is a masterfully crafted and truly remarkable wine. But it would not be complete without the signature of an individual who has contributed greatly to the life and soul of Yalumba. We proudly dedicate the 2018 vintage to Managing Director, Nick Waterman.

Embrace the Magnificent Unknown

Family Wineries

Brown family

“Have you tried our Prosecco Ultra Low?” she asks. “The no and low alcohol space (this wine has 0.5 per cent ABV) is really growing and we think this wine really is the best tasting in the market. “We’ve retained the very small percentage of alcohol (technically we can call it zero alcohol, however we’ve chosen to be very transparent) to retain the flavour and it’s really paid off. This is a really exciting space for us.” You don’t have to look far to see how family wineries have helped colour the wine landscape too. At De Bortoli (Australia’s sixth largest wine company in 2021), the launch of the Rosé Revolution a decade ago helped to drive our rosé styles in a (welcome) dry, pale and savoury direction. Or for the grandfather of innovation, look at Angove Family Winemakers (Australia’s 14th largest wine company in 2021) who pioneered the wine cask in 1965.

“We’re not in it for the quick wins. Patience is the key to our success (for over 130 years), and from this, the rewards do come.” Caroline Brown Brown Family Wine Group

Family wineries, perhaps by nature of that long term view, are typically at the forefront of sustainability measures too. Taylors, for example, was the first in the world to launch a carbon-neutral wine range (80 Acres) and has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science to help save the Endangered White’s Seahorse from extinction. Tahbilk (Australia’s 11th largest wine company in 2021) is now carbon neutral, and is growing closer to ‘natural’ carbon neutrality thanks to decades of tree planting. Of course, it’s not all about a working green gauge. The other element for

Bill Calabria

enduring family winery success is about adaptation and embracing change. For the Brown and Hill-Smith families, it has meant buying up vineyards and wineries in Tasmania with an eye on a climate-change affected future. For the Calabria family, it has meant consolidating their footprint with the acquisition of another legendary family business, McWilliam’s Wines, in 2021. The family is also broadening its range of wholesale partnerships through the Vintners & Co. Merchants portfolio (including availability of the Piedmont original Fontanafredda).

Who do you trust? Finally, if there was a single reason why family wineries have a natural edge, it comes down to a question of trust from consumers and customers. According to the giant Edelman Trust Barometer (which surveys 36,000+ respondents), family businsseses are more trusted (66 per cent) than public (52 per cent) or state-owned (46 per cent) companies. A study published in the Psychology & Marketing Journal dug deeper, theorising that consumers feel this way because they “subconsciously take their positive emotions for their own families and project that onto the family-owned business and its products.” Of course, this doesn’t add up to instant success for family wineries, but it does suggest that when it comes to the crunch of what wine to pull off a shelf, family wineries enjoy an edge. Couple that with a focus on culture, innovation and family values, and it’s little wonder that top 20 list looks like a who’s-who of wine industry families. 50 | National Liquor News

Since first establishing their vines in 1877, McWilliam’s

Classic (5-Year), Grand (10-Year) pictured above,

have been celebrated as pioneers of Australia’s

Rare (20-Year) and Very Rare (30-Year) Aged

fortified wines. Working with carefully selected

Tawny, showcasing some of the finest and distinct

parcels of aged stock from the winery’s barrel

fortified releases in McWilliam’s winemaking history.

collection for these new releases. Look out for the

For more details please contact your local Calabria Family Wines Group sales representative or customer service on 1800 800 584


Beer and Brewer’s expert panel has focused on midstrengths in its latest edition, reviewing a category that continues to evolve to meet Australian consumer tastes and lifestyles.




The Brew Review



What’s our Seasonal Focus? Mid-strengths

*Not all submissions to our tasting panel are featured here. This could be because we had too many to sample or the product did not meet our panel’s requirements. We are not in the business of running any one down, and if there is a chance to speak with a brewery about issues that may have arisen during a tasting, then we will endeavour to pass that information on in the interest of transparency.

The Panel Jono Outred, WA

Liam Pereira, NSW

Benji Bowman, NSW

Based in Margaret River, Jono is a beer writer that predominantly covers the South West of WA. He’s been involved in the state’s beer industry in various capacities since 2011.

Liam is the group venue manager for Sydney’s Batch Brewing Co. A Certified Cicerone® and BJCP judge, he was previously general manager of Sydney Beer Week.

With a background in Australian craft beer and cider, Benji is now part of the sales team at Capital Brewing in NSW where he leads the beer and quality training for the sales team.

David Ward, ACT Head of sales for BentSpoke Brewing Co and with over 10 years’ experience working in the craft beer industry, David is constantly on the lookout for new beers to try and trends to watch.

Scott Hargrave, NSW/QLD Scott is Balter Brewing’s multiaward winning head brewer and a regular on some of Australia’s and the world’s most prestigious judging panels including the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

Tina Panoutsos, VIC One of Australia’s leading beer judges, Tina is a beer sensory expert with over 30 years’ experience in the brewing industry in roles across technical and commercial functions.

Tiffany Waldron, VIC A Certified Cicerone® and Pink Boots President, Tiffany is focused on making changes in the world of beer through education and furthering beer culture beyond standard boundaries.

Justin Fox, VIC Currently head of sales at Bintani, Justin has had a long and decorated career in the beer industry – from the likes of heading up Colonial’s brewing to appearing on many a beer judging panel.

52 | National Liquor News

Rosemary Lilburne-Fini, NSW Now calling Sydney home, Certified Cicerone® Rosemary has spent the last five years working in premium beer outlets in both the on-premise and retail channels.

Josh Quantrill, NSW Currently Beerfarm’s head of sales, Josh is a Certified Cicerone® who’s had a long and varied beer career. He strives to help grow and expand the footprint of Australian craft beer.

Jake Brandish, WA Beer & Brewer’s HomeBrewer Editor, Jake has a post-grad Dip in Brewing, is a BJCP judge, has brewed commercially and is an all round beer geek.

Neal Cameron, NSW A champion of the industry, Neal, amongst many achievements, has built 20 breweries nationally with brewery supplier Brewtique plus was chief judge at the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Show.

Ian Kingham, NSW

Steve Brockman, SA

That Beer Bloke, Ian’s decorated beer career has included judging at the Australian Craft Beer Show, Royal Perth Beer Show and the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider Award.

After 10 years brewing in WA, the US and now SA, Steve consults for start-up breweries and passionately believes in beer education, both for drinkers and brewers alike.

Michael Capaldo, NSW

Briony Liebich, SA

National sales rep at Hop Products Australia, Michael is a qualified and experienced brewer and an accomplished beer judge (GABS, World Beer Cup, Indies, AIBA etc).

A Certified Cicerone® focussed on helping people boost their tasting skills, Briony led West End’s sensory program for 10 years and judges at national beer and cider awards.

Jamie Webb-Smith, NSW Previously a brewer at The Australian Brewery, Jamie is currently head brewer at Yulli’s Brews in Sydney. He’s a home brewer turned pro, who completed the NSW TAFE microbrewing course.

Vincent de Soyres, NSW As co-owner and head brewer at Frenchies Bistro & Brewery, Vince develops award winning brews that extend beyond the limits of traditional beer categories and styles. As published in Beer and Brewer Autumn 2022






























The Brew Review


Little Bang Little Banger

Moo Brew Session Ale

Dainton Brewing Major Tom

Sample 3/4 IPA

Fixation Brewing Obsession

ABV: 3.0% Style: Session Ale

ABV: 3.5% Style: Mid-strength Pale

ABV: 2.5% Style: New World IPA

ABV: 4.2% Style: Session IPA

ABV: 4.6% Style: Session IPA

A very pleasant fresh and vibrant example of a juicier style of session IPA that bursts with citrus and tropical fruit hop aroma and flavour, has a full and clean mouthfeel and low back-end bitterness. It has great balance with carbonation and in the overall finish and would make for a great smasher anywhere, anytime.

Food: Arancini

It might be low in ABV but the high level flavour and aroma wouldn’t be unusual in a full strength. Golden and bright with a thick white lasting head the aromas are of dank American hops while there’s great balance between the malts and hops. It’s noticeably bitter but far from offensive. The body is a little thin, it finishes dry and carbonation has some bite.

A masterclass of a classic WCIPA which excels in balance, big American hop character and bitterness yet is still crushable with very high drinkability. It’s pale gold and crystal clear with an off white head while big hop notes of pine and grapefruit lead aroma. Piney, resinous hop flavour with fruity back notes are met with big bready malts, notes of caramel and lingering bitterness.

Food: Cheese burger

Bright pale straw in colour with a lacing white head, there are sweet or honey-like aromas leading to flavours of slight malt sweetness backed with a balanced hop profile. It has a slightly thinner body as expected with medium carbonation. Overall very drinkable and a good option if you’re watching your alcohol intake.

Food: Bánh mì

A clear deep amber with solid off white foam, slight floral aromas play into rock melon and pithy citrus while biscuity malt weaves and darts with subtle stone fruit as it warms. Tart citrus fruit flavours are to the fore with a splash of pine and fresh cut grass that adds a green, clean dynamic as a counterpoint while light honeyed malt tones offer balance and contrast.

Food: Backyard BBQ

Food: A big juicy burger


















Bodriggy Brewing Bod Light

Moffat Beach Social Jam

Shelter Brewing XPA

Matilda Bay Redback Summer

Brick Lane Sunsetter

ABV: 4.0% Style: Low carb Lager

ABV: 3.5% Style: Mid-strength Pale

ABV: 3.5% Style: Mid-strength XPA

ABV: 4.7% Style: Wheat Beer

ABV: 4.6% Style: Ginger Beer

Beautiful in the glass, it displays prominent hop characters with grapefruit and both resinous and ripe tropical fruit taking charge. The slightly sweet, toasted malty palate provides some balance for the firm bitterness and lingering resinous, slightly peppery hop flavours. Champion Session Beer at last year’s Indies and will not disappoint.

Shelter’s mid-strength offering is a cleverly put together, hop-centric XPA that is ideal for anyone who likes lower alcohol beers, fully flavoured hoppy beers, or ideally, both! Pouring a burnt orange hue, tropical fruit aromas are abundant. The same flavours are evident on tasting and underpinned by a gentle bitterness, while the moderate body offers a lasting finish of fruity and herbaceous hops.

This is a very well made beer. Super refreshing and light but has a character that keeps you wanting more. Pale straw in colour with ever so slight haze and a thick white head there are some pleasant yeast esters present while the nice, bready malt flavours are quickly overshadowed by citrusy spice showcasing the yeast. It finishes dry with a light crisp body while carbonation is high.

Spicy flavours and aromas from QLD-sourced ginger make this a very light and refreshing entrant into the category. Pouring cloudy, almost pub squash-like, and with a light refreshing carbonation, this is well suited as a palate cleanser or for an all-day session. Served over ice Sunsetter could be equally enjoyed starting the day at a brunch as at sunset while overlooking the beach.

Food: Steamed mussels

Refreshment is the mission here and it’s achieved with aplomb and with more care and thought than many of its ilk. It’s super pale straw with a thin foam that dissipates as aroma offers faint bready malt with a touch of hop citrus and resin. Bready malt carries through and is met with slight estery yeast notes while spritzy citrus signals its obvious intentions of rapidly rehydrating.

Food: Hot dogs

Food: Spicy pizza moffatbeachbrewingco. beer

Food: Mild-spiced Asian

Food: Eggs benedict

May 2022 | 53

Wine Tasting Review

The Pinot G Panel This month our panel sipped and swirled through a range of Pinot Gris and Grigio, to find the standout wines across three price brackets.

Panels Picks

The Panel ➤

J ack Glover, Marketing Director, Accolade Wines

B rian Chase Olson, Director, Blend Public Relations

S abine Duval, Brand and Sales Manager, Hungerford Hill Wines

E d Peake, Key Account Manager, Penfolds

C hristine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group

A ndy Young, Associate Publisher, The Shout and Bars and Clubs

The System 95-100 Classic: an exceptional wine 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character 85-89 Very good: a wine with impressive qualities

54 | National Liquor News


Alma Mora

Trentham Estate

Hill Classic

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris


Region: Argentina

Region: Murray Darling

Pinot Gris

VIN: 2021 LUC: $12.90

VIN: 2021 LUC: $10.21

Region: Tumbarumba

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

VIN: 2021 LUC: $17.20

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Bacchus Wine Merchants

“More intensity on the nose. Quite pretty. White flowers. Good sugar and fat concentration. Punter friendly.” – Sabine Duval

“Generous value for money. Delicious varietal. Nashi pear and talc flavours jump out. Rich and fleshy, not too much sweetness.” – Ed Peake

Distributed by: Winestock

“Well rounded and delicious. Richness and complexity on the nose with notes of preserved lemon. Pears come through on the palate with fresh acidity to balance. Delightful finish.” – Ed Peake

Wine Tasting Review

LUC over $15 La Boheme Act


Three Pinot Grigio

Pinot Gris

Region: Yarra Valley

Region: Beechworth

VIN: 2021 LUC: $15.73

VIN: 2021 LUC: $21.50

Distributed by: De Bortoli

Distributed by: Samuel Smith and Son

“Bright and light, lovely nose of crisp green pear and citrus. Palate slightly short but still attractive, with balanced acid and weight.” – Ed Peake

“A delightfully approachable wine with some spice and the pear and apple characters that you want with a good Pinot G. Very well-balanced acidity that carries the fruit really well.” – Andy Young

“Many of the wines were made in a drink now ‘smashable’ style, perfect for picnics. They were either very simple or made with more concentration and texture.” Sabine Duval Brand and Sales Manager Hungerford Hill Wines


Small Victories

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris

Region: Eden Valley

Region: Adelaide Hills

VIN: 2021 LUC: $16.40

VIN: 2021 LUC: $17.20

Distributed by: Mezzanine

Distributed by: Twelve Bottles

The Fine Wine Specialists

“Classic, juicy, textured and concentrated. Fresh citrus and lemon rind make it a very refreshing wine.” – Brian Chase Olson

“Lemon, limes, honeydew and pear. Classic, bright and very concentrated.” – Brian Chase Olson

Food Pairing ➤

Pike and Joyce

Bay Of Fires

Beurre Bosc

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris

Region: Tasmania

Region: Adelaide Hills

VIN: 2021 LUC: $28.76

VIN: 2021 LUC: $17.96

Distributed by: Accolade

Distributed by:


Déjà Vu Wine Co.

“Incredibly well balanced. The ripeness is spot on with a great balance of acidity to support the crunchy green apple and pear flavours.” – Brian Chase Olson

“Lifted nose. Mouthfilling ripe pear and sweet apple on the palate. Good balance and has interest.” – Christine Ricketts

“ Grilled salmon with its fatty texture goes well with the complex acidity and fruit characters of these wines.” – Brian Chase Olson “ Thai or Vietnamese roast duck salad.” – Jack Glover “ Grigio goes wonderfully with seafood and antipasti, and Gris is a magic complement to any Asian inspired food with spice and chilli.” – Ed Peake “ Definitely a mix of light white seafood with the Grigio, and chicken and pork with the Gris.” – Christine Ricketts

May 2022 | 55

Wine Tasting Review

LUC $12-$15

“Gris or Grigio? Seems like not everyone understands the differences, with some Gris too crisp and some Grigio too rich and round, and this can confuse the customer.”

Giesen Estate

Dee Vine Estate

Pinot Gris

Nericon Pinot Grigio

Region: New Zealand

Region: Riverina

VIN: 2021 LUC: $14.62

VIN: 2021 LUC: $13.99

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Robert Oatley Vineyards

Dee Vine Estate

“Much more intense than others. Lovely primary fruit with the white flower spectrum.” – Sabine Duval

“Ripe and inviting nose with floral highlights. Balanced palate with slight tones of honey. Generous and delightful.” – Ed Peake

Ed Peake Key Account Manager Penfolds

Ara Single Estate

Pig In The House

Pinot Gris

Organic Pinot Gris

Region: Marlborough NZ

Region: Australia

VIN: 2021 LUC: $13.98

VIN: 2021 LUC: $14.35

Distributed by:

Distributed by: Veraison

Robert Oatley Vineyards

Wines (Sydney), Raw Wine and Beer Co (Melbourne), High

“Floral spice is overt and scented. Alert primary highlights with a spicy varietal signature. Long, with purity and energy.” – Jack Glover

Spirits Wholesale (QLD)

“Feminine and elegant. Nice finish.” – Sabine Duval

Editor’s Picks ➤

evil’s Corner Resolution D Pinot Gris 2021, Tasmania (Brown Family Wine Group) rtemis Piont Grigio A 2019, Southern Highlands (Artemis Wines) alumba Organic Pinot Y Grigio 2021, South Australia (Samuel Smith & Son) ojo Pinot Grigio 2020, M South Australia (Red+White) quealing Pig Pinot Gris S 2021, Marlborough NZ (Treasury Premium Brands)

56 | National Liquor News


La Maschera

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio

Region: Italy

Region: Limestone Coast

VIN: 2020 LUC: $14/94

VIN: 2021 LUC: $14.24

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Samuel Smith & Son

“Vibrant bright colour. Faint minerality. Crunchy acidity with a well balanced finish. Will be beautiful with seafood.” – Ed Peake

“Dry light body, balancing acidity and nice finish. Very easy to drink. Lovely blend of fruit to acid.” – Christine Ricketts

Wine Tasting Review

LUC under $12 Prima Alta

Jacob’s Creek Cool

Pinot Grigio

Harvest Pinot Grigio

Region: Italy

Region: South Eastern Australia

VIN: 2020 LUC: $11.83

VIN: 2021 LUC: $9.07

Distributed by:

Distributed by:

Déjà Vu Wine Co.

Pernod Ricard

Quick facts about Pinot Gris and Grigio ➤

“Rosewater and pretty Turkish delight and apricots. Very textural. Great food matching wine.” – Sabine Duval

“Citrus, stone fruit and pear, but there’s a nice vibrancy to this wine that gives a little bite of sharpness to the fruit enhanced with a good balance of sweetness and acidity.” – Andy Young

Millon Wines

Taylors Promised

The Impressionist

Land Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio

Region: South Australia

Region: Eden Valley

VIN: 2021 LUC: $11.01

VIN: 2021 LUC: $9.68

Distributed by: Taylors

P inot Gris and Pinot Grigio are made from the same grape, but each wine has differences in style derived from where they originated. P inot Gris hails from France and is known to be more full-bodied and richer, while Pinot Grigio began in Italy and is lighter-bodied, crisp and fresh. P inot Gris/Grigio grapes are a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape and have more of a grey skin than other white varieties.

Distributed by: Millon Wines

“Interesting Grigio with the creamy texture mid-palate. Pleasant mouthfeel. Well balanced, with good length.” – Christine Ricketts

“Pear flesh with a flinty undertone. Light and quenching palate with hints of quince and nougat.” – Jack Glover

De Bortoli Rutherglen


Estate Pinot Grigio


Region: Rutherglen

Pinot Grigio

VIN: 2021 LUC: $11.49

Region: Australia

Distributed by: De Bortoli

VIN: 2021 LUC: $5.00 Distributed by: Calabria

“Pear and apple on this wine. Lovely palate, enough sweetness to carry through. Vibrant acid, fruit and length. Balanced.” – Sabine Duval

Family Wines

“Pleasant, easy-drinking style, nicely balanced. Typical Grigio, with green pear, floral and mineral notes on the nose and medium lingering finish.” – Christine Ricketts

“Overall a clean set of wines. The better wines combined freshness with bright flavour, texture and acid balance.” Jack Glover Marketing Director Accolade Wines

May 2022 | 57


Top themes of opportunity for e-retail In the latest presentation from its ‘On The Pulse’ series, IRI revealed the top areas of opportunity for e-commerce and online retail.

According to IRI analysis, 90 per cent of

actually is and investing further into

covered in the presentation, identified as a core

Australians shop online, and are doing so

e-commerce capabilities, including people,

customer experience pillar that can maximise

more often. The latest annual figures show

insights and digital brand presence.

success in online retail, when done right.

9.2M households now shop online and there

Bone added: “Physical stores, however,

“Order fulfilment is arguably the most

has been a 41 per cent increase in the rate of

are still the most important part of the

dynamic [component] and certainly the

online shopping versus a year ago. The dollar

channel mix to get right.

most debated, because of this rise of quick

value of online sales has grown 102 per cent

“Survey work with our panellists shows

commerce and rapid delivery,” Bone said.

versus two years ago (pre-pandemic), with

that the main way that shoppers learn about

One of the more material shifts in

online sales now accounting for 11.4 per cent

new products is still through physical, in-store

fulfilment preferences of customers lately

of total retail sales.

trade activations. Let’s get that balance right.”

has been the move to click and collect. IRI

Dan Bone, IRI Channel Insights Manager,

Another key theme was how lockdowns

referred to results from Endeavour Group,

said in the presentation: “If we look at just

have impacted the uptake of online retail

which noted that the number of pick up sales

the last year, we can see that online sales are

options. Throughout the pandemic, lockdowns

grew at a rate ahead of delivery sales, which

growing nearly five times faster than what

have created multi-year change in a matter of

sustained digital sales for Endeavour Group

we’re seeing in total retail.”

weeks, and fluctuated the popularity of online.

even after COVID restrictions began to ease.

While these figures are looking at all

By looking at both local and UK lockdown

For customers, click and collect allows

sectors of retail, the continued consumer

results, IRI sees that as consumer mobility goes

convenience and safety (by not having

love of online and astronomical growth

down, the rate of online sales goes up.

to enter the store to browse), flexibility

across the board shows substantial promise

This means that maintaining online

(to enter the store to browse if you forget

for the liquor industry. But where does all

sales penetration will be more difficult

something) and immediacy (through rapid

this opportunity lie?

moving forward, if lockdowns don’t happen

purchase and collection options). For the

One of the themes that Bone explored was

again. Without this circumstantial driver,

retailer, this model allows better economics

the implications of embedded e-commerce.

IRI said it’s likely that online sales will

via e-commerce options and the possibility

“Online shopping is embedded into how

plateau, especially as so much e-commerce

to drive a potential double transaction or

we go about doing both grocery and non-

development so far during the pandemic

increased spend.

grocery shopping, so it really creates this need

has caught the ‘low hanging fruit’. Growth

to stand out on virtual shelves. That’s a more

now won’t be as easy, and will require

Read more of this story online at

pressing need than ever before,” Bone said.

investment into creative, engaging and . The full IRI webinar

immersive experiences that hero a seamless

is available for free via their website, and is

omnichannel shopping journey.

also a precursor to a more detailed report

Bone said retailers need to focus on accelerating digital and e-commerce strategies, by identifying what the strategy 58 | National Liquor News

Fulfilment was a theme that Bone also

available to IRI clients.




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