National Liquor News September 2022

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vol. no.

8 - September 2022


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Editor’s note

niche product to retail mainstay. Analysis published in March of this year by Grand market to be worth nearly USD$60 billion by 2030, recording CAGR of 22.9 per cent. significant growth over the past 12 months, with IRI finding that seltzer had expanded Yet, withanyrapidlyexpandingcategory, the question remains whether seltzer will be increasingly competitive market, how can Original disruptor sharpens its was White Claw, originally established in international rise of the seltzer category. Ed Jamison, Brand Manager at White “The functional and emotional consumer needs which have largely driven the success know growing subset of consumers are activelylookingforproductswithlowersugar, “Some other categories aren’t seen as being as relevant particularly to younger continuing its success for long time particularly with brands bringing new and It’s this innovation that White Claw has identified as key for both retaining drinkers slated to launch two new flavours to its 6.5 per cent ‘White Claw Surge’ range. to come in 2023,” Jamison hints. tocontinuesSeltzerbubble After several years of extraordinary growth, can the seltzer category maintain its momentum? Seamus May spoke to leading producers to find out more. Lionas wholeunderstandstheimportance company’s Byron Bay Brewery brand now moving into the category for the first time. in the Byron Bay Brewery. It’s particularly attractive to consumers [aged] 18-30. We continue to see exciting innovation from the Byron Bay Brewery brand with seltzers Faye White, Brand and Marketing for Wayward Brewing Co’s W Seltzer, strikes “The category is in such huge demand because plugs gap in the market, catering that’s light, easy drinking and lower in calories and sugar than other alcoholic “And course the convenience of it… product development will help maintain interest in the category too.” Innovation key for growing category flavours, brands and ranges helping drive the category’s momentum. years, it’s possible we could see the same for “Collectively, the category needs to educate consumers as to what it is and that’ll ensure there’s than ever.” seltzer, as long as there’s an appetite for it.” innovation Hard Fizz, with CEO Wade Tiller identifying the company’s tactic to “The category needs more market penetration. People are still walking into had seltzer, so collectively, the category drinkers than ever,” Tiller continued. “Thecategoryneedstocontinuallyinnovate Kieron Barton, Co-founder of Saintly Hard Seltzer, agrees with the need for “Consumers are still discovering the hard seltzer category. According to IWSR, less innovation and exploration will continue to be vital the category,” Barton said. ability be nimble in response to changing consumer needs, we’ll continue to support experiences with market-leading innovation.” That point about reacting to consumer Tiller, innovation most impactful when aligned to the customer. every week if we wanted but there’s limited space in the market; so we innovate in very consumer in mind,” Tiller says. “This summer, for example, we’re Colada Hard Fizz to appeal to those with sweeter Morgan,palate.”highlights another opportune area for innovation, and said: “Higher ABV more bang for your buck.” Top Reads ➤ 40 Hard seltzer ➤ 62 Organic wine ➤ 56 Premium gin Editor’s note 4 | National Liquor News The Intermedia Group takes its Corporate and Social Responsibilities (CSR) seriously and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. We continuously strive to improve our environmental performance and to initiate additional CSR based projects and activities. As part of our company policy we ensure that the products and services used in the manufacture of this magazine are sourced from responsibleenvironmentallysuppliers.Thismagazinehas been printed on paper produced from sustainably sourced wood and pulp fibre and is accredited under PEFC chain of custody. PEFC certified wood and paper products come from appropriate,environmentallysocially beneficial and economically viable management of forests. The wrapping used in the delivery process of this magazine is 100% biodegradable. The Intermedia Group’s Environmental Responsibility

exploration (from page 50); and an investigation into the current state of premium gin, where Seamus May asks the question – is the gin boom still alive and well? (from page 56).

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Spring has sprung at National Liquor News HQ this month, as we help you gear up for what is predicted to be another promising season for the offpremise industry.

Also in this issue, our expert wine tasting panel has undertaken one of our biggest Shiraz tastings ever, and selected their standout wines across three price brackets (from page 70).

Editor: Brydie Allen

A powerhouse category for the warmer seasons is hard seltzer, which was of particular focus this month. From page 40, Snooper digs into the developments of this category on the shelf, while from page 42, Seamus May has analysed product trends and areas of opportunity.Withtheweather (hopefully) warming and staying dry, the conditions are perfect for a favourite Aussie occasion – a BBQ. So from page 36, I’ve looked into key considerations of consumers around these types of occasions, and some product inspiration for theseOthershoppers.features for this month cover a few different trending topics of the liquor industry. There’s a review of the organic wine segment, which continues to showcase the importance of industry sustainability (from page 62); an exploration of the imported wine segment, which is catering to a consumer thirst for

Get the facts

Completing our September issue are some great insights from regular contributors such as Retail Drinks Australia, DrinkWise, Liquor Stores Association of WA, Spirits and Cocktails Australia, Strikeforce and Wine Australia. As always, we present all of this alongside the latest product, brand and industry news, to make sure you’re up to date with the latest and greatest things to know.

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16 Marketplace: Brand news and promotions

36 BBQ Drinks: The great Aussie occasion

Retail Focused


Beer and Spirits

33 Data: How consumption has changed in the past year

28 Retail Drinks Australia: Gearing up for the annual Industry Summit and Awards

32 Spirits & Cocktails Australia: Industry strong against tremendous odds 40 Snooper: Hard seltzer’s share of shelf 42 Hard Seltzer: Continuing to bubble 56 Premium Gin: Staying strong 44 Brew Review: Spring beers

10 News: The latest liquor industry news for retailers around Australia


74 Strikeforce: Keeping brands relevant

26 Sponsored Content: Zema Estate stays true to tradition for 40 years 34 Wine Australia: A reason to celebrate Prosecco 50 Imported Wine: The importance of imports 62 Organic Wine: All about organics 70 Wine Tasting Review: Shiraz

29 DrinkWise: The value of working together

30 LSA WA: What to expect from this year’s awards

14 Events: An exclusive look into the latest industry events

8 Cover Story: Tequila & Margarita

September 2022

35 Sponsored Content: Driving excellence at IBA

6 | National Liquor News Contents

local producer Ampersand Projects is no stranger to this kind of innovation, developing a cult following of loyal drinkers thanks to its strong track record of creating ground breaking new beverages. Its speed to market and agility has seen the brand generate impressive performance in its fourth year of operation, with 265,000 9L cases sold in FY22, over 2300 stockists across the country, and a portfolio of 22 SKUs.

The companies saw an opportunity for a margarita RTD that used premium tequila to deliver a superior taste, while also having low sugar and balanced flavours to ensure a sessionable drink.

As Chappell said, this is why the team chose to use 100 per cent agave premium blanco tequila sourced from ‘El Valle de Tequila’, Jalisco Mexico, and produced by one of the country’s oldest distilleries that is still using traditional methods of production.

This strength has allowed Ampersand Projects to move into adjacent categories from the vodka RTD sector it began in, releasing full size spirits, gin RTDs and ginger beer. Now, it’s going a step further, thanks to a unique collaboration with another local independent producer, Compa Drinks Co.

TequilaABV. & Margarita is a great example of two independent Aussie companies coming together to shake up the RTD market in line with the very latest consumer trends. The unique local collaboration doesn’t let anything stand in the way of innovation, bringing a muchloved bar classic into the off-premise nationally.

Tequila Margarita:& a unique local collaboration

The collaboration came about through Ampersand Projects’ connection to Co-founder and Managing Director of Compa Drinks Co, Nick Chappell, who also manages Bondi Beach Cellars, a flagship store for Ampersand Projects products.

Independent producers Ampersand Projects and Compa Drinks Co have come together with an innovative new RTD that is set to take the country by storm.

Australia has never seen a more vibrant RTD market than we have now, with a huge range of drinks vying for shopper attention. With so much noise, the most successful brands are those that are truly innovative and deliver the most on-trend products that consumers are looking Independentfor.

■ 8 | National Liquor News Cover Story

The tequila is hailed for its pronounced citrus, agave sweetness and softly herbaceous yet clean and peppery finish. Being such a perfect pairing for the flavours of a Tommy’s margarita, it’s important that consumers can taste the difference of this premium spirit, so the Tequila & Margarita has been crafted to a strength of five per cent

The new Tequila & Margarita is a Tommy’s style sparkling margarita in a can, which combines a range of qualities to appeal to a number of hot industry trends.

Bottomley added: “A lot of products out there are not actually using tequila so it was very important for us to use a premium tequila. Our margarita maintains an authentic Tommy’s margarita taste, while also being low in sugar which is important for those looking for a ‘better for you’ option.”

Alex Bottomley, Co-founder and Director of Ampersand Projects, said: “We noticed that tequila RTDs were very popular in the USA and could also see the growing popularity of tequila as a spirit of choice in both the on- and off-premise in the Australian market, so the move into a tequila RTD or ‘cocktail in a can’ was a natural progression for us to keep ahead of trends.”

“We have found that consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of the use of syrups and flavourings that cannot mimic the true flavour of actual tequila,” Chappell explained.

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For retailers around the country

The liquorlatestindustry

Based in Adelaide, Zen Global is a cloud-based software company, specialising in providing data connectivity, loyalty, digital marketing, gift card solutions and in-store digital advertising for liquor retail and hospitality businesses. Several LMG members already integrate the Zen platform into their operations for loyalty and digital marketing, in Zen Global’s strong existing customer base.


Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) has announced it has acquired 100 per cent of issued capital in Zen Global.

Tom Jeffries, Zen Global CEO, said: “The acquisition by LMG provides Zen, and all our customers, a partner with the alignment and resources to grow and enhance the Zen platform to deliver the optimal digital marketing and retail solution for the industry.”

LMG acquires loyalty and digital marketing software company

“His personal commitment to representing Coopers around the country has seen Cam set a strenuous schedule, but one that has delivered extraordinary results for the business,” said Dr PearceCooper.said he is proud of his time at the brewery, noting: “It has been a privilege to be a custodian of the Coopers brand, with a 160 year history of making craft beer for the Australian public. The timing is now right for me to retire from day-to-day operations at the brewery, leaving the company with the Coopers brand in a strong position.”

10 | National Liquor News

Cam CoopersretiresPearcefrom

Zen Global will operate as a separate enterprise to LMG after the acquisition, with its management team all remaining with the company. With its own dedicated management and operational team, Zen Global will benefit not only from an enhanced customer base (once LMG implements the program), but from the capital support for further development.

Dr Tim Cooper, Coopers Managing Director, said: “Cam has been an integral part of many changes and developments at Coopers over the past 13 years and we thank him for his tirelessPearce’sdedication.”lastingimpact on the Coopers brand includes the successful integration of the Premium Beverages business into the organisational structure of Coopers, which enabled the establishment of a marketing structure that sustained national growth. He also passionately supported Coopers’ move into cans in line with consumer demand, which has enabled the significant growth of the portfolio.

“There are immediate benefits to LMG members, including real-time stock on hand and order processing for LMG’s e-commerce platform, along with medium and long-term benefits like integrated gift card solutions and banner loyalty offers.”

LMG will begin trialling and implementing the Zen Global platform later this year, with wider application in 2023.

Gavin Saunders, LMG CEO, added: “Zen provides LMG and our members a great platform to further enhance our digital marketing and data connectivity. Many LMG members are current customers of Zen; however, this transaction allows LMG to provide solutions which apply across the entire network and enhance our brands and our customer offers.

After 13 years at Coopers Brewery, Cam Pearce, the company’s Marketing and Innovation Director, hasPearceretired.will remain on the board of Coopers as a non-executive Director – which was his original role at the brewery before he joined in a full-time capacity.

Lion launches new marketplace app for trade customers

“To put it simply, we’re teaming up with great people. Going forward, we can’t wait to work side-by-side and learn from eachJeffaresother.”added: “There has been a long courtship as we got to know each other, and Guy, Justin and I are excited and confident that, working within the GDA business, will help us both become stronger.”

Lion has launched a new marketplace app, allowing trade businesses access to the company’s full catalogue.

GDA Chief Operating Officer, Aaron Heary, said the partnership will enable both groups to share each other’s experience, skills and resources and will also help Stomping Ground achieve its goal of becoming Victoria’s leading independent craft brewery.

The deal sees the Stomping Ground Co-founders become “significant shareholders” in GDA and they will also become part of the GDA Executive Group.

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Good Drinks Australia (GDA) has acquired the award-winning Stomping Ground Brewing Group, in a deal which will enable Stomping Ground to continue operating as an independent brewery.

“Their Beer Halls are best in class and Stomping Ground is currently the Champion Australian Brewery in their category at both the Australian International Beer Awards and Independent Beer Awards, so their beers are obviously outstanding too.

“Independence is a core value for both Good Drinks and Stomping Ground, and we want to keep that alive. Stomping Ground and Good Drinks are stronger together than apart, and that’s why we’ve come together,” Heary said.


Lion has already seen high uptake of the service, following a soft launch in

Jeffares, Greenstone and Joiner will remain involved in the day-to-day running of Stomping Ground and long-time Head Brewer, Ashur Hall, will also remain and will continue to run brewing operations in Collingwood.

David Smith, Lion Australia Managing Director, said: “The app enables [our customers] to do business with us where and when it suits them with complete ordering functionality at their fingertips.

2021.“Since its launch late last year, we are now seeing 6,000 orders through the app on a weekly basis, which is a testament to the usability of the platform,” Smith said.

Good Drinks Australia acquires Stomping Ground

“We have basically redefined and redesigned our digital ordering platform, focusing on a usable, mobile-first experience, making life easier for our customers in local venues across Australia as they continue to recover from what has been an extraordinarily challenging period.”.

“We love what Stomping Ground is all about and the track record of founders Steve (Jeffares), Guy (Greenstone) and Justin (Joiner) speaks for itself. They created the pioneering Local Taphouse craft beer bars, along with the GABS Hottest 100 and GABS Festival, the largest craft beer festival in the southern hemisphere.

The app will operate as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for orders, invoices and billing history, and will include real-time stock visibility and access to promotions. It also allows customers to track orders and save their favourites for reordering, with more convenient features to come.

Liquorland Glebe Hill Village, located in the Hobart suburb of Howrah, will have a significant focus on local drinks, with more than 320 Tasmanian-made craft and boutique wines, beers and spirits. It will also feature the latest black and white Liquorland store format, which has already rolled out in 250 of the retailer’s network of 750 stores across the country.

Brandy Rand, Chief Strategy Officer at IWSR, said: “Over the years, tequila has evolved from being a low-price shot to a more premium option used in cocktails and high-end sipping. The category has grown alongside consumer awareness to offer experimentation across blanco, reposado, añejo and cristalino.”

The celebrity factor, for example, is helping consumers feel confident to enter tequila’s higher price points - IWSR notes that celebrity tequila volume grew by 50 per cent between 2016 and Mariana2021.Fletcher,

Coles opens first Liquorland in Tasmania

Glebe Hill Village launched in line with the shopping village’s grand opening in August. Together with the attached Coles, it is expected to create more than 100 new jobs and support sustainable growth for Tasmania’s food and beverage industry.

According to the report, tequila is expected to expand at a CAGR of seven per cent between 2021 and 2026, ahead of the total global spirits volume rate, which is expected to expand by two per cent in the same time frame. Growth is predicted to be focused on super premium and above price points and higher value product segments.

Coles Liquor Chief Executive, Darren Blackhurst, said: “Our drive to be a simpler, more accessible, and locally relevant drinks specialist can be seen with the launch of this store and the celebration of the Tasmanian brands we have in store for our customers.

BrightNews future predicted for tequila in Australia

A new Tequila Category Assessment report published by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has forecast a bright future for tequila.

Coles Liquor has opened its first ever Liquorland store in Tasmania, connected to the first brand new Coles supermarket to be opened in the state in 12 years.

IWSR noted smaller markets such as Australia, the UK, Japan and Spain show particular promise for the tequila opportunity. The elements that are set to drive growth in these markets include celebrity involvement in the category, consumer migration from mixto to 100 per cent agave products, rising cocktail consumption and growing interest in Mexico’s food and drinks.

12 | National Liquor News

“Local sourcing is a key focus and we are proud to partner with over 60 local suppliers and producers to showcase Tasmania further.

Head of US Insights at IWSR, explains: “Celebrity participation adds sophistication to the category, and elevates the drink to a luxury status and lifestyle offering. Celebrities organically expand the base of demand for tequila by attracting a global and diverse group of followers and fans.”

“The success of iconic Tasmanian brands such as Lark Distilling Co and Devil’s Corner Winery speaks to the internationally recognised quality from this pristine corner of Australia.”Liquorland

Research suggests that the ongoing cost of living crisis is driving more consumers towards the ready to serve cocktail category.

The store’s redesign has had an instant impact, as Minissale outlined: “It’s premium, it’s really premium, we’ve seen a spike in our Champagnes, our rosés have really taken off, all our premium wines have taken off.

One producer in the ready to serve cocktail category is Moon Dog, which produces a series of canned spritzes. Brand Manager, Phoebe Murray, said convenience offered by rapid delivery providers is another factor contributing to growth.“With the likes of Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Providoor increasing their reach in the Australian market, consumers now expect to get bar quality products in the comfort of their own home,” Murray said.

September 2022 | 13

Behind the international growth of ready to serve cocktails


“The more affordable price point of craft canned cocktails, compared to the cost of a traditional cocktail freshly made at a bar, is appealing to many modern consumers,” Euromonitor wrote.

Giuseppe Minissale, owner of Porters Lansvale, recently spoke to National Liquor News about what motivated the redesign of the store and how it has been received since the official relaunch in August.Minissale

“It was old, it was tired – but it was very strong in spirits, we carry something like 1200 SKUs of spirits in our stores. But we couldn’t display or show the products very well, because they were always behind each other and [we were] not being able to just effectively put them in the best light,” he said.

Minissale pitched the idea of a reopening to Doug Jones, CEO of Metcash, who loved it and wanted to present a plaque to the team about the reopening.

IRI analysis released this year found the category has grown by nine per cent in the past 12 months in Australia. Meanwhile, canned cocktails have seen phenomenal growth in the American market, growing by +42.3 per cent to reach USD$1.6bn last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US.

Giuseppe Minissale hails success of Porters Lansvale redesign

explained that while the store had been a strong performer, he felt there was an opportunity to refurbish the location after 18 years of ownership.

“Obviously it’s one of our main stores for Porters, and we decided – Hiep [Minle Australian Wine Distributors] and I –decided that we need to create a store that more encompasses the“Wearea.wanted to create a duty-free style store and we wanted to create a store that was fresh and lively and bright.”

According to a 2021 Euromonitor report, the relative affordability of ‘craft canned cocktails’ compared to those prepared in the on-premise is a factor driving the category’s expansion.

“So the whole change of the store has really changed the mix of business. It’s doubled in turnover and consumers are traveling for 25 minutes to come and have a look at the store.”

The De Bortoli family gathered with staff, colleagues, retailers and various industry partners in early August to mark the family’s traditional Salami Day. The cold weather is a must for making salami and guests were treated to a salami making presentation as well as a wide range of food and wines including a new-make Syrah straight from the barrel, which highlighted the young, fruit-forward nature of the wine.

The popular Winter Reds Festival is the longest running wine event in the Adelaide Hills region, and has this year been dubbed a great success, with over 40 events held across 30 cellar doors, many of which were completely sold out. It’s estimated over 10,000 people attended over the weekend, well above the number in 2021 which was impacted by COVID-19. Sarah Carlson, Executive Officer of Adelaide Hills Wine Region, said: “We’ve already had great feedback from many of the participating wineries reporting strong attendance despite the wintry weather, and a great atmosphere in general. We are delighted that so many people enjoyed the fabulous selection of red wines made by our Hills producers.”

Winter Reds Festival a roaring success

Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch sees huge turnout

EventsThe industryliquorlatest

Vinteloper at Lot 100. Image credit: Ben Macmahon

14 | National Liquor News

De Bortoli celebrates Salami Day

Salami Day pictures credit: Mike Emmett from Redfish BlueFish

After a few years of uncertainty, Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) hosted its annual Sydney Royal Wine Show Trophy Winners Lunch in August again this year, to a huge turnout. Guests descended on Doltone House Hyde Park to be immersed in this year’s trophy and award winning wines, having the opportunity to taste some of the wines alongside a three course meal. Chair of Judges, Sarah Crowe, and International Guest Judge, DJ Kearney, were on hand to discuss the results. The lunch culminated in the announcement of this year’s WCA Legend of the Vine recipient, Andrew Caillard MW.

Scan the QR code to discover Margaret River’s newest range. Adventure Awaits. Discover Evans & Tate Wild Cape. 95 2022

Yalumba GEN follows an organic journey that began with the release of Yalumba’s first organic collection in 2005, when the Hill-Smith family worked with like-minded grower families who were committed to the health and prosperity of their vineyards. The new collection continues the winemaker’s ‘less is more’ approach, with gentle handling, wild fermentation, and no fining, allowing the characters, freshness and natural balance from the vineyard to shine.

The new label features a collection of five certified organic wines, sustainably made at the Yalumba winery in Angaston, SA. It embodies the brand’s sustainable journey and commitment to the next generation, with a fierce determination for the future.

Fellr adds Pineapple & Coconut and Mango to portfolio

Jessica Hill-Smith, Yalumba Marketing Manager and sixth-generation family member, said: “For 172 years our family has followed sustainable practices, and GEN conveys our commitment to a sustainable future, organic certification and our minimal intervention winemaking approach.”

Marketplace Brand news and promotions

Key to this growth is a focus on innovation and producing stand-out, delicious flavours. This has seen Fellr pick up two Trophies, five Golds, and six Silvers internationally this winter, including the title of the World’s Best Brewed Hard Seltzer at The Spirits Business: World Hard Seltzer Masters.

16 | National Liquor News

Fellr Co-founder, Will Morgan, said the latest flavours in the range were developed to meet soaring demand.

Fellr Co-founder, Andy Skora, said: “At Fellr, we’re huge on innovation and bringing new flavours to market. Knowing that Aussies have a love of coconut, we wanted to try something new in the seltzer space. Taking inspiration from the resurgence of retro cocktails like the Pina Colada, we’ve blended fresh pineapple with delicious coconut flavour for a delicious, refreshing beverage. After numerous requests, we also have Fellr’s take on mango, an Aussie summer favourite, which is a proven performer in the seltzer space.””

“The result are flavoursome wines with layered texture and character that are reflective of the vineyard. This collection shines a light on our sustainable processes every step of the way, from vineyard to bottle,” said Hill-Smith.

“In the vineyard, we look at improving native vegetation, soil health, water retention and reducing chemical use. In the winery, we are very conscious of our waste, recycling and energy use, and are continually improving this as we go.”

Fellr’s Pineapple & Coconut and Mango flavours are available to order now in 330ml cans at four per cent ABV.

Yalumba GEN includes the all organic 2020 Shiraz, 2022 Pinot Grigio, 2022 Chardonnay, 2022 Viognier, and the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, which have a RRP of $22.

“We’re in an extremely exciting phase of our journey, off the back of two years of significant growth. We’ve seen Aussie drinkers really gravitate to our style of drink which has seen hard seltzers continue to drive the breakout growth of RTD post lockdown,” he said.

Fellr is the brainchild of two coastal lads who wanted to shake up the RTD market and saw a gap for a range of extremely low sugar, low calorie pre-mixes, carefully curated to the Aussie drinker.

Yalumba generates good with new organic collection

Yalumba has released a new collection of organic wines under new name and label, Yalumba GEN.

Fellr is excited to announce the launch of two new flavours this month. In a nod to Aussies’ favourite summer fruits, the powerhouse seltzer brand will be adding Pineapple & Coconut and Mango flavours to its core range.

September 2022 | 17 Marketplace

Thirsty Camel VIC ready to reach new heights

The retail group opened 14 new stores last year, and outperformed the year prior with double digit growth across the total business. Strong results were found across all categories, with beer up seven per cent in value, while spirits and wine each grew 10 per cent each. RTD was a standout, growing by percentage rates in the high 20s (compared to the previous year) and 15 per cent for the year before.

Adrian Moelands, Thirsty Camel VIC General Manager, said to build on all of this growth, the company will be focused on embedding recently launched programs.

“We believe our new tiered store model is going to deliver great value to our members. Our innovation hub is also looking at some new and innovative retail solutions that will further support our membership. The focus will be on playing to our strengths, which first and foremost is the convenient store format of Thirsty Camel VIC stores. Consumers continue to seek fast and easy solutions, so our layout and inclusion of drive thru is our greatest advantage,” Moelands said.

These are all substantial achievements across Angove’s large vineyard footprint. For example, the 300ha Nanya Vineyard is now entirely farmed organically, making it one of the most significant organic vineyards in the world. Meanwhile, the 14ha Warboys Vineyard in McLaren Vale has ben farmed organically and biodynamically since the date of purchase in 2008.

Someyear.of the winery’s organic and biodynamic innovations include the use of runner ducks (rather than pesticides) to control snails in the Warboys vineyard; the engineering of specially designed under-vine mowers for weed control (one of the hardest parts of organic farming); and extensive under-vine mulching to significantly reduce irrigation requirements.

Thirsty Camel VIC is aiming for big things this financial year, after revealing some stellar growth in the past 12 months.

Other developments that are set to help the group in the year ahead include further improvements to the loyalty program, Hump Club, and campaigns surrounding this that will help Thirsty Camel retailers win in loyalty. This is on top of the new Thirsty Camel VIC operating model, which allows for a more flexible approach to the core range, giving members the right offer in the right store, to capitalise on a tailored growth strategy.

Angove Family Winemakers is a leader of certified organic wine in Australia and is celebrating its 16th anniversary of farming and making wine under organic certification. Today, Angove Organic wines are certified to Australian, United States, Canadian, EU and Chinese certification standards, making the brand one of only a handful that have achieved certification across all the major international markets.

Angove marks 16th anniversary of organic certification

The 136 year old family company, now run by fifth generation Victoria, Richard and Sophie Angove, has a strong commitment to sustainability on multiple levels. It has developed a trusted reputation for making premium wines with a gentle touch and minimal inputs, leading to balanced, fruitforward wines such as those in the Naturalis range which was launched last

Despite welcoming 16 years of certified organics, Angove is not slowing in its commitment to sustainable wine. The brand is one of the oldest in Australia to have a sustainability statement, which outlines its core goals to actively support and be involved in policies and initiatives that protect and conserve the environment.

“They’re looking for high energy good times, and want a drink to match, so we’ve created a new Aussie pub classic made with some naughty little lemons to whet theirBrookvalewhistles.”Union said the number one priority for the team in creating the Vodka Lemon Squash was flavour, noting that by, “using quality ingredients and real lemon juice concentrate, the result is a clean, easy drinking, refreshing and downright delicious drink that’s surprisingly low in sugar to boot.”

Wild Cape launches with three varietals that champion the best of Margaret River – Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, which has just won the trophy for best Sauvignon Blanc at the Sydney Royal Wine Show.

Wild Cape is available now - for more information contact your local Fogarty Wines Group rep or visit

Through the epic and dramatic ocean photography of photographer Andrew Semark, Wild Cape embodies the essence of the remote and pristine home of Evans & Tate. Senior Winemaker, Matt Byrne, said it was important for the terroir-driven wines to reflect the powerfully raw beauty captured in the photographs and on the “

Fogarty Wine Group has released an exciting new range from Evans & Tate, that celebrates the raw beauty of WA’s south west. The idea for Wild Cape was born from a combined passion of wine and surfing in the Margaret River region, inspired by the spectacular coastline and superb varietals of the area.

Brookvale Union has made a new addition to its range with a Vodka Lemon Squash RTD joining the popular portfolio.

Wild Cape wines have given me a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Andrew Semark and his images that he creates in the southwest of Western Australia. We’ve done nothing like this before and the synergy between what he captures in his images really relates to how we make our wine and grow our grapes in this really remote and wild part of the world. It matches what I try and achieve in our winemaking in that purity of flavour,” Byrne said.

Brookvale Union launches Vodka Lemon Squash RTD

The new release is described as refreshing and thirst quenching, while also carrying a six per cent ABV.

“We’ve recognised the growing consumer trend for nostalgic and familiar flavours, with drinkers wanting a release from the super serious world with great tasting, uncomplicated drinks,” says Todd Atkinson, Purveyor of Quality Nonsense at Brookvale Union.

Fogarty releases award-winning new Evans & Tate range

18 | National Liquor News Marketplace

The brewery’s release of Sparkling Ale in a larger can format follows in the footsteps of highly popular limited runs of 440ml Coopers Original Pale Ale cans which first hit the market in December 2019. Coopers Best Extra Stout was also first released in 440ml cans last year.

The design refresh brings overall consistency to the Coopers ale range and has been designed to stand out on shelves, making it easier for drinkers to spot their favourite brew.

Acclaimeddrinkers.forits distinctive balance of malt, hops and fruity characters, Sparkling Ale has an ABV of 5.8% and 32 international bitterness units (IBU).

Sparkling Ale has been a mainstay of the brewery since Thomas Cooper brewed his first batch of beer back in 1862 and is a favourite of many Coopers

The St Agnes distillery has further expanded the Blind Tiger Organic Gin range with the inaugural release of Blind Tiger Organic Shiraz Gin. Made at the height of vintage, this artisan Organic Shiraz Gin melds the art of distillation with that of small batch winemaking.

The updated design is the first major update to Coopers’ core packaging in 20 years. Coopers products featuring the new-look packaging and updated tap badges will begin rolling out into liquor outlets and licenced premises across the country from this month.

The new gin uses carefully nurtured organic McLaren Vale Shiraz from the Angove family’s Warboys Vineyard, handpicked in early March. These organic and biodynamically grown Shiraz vines were planted in the 1930s and yield the most delicious ripe berries, perfect for the first Shiraz gin vintage from Blind Tiger.

The Coopers Sparkling Ale 440ml cans also carry the new look iconic Coopers roundel which has been refreshed with a modern and clear design showcasing the brand’s heritage and brewing process.

September 2022 | 19 Marketplace

Coopers Brewery releases Sparkling 440ml Cans

Blind Tiger launches inaugural Organic Shiraz Gin

Sparkling Ale 440ml cans are now available for a limited time only in liquor outlets across Australia.

Australia’s largest independent family-owned brewery has answered the call from its legion of fans and released the popular ale in a special limited edition 440ml

There’s now more to love of the iconic Coopers Sparkling Ale.


Half of these grapes were steeped in gin for a week, with the organic gin spirit extracting a striking colour, aroma and fruit sweetness. The other half of the grapes were fermented following time-honoured fortified wine techniques for three days, until the fermentation was stopped by adding organic Blind Tiger Gin and then macerating for another two days. The two batches were pressed and blended to produce a unique, delicious Organic Shiraz Gin. A perfect marriage of only organic gin and organic single vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz - nothing else added or needed.

“[At the time], many brands were producing vodka based seltzers and brewed seltzers but none were trying to experiment with a tequila mix,” Carroll said.

Carroll said the idea started coming to fruition as the seltzer craze officially began taking off in Australia in 2020.

Carroll added: “We’re also focused on building a lifestyle brand as well - something where we can build a small buzzing community around the brand.”

Feels Founder, Blake Vanderfield-Kramer, will continue to manage the brand marketing and work closely with Swift and Moore on driving the growth of Feels and the wider category.

20 | National Liquor News Marketplace

Golden Hour Seltzer launched in March this year after almost two years in development by 20 year old university student, Sam Carroll. Inspired by the iconic Australian sun and the best hour of the day (happy hour), Carroll set out to create an agave and lime flavoured seltzer after seeing the potential of both seltzers and the agave sector in the US.

David Bird, Managing Director of House of Fine Wine, commented on the partnership, noting: “We are proud to welcome Levantine Hill and Soul Growers into the House of Fine Wine portfolio. Two forward-thinking and highly regarded brands from two of Australia’s most acclaimed wine regions.

House of Fine Wine has welcomed two new Australian producers to its distribution portfolio. As of this month, Yarra Valley-based Levantine Hill and Barossa-based Soul Growers will be distributed by House of Fine Wine.

House of Fine Wine expands distribution portfolio

New Australian seltzer brand taps into agave trend

Feels Botanical partners with Swift and Moore

A new Aussie seltzer brand is seeing some great early success thanks to the growing popularity of the tequila and wider agave sector.

He said: “Swift and Moore is steeped in tradition within the alcohol industry, and it is having a ‘rebirth’ under the leadership of Michael McShane (ex Brown-Forman CEO) and the portfolio of brands it is building in this market.

After some experimentation, Golden Hour settled on one flavour to start the brand’s portfolio. The end result, an agave lime seltzer, comes in at a sessionable five per cent ABV, available from Kaddy.

Australia’s eau de vie category is set for growth, with Feels Botanical partnering with Swift and Moore, who will manage the sales and distribution of the entire Feels portfolio in the Australian market.

“Swift and Moore’s focus on people, culture, and brand building was one of the key reasons for our partnership with them. Michael and the team are open to building new categories, challenging the norm, and collaboratively working together for a positive impact.”

“We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership, working together to build national distribution and add value to our loyal customers throughout Australia.”

Our hero.

Juniperus Communis (Common Juniper )

Adelaide’s Prohibition Liquor Co. has added to its range of award-winning gins with the release of Juniperus Prohibition Gin.

Pure Wine Co is expanding its national distribution footprint by adding Pepper Tree Wines and Longview Vineyards to its portfolio as of this month.

22 | National Liquor News Marketplace

“Pure Wine Co has the potential to become one of Australia’s major distribution businesses. Our ambition is to build the most desirable portfolio, and the domestic market is key to our success.”

While focused on the profiles of the juniper berry, Juniperus also contains grains of paradise and cassia bark to infuse warmth and structure in the gin. Meanwhile, Riverland citrus lifts the spirit, while vanilla and macadamia integrate the palate and provideJuniperussoftness.ispackaged at 47 per cent ABV in Prohibition’s signature glass French bottles, featuring a delicate juniper branch sketch on the inside label of the bottle. It is available now, with a RRP of $94.

John Davis, Pepper Tree Proprietor and Managing Director, said: “Having a distributor of this calibre and dynamism taking on our portfolio is both important and exciting, and we look forward to our next chapter. Sales and distribution are a significant aspect of our business, and we believe we have appointed the best company to do this for us.”

Longview and Pepper Tree join Pure Wine Co

Co-owner, Adam Carpenter, said: “It was really only a matter of time before we created a Juniper-forward ‘London Dry’ style gin. Our head distiller, Hugh Lumsden, worked tirelessly on the recipe, which is a modern take on an old classic.

Newly appointed CEO of Pure Wine Co, Daniel Killey, said: “Our focus is on attracting and retaining the best team and wine brands possible. The onboarding of Pepper Tree Wines and the national appointment of Longview Vineyards is a testament to this.

In what has been described as the brand’s most classical gin yet, the complexity and depth of the new release captures the unique flavours of the juniper berry, which is distilled whole, crushed, macerated and then vapour and pot distilled.

New release gin from award-winning Prohibition Liquor Co.

Longview Vineyards’ proprietor, Peter Saturno, is also thrilled to distribute nationally with Pure Wine Co and said: “Having been distributed by Pure Wine Co in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia for 11 years, we are extremely excited to be moving to a national distribution model with Pure Wine Co.”

“This juniper-driven gin has been crafted to elevate your classic cocktails. The Prohibition team has been using Juniperus to lift its London Calling and Martini cocktails, or to create a sophisticated gin and tonic, garnished with grapefruit and thyme.”

“Our team have done an excellent job with this recipe, it’s the team’s favourite premix we’ve done so far.”

the defining features of the Manly Spirits premix range is the bespoke glass bottles that are based off their distinct, textured bottles of the full size spirit range. These set the range apart on the shelves in the crowd of cans.

Four Pillars is looking ahead to summer with the release of two gin RTDs: Fresh Yuzu Gin & Soda and Bloody Shiraz Gin & Tonic. These new products follow Four Pillars’ Rare Dry G&T RTD, which was launched in October 2021.

Manly Spirits launches new whisky highball

The RTD has six per cent ABV and is described as a ‘thirst quencher’ that is perfect for post-surf BBQs or sunny afternoons withManlymates.Spirits

Owner, Vanessa Wilton, added: “Being an Australian whisky distillery, we’re lucky enough to be able to bring a premium product to the space, which appeals to those who appreciate craft drinks. If you like your craft beer and whisky, this one’s for Oneyou.”of

Four Pillars launches new RTDs

The highball-style RTD is described as “supercharged with yuzu flavour thanks to an incredibly concentrated Fresh Yuzu Gin base” which is combined with clean and crisp carbonated

“We knew we must have been doing something right when we won ‘World’s Best Premix Design’ for our premix bottles at the World Premix Awards in 2021, so it was really important that we kept our signature premium packaging design for our Whisky Highball,” said Wilton.

The new RTDs have a RRP of $28 and aim for widespread bottleshop distribution by summer.

Particularlywater.eye-catching will be the presentation of Four Pillars’ smash hit Bloody Shiraz Gin in a RTD. This new product contains “a hyper-concentrated Bloody Shiraz Gin mixed with bespoke tonic and a healthy dash of lemon to cut through that natural Shiraz sweetness.”

“You need to nail both the gin and the tonic, as well as their ratios, if you want a drink that is flavour-packed but still sits at one standard drink.”

“Easy to serve and easy to drink, these gins in a tin are not, however, that easy to make,” Four Pillars explained.

September 2022 | 23 Marketplace

For the first time, Four Pillars has produced an RTD using soda rather than tonic as the gin pairing with its Fresh Yuzu Gin & Soda. This means the final product is lower in calories, with Four Pillars likely hoping to play in the burgeoning ‘better for you’ drinks trend.

Owner and Master Distiller, David Whittaker, said: “Like all our products, it was important for us to get the balance of flavours right to deliver big on taste as our reputation has been made on full-flavoured and well-balanced spirits.

Manly Spirits Co Distillery is extending its RTD range with the launch of Whisky Highball, a no-sugar drink that promises a full flavour profile and features Manly Spirits’ whisky alongside natural ginger and native lime.

Are you launching a new release or NPD in 2022? Then lock in a 3 step campaign across National Liquor News and The Shout that drives: 1. Brand awareness 2. Education 3. Call-to-action If you'd like to have a look at a 3 step trade customer campaign to champion your brand in 2022, then drop us a line.

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Zema Estate is celebrating its 40 years of proud, independent and passionate winemaking in a number of ways. This month is a particularly important one for the festivities, as it sees the commemorative release of the limited 2016 Saluti Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend, as well as the unveiling of the final stage of the Zema brand refresh with the release of the 2018 Cluny Cabernet Merlot, 2018 Estate Cabernet and 2018 Estate Shiraz.

It’s an exciting time for iconic Coonawarra winery, Zema Estate, as it marks a major milestone in its Ithistory.allbegan in Calabria, Italy, when Demetrio Zema followed his fiancé Francesca to Australia in 1957. Their son Nick Zema, Co-founder and Director of the Estate, said “Australia was the land of opportunity” for his parents.

Today, Zema Estate is home to 150 acres of vines across three prime Coonawarra locations, but keeps the family’s original philosophies at its core.

With a reputation for producing exceptional premium Coonawarra Cabernet and Shiraz, no matter what the vintage or seasonal conditions, Zema Estate has a lot to celebrate with the 40 year milestone. It also shows great things to build upon, with a deep respect for Coonawarra place and provenance becoming part of the family and winery’s DNA – the third generation of Zemas has already shown this commitment.

“All their hard work was to achieve one goal - to purchase a Coonawarra vineyard and establish wine under the Zema name,” Nick said.

Zema Estate stays true to tradition for 40 years

In 1982, that dream finally became reality, when the family purchased 20 acres in the heart of Coonawarra’s famed terra rossa, including eight acres of mature Shiraz vines. They planted the remainder of the land with Cabernet Sauvignon, thus beginning a 40 year love affair with both varietals.

Nick Zema Co-founder and Director Zema Estate

26 | National Liquor News Sponsored Content

“We look forward to the future and continuing our focus on the care and attention to detail required to consistently create exceptional wines.”

“Our whole business is built on two great grape varieties; Cabernet - vibrant and rich with a great line of length, and Shiraz for a great mouthfeel and loads of flavour,” said “Hand-pruningNick. to nurture and foster each vine, careful fruit selection, enriching the fruit flavours through selected winemaking techniques, using the

best oak barrels available, and diligent bottle ageing are key to the Zema signature style.”

Celebratory events kicked off last month with back vintage tastings in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as part of the Coonawarra Roadshow, and will continue with a number of events in Coonawarra in October. Meanwhile, Zema Estate’s ‘History is Happening Now’ exhibition will be available to view at the cellar door all of next month.

“Today, we feel a part of the Australian wine landscape. We’re enormously proud of our family’s achievements and wish to build on this legacy for future generations,” Nick said.

The renowned Coonawarra winery is celebrating a major milestone with a new wine, a brand refresh and numerous events around the country.

The first vintage from Zema Estate was all about the determination to craft exceptional wines from humble beginnings. There was very little equipment on hand – the wines were created in a tin shed, with an old milk tanker and the generous guidance of veteran Coonawarra winemaker, Ken Ward.

“We look forward to the future and continuing our focus on the care and attention to detail required to consistently create exceptional wines. Here’s to the next 40 years!”

For more information or to place an order please contact your CUB Premium Beverages representative or call customer service on 1800 090 378 or 13 BEER (13 2337) 85 CALORIES PER CAN • NO SUGAR • NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS WHERE RESiDES

nominations last year, nominations from members across all awards categories increased again this year by a further 20 per cent to over 400 in total. Awards finalists were recently announced following the mystery shopping of all nominated bricks and mortar and online stores, with the final interview and judging process for applicable individual categories well underway.

To continue to succeed in business, we need access to the latest information, trends and ideas to assist us in making business decisions. The annual Retail Drinks Industry Summit sees business experts and industry

Off the back of a whopping and unprecedented 250 per cent increase in

We look forward to delivering another solid educational and insightful program, which ensures that together as a unified industry we lead by example through best practice retailing and are at the cutting edge of industry trends.

As in previous years, every Retail Drinks member will be entitled to receive one complimentary delegate registration, valued at $500 + GST (per member company) to attend the Summit, as a benefit of their annual ongoing membership.

28 | National Liquor News Retail Drinks

Retail Drinks gears up for annual Industry Summit and Awards

Following the Summit, Retail Drinks will host its annual Industry Awards – the peak national awards for Australia’s retail liquor industry, saluting the year-round efforts made by people and companies in our industry to succeed in business, through superior customer service, product knowledge and outstanding professionalism.

To register for the 2022 Retail Drinks Industry Summit and Awards, or for more information about the events, the program, speakers, event partnership opportunities, our retailer and supplier awards finalists, or to become a member, visit www.retaildrinks. or contact the Retail Drinks office on 02 8335 3200 or

leaders come together to share knowledge, strategies and insights, helping to nurture a stable political, social and commercial environment in which the retail liquor industry may grow sustainably.

The annual occasion is set to make a triumphant in-person return this year, after a successful digital iteration last year, writes Retail Drinks CEO, Michael Waters.

This year’s Summit promises another cracking program, with keynote presentations and panel discussions covering key topics and themes including Regulation, Responsibility & Sustainability; Cultural Change & Moderation; People & Culture (Workplace Relations; Talent Attraction & Retention; Mental Health & Wellbeing); Retail Liquor Market, Category, Shopper & Consumer Insights; Australian E-commerce Insights; Online Alcohol Sale & Delivery; the future of liquor retailing and how to increase our capacity to adapt in a world of accelerated change.

Following a four month postponement on account of recent floods impacting several member stores across the eastern seaboard, we are pleased to announce that our key annual flagship events, the Retail Drinks Industry Summit and Awards will be held inperson on Wednesday 30 November 2022 at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, in conjunction with our FY22 Annual General Meeting.

Last year’s Summit and Awards (due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions) were held as live online events, which, despite the change in format, proved highly successful attracting over 1000 delegates from across the country. Feedback from our post-event survey revealed 90 per cent of respondents felt the Summit met or exceeded their expectations, with 96 per cent indicating they would attend again in the future. While this is great reach, engagement and feedback, like our members and stakeholders, we’re very much looking forward to these key annual events being held in-person again, rather than virtually.

Murray said the Always respect, always DrinkWise message is something he’s passionate to support.

Adelaide recently. It provided an opportunity to highlight how consumers fit into the industry’s social licence to operate and to acknowledge the positive change in Australia’s drinking culture over the past 15 years, to one where moderation is now the norm. It also provided discussion around ways to educate those yet to heed the message and reinforced that simple but effective education measures (like the DrinkWise Stay tasteful while tasting initiative) can lead to safer and healthier drinking choices.

These initiatives demonstrate the opportunities that can arise from taking a whole-of-community approach and involving all stakeholders, from local pubs, cellar doors, producers, retailers and venues to law enforcement, government and peak industry bodies, to promote responsible consumption.

In addition to NSW Police, the NRL and DrinkWise promoting the message, NSW and Queensland Liquor Accords displayed campaign materials at licensed pubs and venues in and around the stadium precincts.

“Making sure that fans enjoy and have the best and safest experience of our game is of utmost priority to the NRL and all the players,” he said.

The Always respect, always DrinkWise campaign featured throughout the NRL 2022 Ampol State of Origin series, with some of the game’s heavyweights and arch rivals joining with DrinkWise, NSW Police and the NRL to remind fans about the importance of moderating their alcohol consumption and always being respectful towards others.

By working together, we can continue to educate Australians who choose to consume alcohol to do so responsibly and continue to reduce alcohol misuse and harm.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Leanne McCusker added: “The Always respect, always DrinkWise message is really important to educate the wider community about being respectful to those they live with and the wider community at all times.”

It was fantastic to present the DrinkWise approach and programs at the Australian Wine Institute Technical Conference in

The ‘Always respect, always DrinkWise’ initiative shows the strength of coordinated and simple yet effective educational messaging, writes DrinkWise CEO, Simon Strahan.

“This is an important initiative to remind fans to take care of one another wherever they’re choosing to watch the game and if they’re choosing to drink alcohol, to do so responsibly.”

September 2022 | 29 DrinkWise

After the success of the campaign last year, QLD Maroons greats Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm) and Tarryn Aiken (Brisbane Broncos) and NSW Blues stars Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs Captain) and Kirra Dibb (Newcastle Knights) were keen to lend their support during the State of Origin series. They each recorded powerful messages to encourage those fans who were choosing to have a drink while watching to consume responsibly and enjoy all the great moments that Origin has to offer.

The value of working together to reduce alcohol-related harm

We can then put more focus on the next 70 years moving forward, to ensure that we keep this industry strong, because every year it gets harder and harder.

What to expect from this year’s LSA WA Awards

Peter Peck: There’s two sides of it - there’s the celebration and the remembrance.

The 2022 Lion Liquor Industry Awards promises to be a huge night for the WA industry, with a bigger room than previous years, internationally renowned DJ, pop up bars, and VIP attendants. It’s predicted to sell out, so get in touch with LSA WA now to secure your ticket

30 | National Liquor News LSA WA

National Liquor News: What do this year’s awards mean to you and the LSA WA, especially coinciding with the organisation’s 70th anniversary?

overall it’s going to be a different atmosphere, something you can’t put your finger on. But, purely through ticket sales at the moment, it seems that everybody is quite keen on coming. It’s like a family reunion where everybody gets together again, in a room where they can just sit, have a good time, and acknowledge people within the industry that have done it and done it well.

Key Date:details Friday October 14 2022 Location: Crown Perth Tickets: $260 (members), $285 (non-members). For more info and ticket sales, natalie@lsawa.asn.aucontactorcall93215022.

From the celebration side, something different we’ll be doing is looking back at some commercials from our sponsor Lion. They’re all Swan commercials, and there’s some corkers in there that just show how far we’ve come as an industry, so that will be a little bit of fun.Ithink

Traditionally, the best thing about our Awards is how they come just before we move into the Christmas retail side of things. It really is one of those times where you actually can relax and celebrate.

National Liquor News caught up with Peter Peck, CEO of the Liquor Stores Association of WA (LSA WA), to hear about what we can expect from the 2022 Lion Liquor Industry Awards.

Peter Peck: It’s about the fact that in 70 years, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge, and there’s been times when things have been really good for our industry and really bad as well. I think it’s a time to reflect back and be thankful that we’re still here and still have such a vibrant industry.

Sadly this year we’re also going to be naming an award after another former board member who just recently lost her life to cancer - Anita Grace, who was one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met in my life. She was small in stature, but she was nuclear. She was probably the best advocate for the battler, for indigenous people, for anybody that seemed to slip between the cracks - she was there for them. She did

We had a board member in 2002, Peter Basioli, who lost his life during the Bali bombings. After that happened, the board named the Liquor Store of the Year award after him. It’s been 20 years since those bombings and so we’re going to have his family in the room and possibly presenting the award, to recognise the fact that we haven’t forgotten - as time goes by, you ensure that you honour your past.

a massive amount of community service - she was a JP, she sat on council, you name it, she was involved in it. It’s a real loss to the industry that she’s gone. We’re going to be honouring her, hopefully with her family in the room, and we’ve named our Quiet Achiever Award in her honour too, which will now be the Anita Grace Award for Community Service.

NLN: What can we expect from the 2022 awards and how will they be different to previous years?

With two-thirds of our distilleries based outside metropolitan areas, this growth is particularly positive news. Every distiller and spirits manufacturer established in a local community brings a shopping list of inputs needed, including native ingredients, cereals,

But a brighter future is possible. All it takes are political leaders and regulators with foresight to make some long overdue reforms to support a promising Australian industry. That is exactly what happened a few decades ago, when a few visionaries got behind Australian wine. What a powerhouse they built. The same could be possible for our gins, whiskies, rums, even Australian agave. Working with the new federal government and leaders who understand the local and international potential of our industry, the whole world might soon be talking about the Australian spirit.

Local distillers could reach even higher heights if not for the tough current environment, writes Greg Holland, Chief Executive of Spirits and Cocktails Australia.

On 1 August, our industry was slammed with the largest excise increase since we began collecting data in the late 1970s. With costs already spiralling, that’s a ‘double whammy’, amd one that will translate to an estimated additional $1 of tax to be paid on an average 700ml bottle of spirits (40 per cent ABV), and further blowing out the disparity between the tax take from spirits and other drinks containing the same amount of alcohol.

With the tax take per litre of pure alcohol now likely to surpass $100 in a few years, some distillers will likely fold operations. Others, who desperately need investment from large spirits manufacturers in order to expand and export, will be left high and dry, with investors moving to more competitive markets.

Australians are drinking less alcohol. This is not spin, nor is it a temporary blip. Long term trends published by the ABS show per capita consumption of alcohol has been falling steadily in Australia for well over a decade.

This growth has occurred against tremendous odds. Nobody needs reminding of the devastating impact of fires, floods and COVID lockdowns. But now distillers and manufacturers have been hit again by surgingSomeinflation.ofthemost

Australian spirits industry strong against tremendous odds

Consider this: in 2014, there were fewer than 30 distilleries in Australia; today, there are about four hundred. That’s three times more than Scotland, renowned as the birthplace of modern distilling.

32 | National Liquor News Spirits and Cocktails Australia

We know all Australians are feeling the pain of inflation. The incoming federal government has rightly said it is committed to alleviating that burden on householders where possible. Now imagine if it announced instead that it was going to increase income tax every six months. It’s a fair bet there would be protests in the streets. But that is exactly the situation Australia’s distillers and spirits manufacturers face, shackled to an outmoded alcohol tax regime that indexes spirits excise to inflation, increasing every six months.

savage increases over the past six to 12 months reported by our members include: freight up 55 per cent (averaged across domestic/international and land, sea and air transport); cereals up 50 per cent; sugar up 25-30 per cent; glass up 20-30 per cent; cans up 12 per cent; and oak barrels up 16 per cent.

Some might assume this behavioural shift would be lamented by the alcohol industry. But that’s not the case, at least not within the part of the industry represented by Spirits and Cocktails Australia.

Why? Because as Australians become more informed about alcohol, they’re also becoming more discerning. They are drinking less but better, actively seeking quality over quantity. ‘Quality’ is a touchstone within the spirits industry in Australia as it forges a trajectory of growth last seen during the 1980s and 90s, when Australian wine was transformed from a cottage industry to a global success story.

glass and aluminium, bottling, labelling, packaging and freight. They generate jobs, attract tourists and fuel hospitality trade. This includes the global companies, who now locally make between 70-80 per cent of the products they sell in Australia.

“The standout performer of the last few years has been RTDs which have kept increasing despite the ending of lockdowns and almost all pandemic-related restrictions. A record high 16.7 per cent of Australians, up 3.2 percentage points (+680,000) from a year ago, now drink RTDs in an average four“Aweeks.deeper look into the RTD market shows the increasing popularity of seltzers over the last few years is continuing to

drive the increasing consumption of RTDs generally. ‘Hard seltzers’ began to hit the Australian market in significant numbers in 2019, just before the pandemic struck, and these newer alcoholic products are still attracting an increasing array of customers.

Describing these results in more detail, Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, said: “Although the ‘big three’ alcohol types of wine, beer and spirits are all down on a year ago, the consumption of wine and spirits is still well above pre-pandemic levels. Wine remains the most popular alcoholic drink with 44.6 per cent of Australians adults drinking wine in an average four weeks. By age, those most likely to be drinking wine are aged 65-79 (51.1 per cent), however only people aged 50-64 have increased their wine consumption from a year ago, up by 1.2 percentage points.

How Australian alcohol consumption has changed in the past year

September 2022 | 33 Data

“Roy Morgan will be keeping a close eye on the post-pandemic trends we are already seeing in the alcohol market during 2022. The emerging trends suggest consumption of wine and spirits looks set to return to pre-pandemic levels while RTDs, and hard seltzers in particular, rise in significance and beer consumption continues its longterm decline.”

While wine is still Australia’s most popular drink, the number of Australians drinking wine dropped from 9,237,000 (46.3 per cent) to 8,938,000 (44.6 per cent) – a decrease of 1.7 per cent points (-297,000) from a year ago.

“Although beer did enjoy an increase in consumption during the last two years, only 33.3 per cent of Australian adults now drink beer in an average four weeks. The decline in beer drinking since 2005 has been more sustained than any other type of alcohol and the early signs are that the short-term pandemic impact on beer drinking has not been enough to halt the long-term trend.

Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report reveals recent changes in Australian consumption of beer, wine, spirits and RTDs, writes Andy Young, Associate Publisher of The Shout.

Beer also lost ground in the last 12 months with 6,666,000 Australians (33.3 per cent) now drinking beer, down 2.3 percentage points (-428,000) on a year ago. Spirits are clearly the third favourite type of alcohol with 6,083,000 Australians (30.4 per cent) now drinking spirits, down 2.8 percentage points (-538,000) on mid-2021.

New data from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report shows the proportion of Australians who drink alcohol dropped by 1.8 percentage points to 67.9 per cent in the 12 months to June 2022.

While the number of Australians drinking beer, wine and spirits declined, RTDs were the standout alcoholic beverage of the last 12 months with the category increasing from 2,669,000 Australians (13.5 per cent) up to 3,349,000 Australians (16.7 per cent) – an increase of 3.2 percentage points (+680,000).

Prosecco: a reason to celebrate

Crush of fastest-growing wine grape varieties in Australia 2015–2022

Prosecco is a recent Australian wine success story. It has been by far the fastest growing wine grape variety in Australia over the past eight years.

Prosecco is a sparkling wine style, and as such has benefited from the surge in popularity of sparkling wine since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the off-trade, sparkling wine sales in Australia grew by 10 per cent in volume between April 2020 and April 2022, with Prosecco contributing nearly two thirds of that growth in terms of total volume (followed by Champagne accounting for the remaining third).

■ 1.References:WineAustralia National Vintage Survey

Sandy Hathaway, Senior Analyst at Wine Australia, discusses the recent success of Prosecco in Australia.

By contrast, still wine declined by four per cent in volume over the same timeframe. This growth includes imported Prosecco, but Australian Prosecco accounted for approximately 78 per cent of total retail Prosecco sales in the country, and 83 per cent of the growth in the year ended April 2022, indicating that it is out-performing its imported rivals. 2022 04/22

Prosecco is distinctive because it is one of only two major wine grape varieties grown in Australia where more than half is produced in a single region, and that region is not one of the big inland ‘river’ regions (the other is Grüner Veltliner, where 54 per cent is grown in the Adelaide Hills). The top region for Prosecco is the King Valley in north east Victoria, where it makes up 42 per cent of that region’s production and accounts for 55 per cent of Australia’s total Prosecco crush.

2. IRI MarketEdge YE

34 | National Liquor News Wine Australia

Its crush has increased from less than 2000 tonnes in 2015, to around 14,000 tonnes in 2021 and 2022 – an average increase of 32 per cent every year over that timeframe. Its nearest rivals in the way of growth are Malbec, with an average annual growth rate of 18 per cent, Grüner Veltliner (17 per cent – but from a very low base) and Durif (16 per cent).

Designed to drive sales conversion in-store, the program supports key selling periods through a convenient display space. The ‘one-stop shop’ display makes shopping the hottest offers easier for customers, which means more sales for stores.

“The in-store excellence program is a brilliant initiative that not only serves the needs of shoppers in making our stores more shoppable, but has the added benefit of meeting the needs of our valuable suppliers and retail members – a true three way win!”

Spring has sprung at Independent Brands Australia (IBA) with bursts of marketing activity for an Instore Excellence Program (IEP).

“The Instore Excellence Program running in IBA retail stores is a true win/win/win. For shoppers, it is putting stock weight of promoted lines that represent true value right in front of them instore. For retailers, it is driving increased sales of our main promoted lines, and enhancing our value with shoppers (whilst being rewarded with additional rebates). For suppliers, it is amplifying existing promotions that are called out in ATL media and external store poster boards, with great stock weight and off-location display

There are a range of display solutions on offer to suit the store needs of each member. This includes small, medium and large modular units, or the option to utilise an existing gondola end. All displays are supported with POS material that is rotated monthly over the program period and elevates key shopping occasions.

in-store to maximise the return on promotional investment,” said Simon Cleave, National Category Manager at ALM.

The Instore Excellence Program will continue to deliver great successes for ALM’s network of IBA stores this season.

This blast of in-store activity paves the way into the busiest season of the year for IBA – Christmas, where shoppers can enjoy an ease of shopping and fabulous gifting ideas.

Footy Finals follows suit with the displays sporting ‘good value booze, for good value fans,’ showcasing good value fans from all different walks of life cheering on their teams. Josh Gaudry, General Manager Marketing at ALM, added: “We’re rooting for the team our adorable Yia Yia (grandmother) is cheering on!”

Commenting on the program, Gaudry said: “In marketing, our way of Championing Successful Independents is to make raving fans of our brands. We literally wake up each day and try to think of ways to drive foot traffic to our stores.

The spring launch is jam packed full of exciting activity, supporting supplier partners and retailers. It kicks off with a Father’s Day campaign - for The Bottle-O, this aligns with the brand campaign ‘Good Value,’ with POS material on displays focusing on good value gifts, for good value dads. Meanwhile, the Cellarbations approach focuses on ‘Good Shouts,’ shouting dad his favourite drinks for Father’s Day.

The opt in program rewards retailers with increased incremental sales, additional retailer incentives, and has seen almost half of the IBA network across IGA Liquor, Cellarbrations, The Bottle-O and Porters stores sign up. Members are experiencing an average of +20 per cent increase in sales during the program period – success all round.

Driving excellence at IBA

September 2022 | 35 Sponsored Content

BBQs give consumers the opportunity to relax while sharing food and drinks with loved ones. Brydie Allen explores what drinks are primed for the occasion.

What is that perfect beverage? There’s no single answer. But there are some things that they all have in common – something sessionable and convenient, that is a great tasting, accessible piece of luxury.

“Non-alcoholic beers are the ultimate session beer: you can drink them all day long and still get in the car to drive home.”

“We brew craft beers for all preferences here at Frenchies, all with the BBQ in mind!”

36 | National Liquor News BBQ Drinks

Cuvée are the perfect drops to take to a barbeque, providing the consumer with a convenient product size and a choice of the amount of alcohol consumed,” he said.

“As the weather warms up, I expect consumers to gravitate towards more summery flavour profiles – tropical ales, fruit-forward IPAs and clean, crisp lagers,” Storey



“A small format such as our 200ml Petite Sparkling Rosé and Piccolino Sparkling

Kirsten Storey, Owner of non-alcoholic beer importer and distributor, Storeywood Distributors, said BBQs are hardly the time for heavy “Thosedrinking.long,hot afternoons are not the time for a 12 per cent porter! Consumers are looking to grab a couple of four packs of a session beer that they can keep drinking all afternoon without ending up asleep under the trampoline,” she said.

The humble BBQ is a time for friends and families to gather in celebration of occasions big and small, or just everyday moments of togetherness. Food and drink are of course integral to these events, which will mean consumers will be coming in-store looking for the perfect BBQ beverage soon.

Storeywood Distributors has a range of new beers launching in time for BBQ season, including from award-winning Dutch breweries, Lowlander and Vandestreek. Such new non-alcoholic craft beers are intended to be interesting options for people to drink when they don’t want alcohol, with unique botanical-infused flavours that pair perfectly with the season.

It’s officially spring, and so too the start of peak season for a favourite Aussie past time – the BBQ.

“It’s important that the products are relevant to a BBQ setting too. This means the weather, the food, and the crowd all influence their decisions,” he said.

De Soyres predicts one of the top BBQ beers from the Frenchies portfolio to include the newest core range release, Hazy XPA, with notes of mango, passionfruit and lime. There’s also the brand’s special range of limited edition Birthday Beers, crafted for the Frenchies five year anniversary last month, including the Milkshake Rum Oak IPA, Cold Oak IPA, Hazy Rum Oak IPA and DIPA Oak.

element that contributes to sessionability is the general fit of a product to the event, as Vincent De Soyres, Cofounder and Master Brewer at Frenchies Bistro and Brewery, explained.

The BBQ event is a relaxed occasion, and consumers often look for something easy drinking.ForJohnathon Watson, Ferngrove Group Sales Manager, that means a convenient format to help moderate alcohol  consumption.

The occasionAussiegreat

Chef Luke Nguyen, who has just been announced as the new Ambassador for Champagne Lanson, said food is a vessel to show love towards those we care about at

“I love to celebrate all of life’s milestones, be it big or small, and celebrating by popping a bottle of Champagne always seems to put a smile on people’s faces,” he said.

“Whether it be a crisp sparkling, a refreshingly zesty Sauvignon Blanc or a flavoursome, fruit-forward red, consumers look to food friendly, approachable wines to share with family and friends,” he said.

“Beingphilosophy.abletotell the story behind the beer they are sipping on brings a deeper connection between the consumer and the product, makes for a good conversation starter, and adds a bit of street cred when they bring a cool new beer to the party!”

In terms of specific food and drink pairings, De Soyres said: “Ribs and steaks are always popular BBQ dishes, so the classics: American Pale Ale and WCIPA will be super popular, and those that enjoy smoky, juicy dishes will be reaching for hearty, malty beers, such as Belgian Red Ales and Dry Stouts.”

When it comes to wine, Watson said BBQ foods of the season pair well with fresh, lively and fruit driven wines.

is how they connect with the brand. There are a few elements at play here.

On this point of values, De Soyres added: “This means eye-catching branding is important, but it also has to have meaning behind it, and speak to the brand’s

Storey noted the current consumer need for exploration alongside quality, which goes hand in hand with Storeywood Distributor’s focus on importing “the Champagne of non-alcoholic beer.”

communal events, and choosing a drink to match simply adds to that.

■ September 2022 | 37 BBQ Drinks

Other values of BBQ consumers

Food pairings

Food takes centre stage at BBQs, so some consumers will look specifically for products that match well with the menu.

Interesting new releases cater to this customer exploration around events, for example with Vandestreek Playground nonalcoholic IPA, a grapefruit twist on the original IPA with a hearty mouthfeel that feels like a full strength beer, and Lowlander Cool Earth Lager, a gluten free 0.3 per cent beer that uses part of its profits to rejuvenate ocean plants.

The final things that may push BBQ going shoppers over the line for a specific product


Fresh, lively, green apples and lemon citrus – perfect aperitif to get the party started. Alongside the Ferngrove Petite Sparkling Rosé, this small 200ml sparkling bottle is available in three packs and is a great size to take along to any kind of event.

Bacardí Mojito

This pale pink colour rosé from Langhorne Creek has aromas of fresh strawberries with hints of juicy red cherries. Fresh juicy fruits continue on the palate with a hint of fresh cream. There is a lovely phenolic and acid balance that adds tension and mouthfeel giving the refreshing fruit flavours length.

38 | National Liquor News BBQ Drinks

Nothing beats a refreshing lager in hand while you’re in the outfield at a game of BBQ cricket. With less than 0.3 per cent ABV, and low in gluten, this nuanced pilsner infused with lemongrass appeals to a broad audience. Lowlander also adds a sea grass plant in the North Sea for every can sold, so you can feel extra good as you sip!

These drinks are examples of what will tick boxes this BBQ season, whether it be format, flavour, price or ABV.

Distributor: Treasury Premium Brands

Distibutor: Ferngrove

Lowlander Cool Earth Lager

Pepperjack Rosé

The Bacardí Mojito RTD lets the good times roll with refreshing sips that make every moment worthwhile. The perfectly combined mojito, made with Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum mixed with lime, sugar and mint is the perfect addition to any event, just crack open and enjoy.

Distributor: Bacardi-Martini Australia


Distributor: Storeywood Distributors

40 | National Liquor News Snooper

Snooper has been tracking the hard seltzer category in Australia pretty much since its introduction. Back in 2020 we observed that it was struggling to find a home in the fridge and at shelf. By 2021 that had righted itself, and hard seltzers are now firmly entrenched in the RTD category, predominantly found adjacent to vodka and ginBrandspremixes.and products have continued to proliferate, driven by innovation and the need for differentiation. In February 2021, our Snoopers observed the maximum number of brands in-store was 13. As of July 2022, that had shot up to 24. National chains were

Hard seltzer’s share of shelf races to keep up with brand proliferation

This mushrooming of brands and SKUs has inevitably put pressure on fridge and shelf space. While we’ve seen hard seltzer’s share of space increase, such as at BWS Burwood Plaza where the category’s shelf share tripled between August 2021 and July 2022, the number of

observed to be ranging as many as 12.2 brands in store, more than double that of the independents’ 4.9 brands. The average number of brands observed across stores increased from 3.8 in August 2021 to 6.0 in July 2022.

Much of this has been driven by innovation on a number of fronts. New flavours such as piña colada, new base spirit types such as tequila, and even brewed seltzers such as the award winning Australian brand Fellr. There has also been the introduction of higher ABV formats such as eight per cent ABV ‘super hard’ seltzers, and local outposts of global manufacturers are getting in on the act, such as Campari Australia’s launch of locally-made Truly.

No longer considered a fad category, product innovations in hard seltzer may be outpacing the space available to house them, writes Laurie Wespes, CEO of Snooper.

The three year old hard seltzer category continues to grow like the proverbial weed. Globally it has a CAGR of nearly 23 per cent, driven by China, India, Australia and New Zealand, and is forecast to be worth more than US$57 billion by 2030. In Australia, it saw a 24 per cent growth in dollar sales in the year to January 20222.

Both manufacturers and retailers need to keep a close eye on this hard seltzer category, from sales and space to brands and SKUs, to ensure that the continuing growth of the category is optimised. ■

Likewise at Sip’nSave Cross Keys Hotel in Cavan South Australia, share of fridge doubled from 28 per cent to 57 per cent in the observed period, with 75 per cent of this space now at eye level. Facings nearly doubled from 15 to 28, and the number of shelves more than doubled from 1.75 to four. Share of shelf doubled while the number of brands increased from four to seven.

As we surmised in our hard seltzer update for National Liquor News in February 2021, the increase in shelf space for seltzer has to come from somewhere, and at that time it was observed to have cannibalised cider space in some stores. Given the decline in the cider category, we can assume this continues to be the case. Additionally, dominance of seltzer at eye level in many stores indicates that other light RTDs are being moved further down in the fridge, becoming less visible.

August 2021 versus July 2022 at Sip’nSave Keys Cross Hotel

of increasing number of brands and the need to range more flavour variants and SKUs per brand.

This indicates that categories and brands not playing in the hard seltzer space, but adjacent to them, should be tracking the impact of seltzer on their shelf performance.

“Brands and products proliferate,continuedhavetodrivenbyinnovationandtheneedfordifferentiation.”

Laurie Wespes CEO andSnooperCo-founder

September 2022 | 41 Snooper

It was a better story at Bottlemart Beerwah, where shelf space has increased considerably with the number of shelves devoted to hard seltzer more than doubling from one to 2.5, facings increased from seven to 18, and fridge space from 17 per cent to 42 per cent, with 60 per cent of this at eye level. Whilst the number of brands has only increased from four to six over the period, in this instance the share of shelf has increased by a factor of 2.5.

August 2021 versus July 2022 at Bottlemart Beerwah

brands and SKUs may outpace the shelf share.


So, the pressure on share of shelf is a combination

For instance, at BWS Buderim in Queensland, hard seltzers have increased from nine to 24 brands between August 2021 and July 2022. The number of facings has increased from 45 to 113. Whilst the category’s share of shelf has increased by a factor of 2.5, this lags the brands’ growth at x 2.67.

42 | National Liquor News Hard Seltzer


Hayden Quinn, Hard Fizz Ambassador

After several years of extraordinary growth, can the seltzer category maintain its momentum? Seamus May spoke to leading producers to find out more.

“We know we have a very special brand in the Byron Bay Brewery. It’s particularly attractive to consumers [aged] 18-30. We know that for this age group, beer doesn’t meet all of their occasions, so you will continue to see exciting innovation from the Byron Bay Brewery brand with seltzers just the beginning,” said Jamison.

There’s no limit to innovation in the seltzer space right now, with the entrance of new flavours, brands and ranges helping drive the category’s momentum.

“The category needs to continually innovate if it wants to keep engaging consumers.”

Kieron Barton, Co-founder of Saintly Hard Seltzer, agrees with the need for innovation to boost consumer awareness.

“Consumers are still discovering the hard seltzer category. According to IWSR, less than 50 per cent of RTD drinkers are aware of the category in Australia; therefore, flavour innovation and exploration will continue to be vital to the category,” Barton said.

seltzer, as long as there’s an appetite for it.”

“The category is in such huge demand because it plugs a gap in the market, catering for those that are looking for something that’s light, easy drinking and lower in calories and sugar than other alcoholic drinks out there,” White says.

Ed Jamison, Brand Director at White Claw’s Australian distributor, Lion, said: “The functional and emotional consumer needs which have largely driven the success of seltzer are here to stay – functionally we know a growing subset of consumers are actively looking for products with lower sugar, calories and carbohydrates.

Innovation key for growing category

The Australian market has also recorded significant growth over the past 12 months, with IRI finding that seltzer had expanded by 24 per cent in the year to January 2022.

One such brand that is heavily into innovation is Hard Fizz, with CEO Wade Tiller identifying the company’s tactic to “innovate with purpose.”

Faye White, head of Brand and Marketing for Wayward Brewing Co’s W Seltzer, strikes a similar tone to Jamison.

“Collectively, the category needs to educate consumers as to what it is and that’ll ensure there’s more seltzer drinkers than ever.”

“The category needs more market penetration. People are still walking into Fizz HQ [the brand’s brewery] who’ve never had a seltzer, so collectively, the category needs to educate consumers as to what it is and that’ll ensure there’s more seltzer drinkers than ever,” Tiller continued.

Original disruptor sharpens its claws

“This summer, for example, we’re releasing a Blueberry Lemonade and Piña Colada Hard Fizz to appeal to those with a sweeterCo-founderpalate.” and Director of Fellr, Will Morgan, highlights another opportune area for innovation, and said: “Higher ABV options will increasingly become more popular, with people looking to get that little more bang for your buck.”

One of the earliest brands in this space was White Claw, originally established in the USA in 2016. White Claw has seen first-hand, and partly precipitated, the international rise of the seltzer category.

“It’s going to be a huge summer again this year for White Claw, with even more news to come in 2023,” Jamison hints.

September 2022 | 43 Hard Seltzer

Yet, as with any rapidly expanding category, the question remains whether seltzer will be able to maintain its momentum. With an increasingly competitive market, how can brands continue to connect with consumers now the initial novelty of seltzers has worn off?

“Some other categories aren’t seen as being as relevant particularly to younger consumers. As a result, we see the category continuing its success for a long time particularly with brands bringing new and exciting innovation to market.”

As White said: “We’ve seen huge innovation with craft beer in Australia over the past few years, it’s possible we could see the same for

“And of course the convenience of it… For those reasons alone I can’t see interest in the category losing momentum. I think new product development will help maintain interest in the category too.”

That point about reacting to consumer demand is important, because according to Tiller, innovation is most impactful when aligned to the customer.

Wade Tiller HardCEOFizz

“In theory, we could make a new flavour every week if we wanted but there’s limited space in the market; so we innovate in a very deliberate way with a different occasion or consumer in mind,” Tiller says.

Lion as a whole understands the importance of the hard seltzer market right now, with the company’s Byron Bay Brewery brand now moving into the category for the first time.

There can be little doubt that over the past few years, hard seltzer has risen from niche product to retail mainstay. Analysis published in March of this year by Grand View Research tipped the global seltzer market to be worth nearly USD$60 billion by 2030, recording a CAGR of 22.9 per cent.

It’s this innovation that White Claw has identified as key for both retaining drinkers and reaching new markets, with the brand slated to launch two new flavours to its 6.5 per cent ‘White Claw Surge’ range.

“With innovation at our heart and the ability to be nimble in response to changing consumer needs, we’ll continue to support consumers’ desire for new beverage experiences with market-leading innovation.”

Fellr, Hard Fizz, and W Seltzer are all intriguing in that they are ‘naturally’ brewed, offering a bridge between the seltzer and beer categories, and the opportunity to market strongly with traditional beer drinkers.

Carrollnoted.says that when he was developing Golden Hour, many seltzers were vodka-based, but very few were making use of tequila.

With such strong momentum, it’s understandable that there has been such a proliferation of brands and products entering the space.

White also hinted at some interesting innovation to come from W Seltzer, particularly in those that have a higher ABV.

“Compa Drinks Co sets itself apart from its competition with the use of 100 per cent agave premium blanco tequila sourced from ‘El Valle de Tequila’ Jalisco, Mexico,” Chappell says.

“Some brands have been successful as the space lends itself well to their core brand proposition, while others look particularly out of place in a category that doesn’t fit their brand.”

“Because Australia already had such an established RTD market, with a lot of heritage brands and sub-categories, we were always going to see blurring of category lines as everyone throws everything against the wall to see what’s next to stick and resonate with the audience,” Morgan said.

the category over the past 12 months.

Tequila and cocktail seltzers a growing trend

“I think it’ll consolidate in terms of number and breadth of brands…The category will mature into a mainstay in the RTD space but with fewer players - they need space, and there’s just not the space,” he said.

On the wider cocktail front, Saintly has seen great success with its line of cocktail-inspired seltzers and

“I believe currently at this time, there are only two or three other tequila seltzers on the market,” Carroll adds.

Hard seltzer is certainly pulling its weight in the RTD category, as Tiller illustrates.

“The rise of both the agave space and the seltzer category has provided a massive demand for Compa Drinks

Sam Carroll, Founder of seltzer brand, Golden Hour, is hoping his company can harness increased awareness of agave spirits.

44 | National Liquor News Hard Seltzer

“We wanted to create a drink that not only our friendship circle would enjoy, but the wider community. [Tequila bases] has been a gap in the Australian market for some time since the birth of seltzers so it was an opportunity we just had to grab,” Carroll

Tiller agrees, suggesting a more streamlined category could be evident soon.


One brand that has made tequila its key selling point is Sydney-based Compa Drinks Co, as Cofounder, Nick Chappell, outlines.

“Seltzer is responsible for about 25 per cent of the growth in RTDs,” he said.

Consolidation ahead?

W Seltzer is small batch brewed with allnatural ingredients and real fruit extract, while Hard Fizz is produced at the brand’s brewery and taphouse on the Gold Coast, which is open to visitors to view theFellrprocess.hastaken the brewing technique into a new direction recently too, with the launch of a limited edition


The growth of cocktail-themed and tequila-based seltzers has been one of the key developments of

seltzersBrewed offer an angleinteresting

“TheCo.key to a good seltzer is sessionability, fresh natural flavours and a clean finish. We have found that the use of tequila ticks all these boxes. We are also a big believer in the motto ‘if it looks good they’ll buy it once, if it tastes good they will keep buying

“Retail and on-premise 100 per cent work hand-in-hand with each other. Our focus has been building our brand in the onpremise around our key stores and then supporting the flow through into these retail partners,” Skora said.

Barton said the cocktail inspired seltzers “tapped into the growing seltzer and cocktail markets in one drink which has been brilliantly received.

“It gives us a lot more opportunity to activate and build the brand in exciting ways, and aids the awareness of the product when customers go in-store.”

Faye White Brand and Marketing W Seltzer

“We’re also seeing signs of premiumisation across the RTD category and the emergence of spirit-based seltzers that offer differentiation with more complex or bold flavours, including tequila and agave.”

This approach gives Morgan reason to feel bullish about the future of the brand and category, with Fellr recording 300 per cent growth in FY22.

also its line of Saintly Spirits, which allow consumers to mix their favourite seltzers sustainably at home.

46 | National Liquor News Hard Seltzer

“We’ve adopted a ‘precinct strategy’, and by that I mean, where we activate well on-premise, we then give support to retailers in that area – if we can build brand loyalty on-premise, that drives them to retailers to transact,” Tiller said.

Fellr has adopted a similar tactic, as the brand’s Director and Co-founder, Andy Skora, explains.

Jamison says great things can come in the cocktail space with seltzers, noting: “The potential scale of the cocktail opportunity is certainly very exciting and we should expect to see continued innovation and growth in this segment within the category.

“We’ve seen huge innovation with craft beer in Australia over the past few years, it’s possible we could see the same for seltzer, as long as there’s an appetite for it.”

“The possibilities are almost endless for this category due to the breadth of potential innovation in seltzer means the future is extremely exciting for the seltzer category!”

“From what we’ve seen, the seltzer category is still only gathering steam. While it’s been a breakout couple of years, it’s predominantly been focused in key metro and coastal cities, so it hasn’t crossed over to mainstream markets as yet,” Morgan adds.

Dovetailing retail and on-premise strategy

During the lockdown era, with outdoor socialising high on the agenda, seltzer brands benefited from the pick-up-and-go nature of the product. But what does this mean now that the on-premise is back operating as ‘normal’?

Chappell identified the off-premise as being incredibly important to the growth of the category, and said: “We are pushing the introduction of new flavours and limited release products, promoting off-premise activations and increasing tastings to drive momentum in the off-premise space.”

Moon Dog mixedFizzerpack

48 | National Liquor News Hard

A look at local seltzer

Fellr Passionfruit

Get five downright delicious Moon Dog Fizzer Alcoholic Seltzer flavours in a super handy 10 pack. Moon Dog Fizzer Mixed 10 Packs are loaded with two Tropical Crush, two Piney Limey, two Raspberry Sorbet, two Peach Iced Tea and two Pink Flamingo alcoholic seltzers. All are low carb, low sugar, low calorie and are bursting will all natural fruit flavours.

W Seltzer

Hand crafted by Aussie-owned Wayward Brewing Co, W Seltzer is a refreshingly different range of hard seltzers, designed to be easy drinking with a clean, crisp finish. Each small batch is brewed with all-natural ingredients and real fruit extract. These easy-drinking seltzers are also naturally gluten free, low in sugar and low in carbs. Developed with the hot and humid Aussie climate in mind, W Seltzer is the perfect drink for any summer occasion. Available in five thirst-quenching flavours: Classic Lime, Summer Berries, Tropical Mango, Juicy Peach and Watermelon.

Get inspired for the spring and summer season with these independent Australian hard seltzer products. Seltzer

Fresh, natural passionfruit flavours complement crisp hints of citrus ending with a smooth, dry finish. Born on the beaches of Sydney, the Fellr team has always prioritised flavour, creating their own custom fermentation and brewing method, sourcing only the finest all natural ingredients in the process. This focus on quality has seen them collect two trophies, five golds and six silvers this winter at the top international wine and spirits shows, including the world’s best brewed hard seltzer at The Spirits Business Hard Seltzer Masters in London. Fellr is under one gram sugar, gluten free, and only 83 calories per can.

Hard Fizz Piña Colada

Compa Grapefruit is inspired by Mexico’s famous cocktail the Paloma and features premium blanco tequila sourced from ‘El Valle de Tequila’ Jalisco, Mexico. Made using grapefruit sparkling water, lime and tequila - as refreshing as it gets! This seltzer is low calorie and low sugar for a sweet, slightly tart and refreshingextremelydrink.

Compa GrapefruitSeltzer

Saintly Spirits

An Australian first from the bold and disruptive seltzer brand, Saintly is shaking up the seltzer and spirits category, with the nationwide launch of Saintly Spirits.

Two full-flavoured, 30 per cent ABV spirits, made from the same premium sugar cane vodka spirit that is used in their existing seltzers and available in two of the most popular flavours, Holy Watermelon & Mint and Forbidden Pink Grapefruit. The signature serves are perfect for enjoying spring, summer and beyond! Simply serve over ice with soda for refreshment reborn, or add a new dimension to the classic spritz, by mixing it with Prosecco and soda and serving over ice in a wine glass, or jug to share – giving a theatrical and ‘holier than thou’ feel to each serve.

Available from Saintly Bev Co.


Hard Fizz is set to swoon taste buds this summer, dropping an ultra-delicious Piña Colada flavour just in time for the warmer months! A fan favourite already on tap at the brand’s Gold Coast brewery, Fizz HQ, the blend is now available by the can from retailers with a distinct creamy taste despite being perfectly clear. Naturally brewed with just 94 calories and 99 per cent sugar free, Piña Colada Hard Fizz will be loved by anyone who likes gettin’ caught in the rain and an almighty burst of flavour.

September 2022 | 49 Hard Seltzer

Statista data reflects this too, with France and Italy recorded as two of the highest value countries for imported wine in Australia, after New Zealand. These top three nations are miles ahead of any others.

50 | National Liquor News Imported and International Wine

“The pandemic stopped one thing that Aussies love to do and that is travel… Imported wines allow for Australian consumers to still have an experience of another country through the wines we are importing,” said Vallentine.

Growth in traditional areas

If your social media feeds are full of people exploring summery northern hemisphere locations right now, you might think that this adventure is being fulfilled

Vallentine noted similar results, and said: “We are seeing growth across traditional imported wines such as Champagne, which is having great success in Australia at the moment.”

Despite our relatively small population in comparison to other wine importing nations, Australia is often identified as a great area of opportunity by wine regions of all sizes across the world.

“I think the classic old world regions probably have more resonance with the consumer here – it’s still France and Italy that are our strong points,” Evans said.

There are several reasons for the success of classic wine regions in Australia right now. Consumers may be looking for regions or producers they trust, that have ample history and prestige behind them. Or, some of the top wines from these nations could just be perfectly suited to local customer needs, as Joe Molinari, CEO of Combined Wines, explains.

“We’relike Australia.”justgetting started… it’s a big opportunity for us because Australia is a great market,” Kessler said.

For many regions, growth rates have increased even during the pandemic when the push to support local producers was at its strongest.DebVallentine, National Business Manager at Calabria Family Wine Group and its import arm Vintners & Co. Merchants, explained the duality of these trends.

just fine without imported wine. However, that’s not the case. International producers are still focused on Australia to bring a taste of all corners of the world to local consumer fingertips.

Tim Evans, National Business Manager –Imported Wines for Negociants Australia, said the traditional wine areas are continuing to lead growth.

Maud Kessler, Export Sales Director of Vignobles Austry, which includes brands such as France’s Peyrassol and Château Malescasse that are coming to Australia soon via Fisher Fine Wines, said international producers “truly believe in markets

Australia is a key focus for many wine regions across the world, who seek to capitalise on local consumers’ love of travel and exploration, without needing to leave the country, writes Brydie Allen.

Not all regions across the international wine market yield equal results in Australia.


In the world of pink rosé, Pasqua produced its 11 Minute Rosé about five years ago and were ahead of the curve in Italian pink rosé production, as other producers continued to release red rosés instead. The product has proven to be very popular in the domestic market due to its packaging, price and taste and is introduced to consumers by way of numerous listings at the on-premise level. The wine is made from a combination of Corvina, Trebbiano di Luana, Syrah and Carmenere grapes. Distributed in Australia by Combined Wines.

“We’re a very, very lookstatsthepopulation,smallbutIthinkindustryarequitepositive…AlotofregionsatthatandseeAustraliaasanothernicecountrytobe in”TimEvans

“AustraliaAustralia.isour fifth largest export market. It was number 10 about eight years ago, but in the last few years, sales have improved thanks to the Single Vineyard Sellers team,” said Matteo Apollonio, who manages exports from Mezzacorona Group to Australia, Northern Europe, Canada and Asia.

Imported wine spotlight: Pasqua 11 Minute Rosé

National Business ManagerImorted Wines Negociants Australia

Another company that is keen to tell their unique story of Italian heritage is Mezzacorona Group, which features a number of brands that have passed passion and dedication to winemaking throughout the generations. For the Mezzacorona brand itself, with vineyards nestled into the foot of the incredible looming Dolomite Mountains just a short distance from Lake Garda, telling the story of a great

“Mezzacorona is certified EU sustainable and vegan friendly which is becoming ever more important to consumers. These points are fantastic to draw the consumer in, but what brings our consumers back time and time again is Mezzacorona’s commitment to quality and consistency in each bottle… We delight in providing a product to our customers that is dependable, delivering in taste, quality and consistency but more importantly keeps consumers devoted to our customers’ stores and venues.”

September 2022 | 51 Imported and International Wine

“They also represent traditional Italian varietals produced in an Italian environment under Italian conditions which consumers are looking for as opposed to similar wines produced outside of Italy.”

commitment to tradition and quality has seen great results in

Justine Teal, Marketing Manager at Single Vineyard Sellers, added some more context about this journey, and said: “We are delighted to partner with Mezzacorona who showcase the grower producer business model at its finest by always putting quality first.

Communicating these processes is important to international producers, as they enter Australia looking to tell their unique stories.

Speaking of what he calls the most popular Italian wines right now, including Pinot Grigio, rosé, Prosecco, Sangiovese, Nero D’Avola and Chianti, Molinari said: “All of these wines are lifestyle wines and go with food. They are perfect as leisurely drinking wines that allow the consumer to drink in an easy fashion without there being too much tannin, oak or residual sugar.

Even within classic international wine regions, there is that desire to explore something unusual and interesting. For example, Mezzacorona produces what it calls an Italian Glacial Sparkling, which communicates the unique location of its vineyards in the Trentino region near the mountains, rather than the more

Imported wine spotlight: Mezzacorona

Some of the varietals that Dunne has seen promise in recently within the imported wine segment include those that aren’t that well known in the Australian general public, meaning they are ripe for explorers to discover. Varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Aligoté and Nerello Mascalese were all tipped as areas of interest, largely because consumers would be hard pressed to find such wines readily available from localIt’sproducers.notjust unusual varietals that are influencing popularity.

One of the most influential wineries of Northern Italy, Mezzacorona delivers in spades. This is the home base of its Trentino wines. Its far-sighted growers have for years been putting quality first, and have always entrusted professionals to run their hightech winery, allowing them to concentrate on their core skill… the farming of premium grapes. The Mezzacorona range features the award-winning Mezza di Mezzacorona Italian Glacial Sparkling and Sparkling Rosé, complemented by the house’s Maso di Mezzo still wines, which over-deliver at their price points with exceptional quality. Mezzacorona is the cornerstone of the Mezzacorona Group portfolio, which reaches around Italy to gather the most exceptional examples of wine on offer in the country. Distributed in Australia by Single Vineyard Sellers.

According to Evans: “Australian consumers are always quite open consumers and very well educated consumers.”Whilethereis some great knowledge within the classic regions and styles that is driving local demand for international wines, there is also a thirst to try different things.

52 | National Liquor News Imported and International Wine

Alternate regions and varieties surging

“American wine is growing rapidly in Australia, IWSR data shows 41 per cent volume CAGR and 37 per cent value since 2017 and predicts the category to grow almost 50 per cent by 2026,” Theodosi said.

Brands has seen such results with its Robert Mondavi Private Selection range out of California, reflecting a wider interest in wine from America.

“Exploration is key. Wine drinkers are often aware of the type of varietal they like, but love to explore and trial different expressions of their favourite varietals. By offering wines from different countries, drinkers can discover the nuanced impact that different climates, growing techniques and terroir has on the final product,” Theodosi said.

Adam Partington, Managing Director of Saint Wine, gave a great example of this, saying: “The real increase we’ve seen is in demand for high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from elsewhere in the world, like USA and ConstellationNZ.”

Matt Dunne, Group Wine Ambassador at Joval Wines, said: “Imports will continue to evolve and grow. Consumers are always on the hunt to try new things, explore new regions.”

Andrew Theodosi, Brand Manager at Constellation Brands, said drinkers are increasingly attracted to finding out what different regions have to offer in styles they wouldn’t expect.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY NSW Combined Wines & Foods VIC Alepat Taylor QLD Global Food & Wine

A lot of regions look at that and see Australia as another nice country to be in, and one that is easy to deal with as it’s quite open,” Evans

Exploration and education

well-known Prosecco vineyards in Veneto. On the other end of the scale though, the group also produces Feudo Arancio wines from the southern-most wine region of Italy, Sicily, which is quite a warm region known for producing interesting grape varieties such as Nero D’Avola, Grillo and Cataratto.

However there is a lot of hope that these challenges can be successfully navigated. Vallentine, for example, noted: “I think we will see continued growth. Global shipping is causing some issues with supply however demand is still high across all price points with imported wines.”

I think the industry stats are quite positive…

international winemakers, overcoming challenges is possible thanks to a connection to parent groups, like Vignobles Austruy. Vice President, Alban Cacaret, said the group’s focus is to allow the individual wineries to keep their strong identities while making distribution easier.

“Retailers are so important in this communication and being approachable is key to helping customers take a fun, new path in their in wine journey.”

of imported wines on on-premise lists, retailers can provide the next nugget of a consumer’s wine knowledge, which can lead to more purchases, if they are prepared.“It’sinretailers’ best interests to make sure they stay up to date and educated about emerging regions. Retailers should be willing to explore and provide their customers with wines that fulfill their interests and desires around travel and experimentation,” Fallows said.

While there’s some great interest coming from different areas of the imported wine segment, the market’s exact future trajectory remains unclear in what Partington describes as “interesting times ahead, with many competing forces.”

After all, in an ever-growing congested market, it’s an important role of the retailer to educate and enable shoppers to make satisfyingDunnechoices.said:“Prices are going up but there are still great value imported wines from regions that are on the rise. For example, Muscadet (from the Loire Valley) ticks a lot of boxes for those who enjoy Chablis, as does Aligoté (from Burgundy).

Barney Fallows, Wine Wholesaler at Déjà Vu Wine Co., said with travel routes reopened and a burgeoning list

The tentatively bright future

Evans added that Negociants Australia receives an average of one to two new requests for distribution from an international winemaker every day, showing that producers across the world still see the strong“We’reopportunity.avery,very small population, but

“The next 12 - 24 months will see the landscape change significantly with shipping and fuel costs exploding, a completely compromised supply chain and inflation through the roof and not about to be curbed by any RBA strategy. Imports have previously been a source of amazing quality at the value end of the spectrum... This value could well be a thing of the past when the dust settles in the current climate,” he said.

To put it simply, the key to unlocking the potential of imported wine in liquor retail is education that enables exploration.


■ 54 | National Liquor News Imported and International Wine

“We organise the shipping of all our estates, to make it easier for everyone. For the export market, we can consolidate containers from the one storage facility that houses all the wines,” Cacaret said.

To help with this, Theodosi suggests stocking imported wines alongside Australian counterparts, as “this helps provide variety to your shoppers who are feeling a little more adventurous and can actually encourage exploration.”

Integrated sustainable practices & vegan friendly THE HEART OF SICILY Mezzacorona and Feudo Arancio is distributed by Single Vineyard Sellers 02 9460 3177 |



56 | National Liquor News Premium Gin


After years of rapid expansion, and with the gin category more competitive than ever before, brands are still finding inventive new ways to connect with drinkers, as Seamus May discovers.

“We have just expanded the Drumshanbo range with the introduction of their Sardinian Citrus Irish Gin,” Redin adds.

“Aussies love to travel more than most, and international gins are an excuse to dream of other places,” Inglis adds.

Belinda Sanderson Head of Gin, Whiskies and Agave Pernod Ricard

This expression was the result of PJ Rigney, founder of Dumshanbo, travelling to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.“Thelocals introduced PJ to the ‘Sa pompia’ [also called China Citron] of Citrus monstruosa,” Redin says.

“Trends we are seeing is the increase in the use of citrus botanicals. No better [gin] sums that up as the recent launch of Gin Mare Capri – made with Italian bergamot from Calabria and lemons from Capri,” he said.

“It is a dynamic time for imported gins in Australia as consumers look to discover something new from gin by uncovering new countries of origin.”

One of these is Angove’s Vintage House Wine and Spirits, which added Finnish brand Arctic Blue Gin to its portfolio earlier this year. National Liquor News asked Marketing Manager Matt Redin what the motivation was to introduce an international gin, with the domestic industry still so impressive.

Imported gins offer new opportunities

The spirit of escapism

Ricard is another company with major imported gins

September 2022 | 57 Premium Gin

This lemon-influenced gin responds to a growing trend in the category, also identified by Amber Beverage Australia’s Jonathan Howells.

“The result of PJ Rigney’s curious discovery is an intriguing expression of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin with subtle hints of Sardinian citrus.”

Howells agrees that there is still strong opportunity in the international gin segment, a perspective that is echoed by Ben Inglis, Head of Sales for Spirits Platform, which imports both The Botanist and Martin Miller’s brands.

Inglis believes that Australians’ love of travel inspires a particularly strong connection to imported gins.

“I think that Aussie gins and international gins share the same place in the consumer’s heart – they have to be different, and special and most importantly, they have to be 100 per centPernodgenuine.

“The market for imported gin is still strong – as long as the brand has a point of difference,” Redin explains.

By virtue of its botanical nature, gin was able to handily harness the local ingredient, craft production and authenticity trends that have proved so compelling for younger adult drinkers over recent years.

“Imported gin in Australia is still seeing growth – imported gins are also still playing a major role in the total gin category’s growth,” Inglis says.

“For Arctic Blue it is its Finnish origin and being distilled using wildgrown Arctic blueberries, to give it a distinctive taste.”

While the shop local trend appears irrepressible, there is a whole world of possibilities offered by overseas gins – with major Australian drinks companies getting on board.

Arctic Blue has joined the international ranks of Vintage House’s portfolio alongside Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Redin described this brand’s selling point as its “exotic mix of 12 botanicals that give it a unique flavour profile that keep consumers coming back.

The ‘ginnaisance’ is a good candidate for being the number one drinks trend of the century so far. It’s a well-worn story, but one that is worth repeating: within a matter of a few years, gin transformed itself from a grandparents’ tipple, to major millennial favourite.

Volard believes that this shift towards consolidation may apply to the flavours of the spirits themselves.

Ben Inglis Head of Sales Spirits Platform

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“In the UK and USA in particular, we are starting to see a bit of a shake out of the category with many of the smaller brands being forced out of the market as retailers consolidate their ranges,” Redin outlines.

“We then see this translating to the home experience consumers are looking to create.”

Like Inglis, Sanderson sees the growing desire to experience the foreign and exotic as a key driver of sales in the overseas gin segment, particularly with Malfy Gin.

For Bibendum Bar, distributor of gins such as those from Animus Distillery and Ester Spirits, the general consumer thirst for exploration is influencing gin from all angles, both domestic and international.

“Home consumers are starting to head pretty far from your traditional Friday night G&T. People are getting more creative with their cocktails from

in its portfolio. In recent years, the company has sought to diversify its offering, introducing more modern international spirits to its selection, as Belinda Sanderson, the brand’s Head of Gin, Whiskies and Agave outlines.

“I think that Aussie gins and international gins share the same place in the consumer’s heart – they have to be different, and special and most importantly, they have to be 100 per cent genuine.”

their living room,” said Sam Volard, National Key Account Manager.

And it appears similar trends are afoot back in Australia too, as Baxter suggests: “There are certainly more and more gin brands entering the market every month with no signs of slowing down.

“The Italian ‘la dolce vita’ lifestyle that Malfy embodies is appealing to consumers both during lockdowns as it encompassed what they wanted to be experiencing, and now because there is such passion to explore Europe again,” Sanderson says.

“I think the last few years have shown that there are few limits to how creative distillers can be in their botanical usage,” Volard said.

“We’ve focused on gin as an area of growth over the past few years and brought in new brands to accompany our more traditional UK gins in Beefeater and Plymouth.

“I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, though if it’s like other spirit categories historically, I would imagine the next

A mixed picture in the near future

Redin believes that certain overseas trends suggest a slight compression in the Australian market is to come soon.

Sean Baxter, Co-founder and Brand Director of Australian gin brand Never Never, noted this trend as important too, saying: “One of the clearest trends identified within the gin category is that gin drinkers are always on the hunt for something new, something unique and something that fits into their changing lifestyles.”

“It is a dynamic time for imported gins in Australia as consumers look to discover something new from gin by uncovering new countries of origin. We have seen this in particularly across Malfy from Italy, Ki No Bi from Japan as well as the much-loved German Monkey 47.”

“As people start to experiment with different drinks at home it boosts the demand for more variety of interesting and delicious gins.”

“In terms of category growth, we’re starting to see things flatten out slightly which is why it’s more important now than ever for brands to establish themselves outside of their local markets.”

“Our gin portfolio comes from all parts of the globe, offering diversity of region, and the all-important botanicals,” Sanderson says.

Be a part of Australia’s largest Liquor Cooperative, servicing the industry since 1975. Pat Kenny (NSW) 0409 308 341 Craig Stephenson (QLD) 0434 575 589 Operating from four well equipped distribution centres, each complemented with experienced support staff Represented by three market leading banner groups across NSW QLD and VIC Offering the convenience of a one stop online liquor shop at wholesale pricing to all liquor licensed stores across NSW. Available on Sydney Brisbane Townsville Melbourne warehouse Y OUR ONE ST OP LIQUOR SHOP

Blind Tiger Gin is one brand that is certainly taking advantage of the trend towards quality flavoured gins that deliver on more than just a colour. The brand is distilled at the historic St. Agnes distillery, and has just released a special winter release Organic Shiraz Gin, made using organic McLaren Vale Shiraz grapes from Angove Family Winemakers’ Warboys Vineyard.

direction of gin is about refinement and bringing it back to classic delicate balance.”

“It’s still going strong – the category continues to grow at around nine per cent per annum, and the local craft category at a rate well beyond that. There will inevitably be some gin businesses doing better than others but that is just market forces at work,” Gregor

“Flavouredgin. gin is taking a lot of ground off coloured. Where once coloured gin was king, flavoured gins are proving to be the latest trend driving the gin category forward,” Baxter says.

Beyond interesting flavourful concoctions, Australian distillers are innovating for the better when it comes to the overall taste profiles and compositions of their gin. This is how Animus Distillery aims to stay ahead of the pack, according to Distiller, Luke Jacques.

“In terms of category growth, we’re starting to see things flatten out slightly which is why it’s themselvesbrandsimportantmorenowthaneverfortoestablishoutsideoftheirlocalmarkets.”

Gregor’s own brand has made a practice of innovation since its launch in 2013. One of its most creative concepts was the Bloody Shiraz Gin, which combines Four Pillars gin with Shiraz grapes.

than there were when we created Bloody Shiraz Gin in 2015, but that just shows what a bloody good idea it must have been at the time,” Gregor says.

“It seems gin, as a category, becomes more competitive by the day. Innovation and experimentation have always been at the core of the Animus ethos,” Jacques said.

Meanwhile, Stuart Gregor, Co-founder and Trade Director of Four Pillars Gin, strikes a more hopeful chord about the category’s future.

“It is an explosion of exotic botanicals infused with intense mandarin aromas from the Imperials with the Dancy’s coming through mid-palate with a refreshing juicy citrus finish,” said Redin.

Shiraz fruit, full bodied and delicious on the palate the Single Vineyard Organic Shiraz Gin finishes long and sweet,” said Redin.

“When Animus launched in 2016 with

“There’s a few more grape gins around

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Never Never is another brand operating in this space, with its Ginache bottling, which steeps Grenache fruit with gin. Baxter suggests that the growth of these products reflects a wider trend toward legitimate flavoured

“Deep opaque crimson with a purple hue, the juniper spice and citrus botanicals of the Organic Blind Tiger Gin lift the unctuous

Blind Tiger also has a special summer release that delivers on the flavourful trend, while tapping into the citrus movement. The Blind Tiger Organic Mandarin Gin was made using organic Dancy and Imperial mandarins grown by the Howie family at Fat Goose fruits.

“Therestates.will naturally be a little bit of rationalisation – meaning, the strongest brands with the best products, the smartest marketing, the best innovation, and distribution will win out.”

Sean Baxter Co-founder and Brand Director Never Never Distilling Co

Aussie innovations provide ready-made narratives

“We definitely don’t want the message to be too ‘gin-eric’. Share the great stories brands are about and the consumers will follow!”

“The quality of the communication tools due to COVID is generally out of sight and sharing this with your customers is the key to inspiring trial to different gins,” Inglis says.

Gregor’s top tips are about making the category extra accessible to customers who are looking for premium gins that deliver on their

their three core gins - a bold interpretation of a classic dry (Macedon Dry), a South East Asian inspired gin (Ambrosian) and a herbaceous/ savoury gin (Arboretum), there was nothing like them on the Australian gin market. That range has now grown to six, the three core or signature gins and three annual releases: Davidsonia (Davidson Plum), Ananas (Pineapple) and Barrel Aged gins.”

Retailers will no doubt have honed their sales techniques over the course of the gin renaissance, however, the brands that National Liquor News spoke to did suggest there remained the opportunity to further connect with consumers.

gin shoppers like to know where their favourite brands are, so put them front and centre. If someone wants to hunt around and seek the more obscure that’s fine, but they will be happy to look harder at the edges,” he said.

With all these facings though, Baxter reminds retailers that it’s important to know your range intimately, and recommends reaching out to producers to gain this knowledge. From here, staff are in the best position to give consumers satisfying gin experiences.

Luke Jacques AnimusDistillerDistillery

Communication is key

September 2022 | 61 Premium Gin

“Gin deserves lots of facing and lots of real estate, it’s a growing category with a lot of consumer interest. Be sure to train up your staff about the best local gins, too – that’s a great selling point.”

Sanderson recommends “putting the consumers’ needs at the heart of the“ the opportunity to share something new, that often sparks the discussion around ‘that moment on holiday’ or ‘that cocktail they loved in a bar somewhere’.”


“It’s the story, place and people that really sell a brand for me. Personally, I need to believe in the people behind the brand to justify the cost. If retailers can convey that message to the consumers, then there is more chance of conversion and recurring purchases.”

“A win for the customer is a win for the brand and the retailer. There’s a lot of noise on gin shelves and it’s getting louder, so engaging with distilleries to learn more about the products or even the category can be a great way to make sure that they’re recommending the right products to the right customers,” Baxter said. ■

“It seems gin, as a category, becomes more competitive by the day.”

This position is held by Volard too, who said: “I think of premium gin in quite a similar way to premium wines.

Reasons that wineries go organic

By Brydie Allen. organic Yalumba

All about

wines are part of our sustainability journey. We have chosen sites that are suited to sustainable organic viticulture and have worked on these to develop our wines as a true reflection of the place and the season in which they are produced,” Fraser said.

That strong connection to the true nature of a vineyard’s land is one of the many reasons that wineries and growers choose to go organic. According to Heather Fraser, Senior Winemaker at Yalumba, this creates wines that authentically showcase a specific region and how it can change throughout the“Organicyears.

Tamburlaine Organic Wines has a number of organic vineyards in different regions. The company made the move to organic so the viticultural benefits could flow into the wines themselves.

The concept of organic and/or biodynamic has certainly been brought further into the mainstream light in recent years, as people generally become more educated about what these terms mean, and why they matter.

healthy crops through a ‘back to basics’ and organic approach to farming,” he said.

The essence of a food or drink product being certified organic comes down to the producers not using any synthetic chemicals, and going through rigorous auditing to prove it.

“Many of these learnings we have carried through into all our viticulture practices and we have been reaping the benefits of fantastic biodiversity and health in our Organicvineyards.”viticulture has also taught important environmental lessons to Fourth Wave Wine, according to Co-owner, Nicholas Crampton. This is particularly evident in its organic labels such as Bumblebee, Farm Hand and Little Giant Free.

When it comes to organic wine, this means no man-made pesticides or herbicides in the vineyard and no otherwise artificial chemicals used in production. The teams behind organic wine labels instead learn to work with the environment to overcome any challenges that arise, with a focus on promoting the health of the soil, the plants, and the entire ecosystem that the vines call home.

“Harmony with nature through organic, sustainable and vegan friendly practices allows all to flourish – the vines, the plants and the animals. The bees play a vital role in the ecosystem and support us in cultivating

62 | National Liquor News Organic Wine

At New Zealand’s Villa Maria, adding organic wines to the portfolio has given the company the opportunity to learn more about the terroir where their grapes are grown and has positively impacted all areas of its viticulture.

“Organic wines are the perfect experiment to challenge us to step outside the norm with the way we tend our vines and enhance the wonderful soils and ecosystems we are fortunate to have in Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Patrick Materman, Director of Winegrowing, and Hannah Ternent, Technical Manager.

Organic wine producers are leading the trend to more sustainable products, while showcasing the benefits that being organic can have.

“Ultimately the winery wanted the best wine quality and consistency possible from season to season.”

other factors. Organic viticulture also makes an impact in a similar way, influencing the ecosystem to generate specific and healthy growing conditions for the grapes.

Crampton also said the intensity of organic wine is a key drawcard for using such farming practices.

But what does that actually look like in the end wine? According to Materman and Ternent, it creates a “real X-factor in winemaking.”

“Rather than aromatic brightness, it can often be seen in terms of flavour depth and textural qualities,” theyRedinsaid. said the balance of the vineyard ecosystem that comes from using organic methods creates more intense flavours and characters in the grapes, and that is shown in the wines.


Fifth generation family company, Angove Family Winemakers, also believes that the health of the whole ecosystem leads to better tasting organic grapes. But this isn’t the only reason the producer went down the organic path 16 years ago, as Marketing Manager, Matt Redin, explained.“Angove Family Winemakers are committed to sustainability in both the vineyards and in winemaking practices to ensure their legacy as environmental stewards lives on for future generations,” he said.

“Because our wines are produced from incredibly healthy vines, you will experience an extraordinary purity of fruit and a taste that is unique to the South Australian wine regions where our grapes are grown.”

“Organic viticulture processes on well-established vines (up to thirty years of age) ensures low yielding fruit with rich flavours and varietal expressiveness,” he said.Meanwhile

for Fraser, the difference in the end result goes back to how organic wine can present that most authentic representation of the land.

What’s the difference?

September 2022 | 63 Organic Wine

“It is this philosophy that is driving all aspects of our winemaking activities – we must hand the land and environment to future generations in better condition than when we became custodians. Being certified organic is a large part of this.”

“By not adding any pesticides or herbicides in the vineyards, we are allowing the flavoursyeastsnaturalandinthevineyardstocarrythroughtothefinalwines.”HeatherFraser

We all know that a range of unchangeable conditions in the vineyard can impact the end wine, whether it be weather conditions, climate, altitude, or any number of

“We are also seeing flavour ripeness come earlier in certified vineyards, allowing us to pick earlier and at slightly lower sugar levels resulting in wines with lower alcohol,” he said.

Mark Davidson, Tamburlaine’s Managing Director and Head of Grape and Wine Production, said: “There were many factors that saw Tamburlaine change from non-organic farming and winemaking; failure of nonorganic systemic vineyard chemicals, deteriorating organic matter in vineyard soils, increasing farm work health and safety issues, and questions about chemical residuals from grapes into wine.

Runner ducks at Warboys Vineyard, Angove Family Winemakers

Fraser said: “Without the ability to use some conventional agricultural practices and chemicals, organic growers have had to really study their vineyards and work with the land in order to produce the best results and maintain their vineyards in better condition for the future. This has resulted in some best vineyard practice concepts and ideas that have been taken up in conventionally managed vineyards.”

availability of certified organic wine has certainly driven the sales growth and popularity of organic wine nationally,” Redin explained.

Consumers driving demand

“By not adding any pesticides or herbicides in the vineyards, we are allowing the natural yeasts and flavours in the vineyards to carry through to the final wines,” Fraser explained.

“This strong consumer desire for more natural agriculture and products will certainly continue to drive organic forward when we combine both messages. The organic wine category continues to surge in popularity and the growing demand for authenticity around the winemaking process coupled with shifting consumer behaviours to mindful consumption has encouraged us to continue expanding our offering.”

“Our wines are not made with any added yeasts or any fining agents and are fermented on full solids. The natural fining of the wines comes from mixing on lees and the final flavours of the wines comes from the vineyards with little winemaking intervention other than to clarify and bottle.”

“The ability for consumers to differentiate between companies that are truly committed to

Crampton noted there is great potential for the organic wine sector with this trend, as greater demand allows wineries to experiment, expand and continue innovating for the benefit of consumers, as well as the greater wine industry at large and, of course, the “Sustainabilityenvironment.andorganic are different things but are linked by a common desire for better crops in a way that is better for the planet,” Crampton said.

That note about authenticity is important, because the term sustainability has become a bit of a buzz word these days. Consumers are increasingly wary and seeking to avoid supporting products that are ‘greenwashing’ – which is when a company markets itself as environmentally conscious without actually making any tangible efforts to be more sustainable.

64 | National Liquor News Organic Wine

“The COVID-19 pandemic has given us pause for thought, to consider what is important. To ensure a healthy future, sustainability at all levels has now become very mainstream. This and the increased

Davidson said product traceability and generally understanding what you are buying is more important to consumers than ever, so they want to be reassured they’re making purchasing decisions that are actually sustainable.

“We must hand the land custodians.bettergenerationsenvironmentandtofutureinconditionthanwhenwebecameBeingcertifiedorganicisalargepartofthis.”MattRedin Manager Family Winemakers

As Redin said, Australian consumers are increasingly getting on board the organic train, as they become more aware of the impact that synthetic chemicals can have on their bodies and the environment. This is why Angove Family Winemakers sees plenty of opportunity for more growth in the sector, on top of the 160,000 9L cases of organic wine it already produces.



Organic producers are certainly at the forefront of the consumer trend towards more sustainable options in general, and are influencing the rest of the industry accordingly.


“Consumers are becoming more and more loyal to brands that have a clear reason for being and authenticity, as well as the traceability of the products they buy,” they said.

It’s a vibrant in-store environment for organic wine at the moment, according to Davidson.“Goodretailers have already caught on – organic wines are no longer tucked away in an obscure corner of the store but presented and promoted better than ever,” he said.

“This increases the opportunities for organic wine as it is then no longer seen as a niche product but more as an alternative to others on the shelf.”

positive environmental management and product purity, and ones that are simply ‘greenwashing’ is an ongoing modern dilemma. A certified organic product is one of the strongest assurances that a consumer can have,” Davidson said.

organic wine messaging simple and obvious. This could be through an additional sticker, simple signage or even having your retail staff skilled up on how to talk to organic wines.”

■ 66 | National Liquor News Organic Wine

Materman and Ternent said this is a trend that goes beyond just organics too though, as shoppers simply expect more from the brands they buy.

“This goes beyond organic winemaking with things like packaging, product supply chain and holding brands accountable to consistently contribute to a more sustainable world.”

In terms of the best ways to present and promote the wines, the overall messages from producers is to keep it simple to boost accessibility.

Championing organic wine in-store

One way to help make customers understand organic wine, as suggested by Fraser, is to stock it within its varietal, as you would with any other wine, while still calling out its organic status.“Organic wines should be with their conventionally made alternatives i.e. not in a separate area but by variety or producer (etc). But they should be called out on shelf or in the fridge as organic,” Fraser said.

Materman and Ternent said: “Navigation is a challenge and consumers are looking for short cuts to make their selection. Because there are so many choices of wine, and the variety can be a bit daunting for consumers, you have to make the

Mark Dowell, ACT

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.

The bar manager at Sydney’s Batch Brewing who used to run Uncle Hops in Newtown, Tom is also one of the hosts for the Pixels & Pints Podcast.

Briony Nicholls, SA

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.

Evan Belogiannis, NSW

The Brew Review

Based in the Barossa Valley, Craig has 20-plus years’ experience in the liquor industry including winery cellarhand, tastings and sales, newbie homebrewer and beermad bottleshop guy.

A beer broker for BentSpoke with a background in liquor retail, Mark is always trying new beers while appreciating the classics that bought us here

A Perth-based sales rep for Beerfarm, Alice’s start in the craft beer world came by slinging pints at Two Birds in Melbourne. She’s here to force an end to random men being shocked that women love beer.

As published in Beer and Brewer Spring 2021

David Ward, ACT

Based in Port Adelaide, Lewis is head of brewing at Pirate Life. He’s been brewing beer in one form or another since 2011.

In Beer & Brewer’s largest tasting ever, the expert panel reviewed Australian-style pale ales as a seasonal focus, alongside a broad spectrum of other beers that showcase the great diversity in the local brewing landscape.

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

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.

Jamie Webb-Smith, 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.

Not all submissions to our tasting panel are featured in the following pages. This could be because of space restrictions, that we already reviewed it in the recent past or the product did not meet our panel’s requirements. We’re 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.

Based in Port Adelaide, Briony is Quality Manager at Pirate Life. She has been a student of beer science since 2013.

Craig Butcher, SA

Based in Bendigo, Adam’s been the proprietor of the awardwinning Cambrian Hotel for almost a decade. He’s a passionate advocate of independent beer and traditional pub culture.

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.

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.

Alice Lynch, WA

Josh Quantrill, NSW

Tom Pigott, NSW

Jono Outred, WA

Justin is the Australian agent for Bespoke Brewing Solutions. He has a decade’s judging experience, expertise in brewing ingredient distribution and has held technical roles with breweries of all sizes throughout his 15 years in beer.

Ian Kingham, NSW

A Certified Cicerone® Beer Server, Rosemary has worked in the beer industry for the best part of five years and has now landed in hospitality marketing. Nothing excites her more than classic beer styles executed perfectly.

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.

Benji Bowman, NSW

Rosemary Lilburne-Fini, NSW

The Panel

Scott Hargrave, NSW/QLD

Michael Capaldo, NSW

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).

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

Justin Fox, VIC

Evan has been brewing beer at Frenchies Bistro & Brewery for over two years. He’s on a neverending quest to find and brew the crispiest, tastiest lagers.

SEAS ONAL FO CUS What’s our Seasonal Australian-styleFocus?PaleAle 68 | National Liquor News

Adam Carswell, VIC

Lewis Maschmedt, SA

Tiffany Waldron, VIC

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.

Tina Panoutsos, VIC

That Beer Bloke, Ian’s decorated beer career has included judging at Australia’s best competitions while he’s currently the Sydney Royal’s Chair of Judges.

Jake Brandish, WA

Briony Liebich, SA

This sits perfectly between an American pale ale and an IPA (a pale ale with a little extra!) It pours a deep pale, bordering on amber, with a lasting yellow-tinged creamy head. A subtle aroma gives hints of its earthy caramel palate, accented with florals and a lemony citrus lift. The flavours are carried by a persistent carbonation. Extremely satiating after a long day!

Very similar to Raspberry Smash but with the intricacy of the yeast and barrel attributes, this is very pleasant and super easydrinking. It’s a hazy peachy pink with a thick white head that holds while there’s a note of sulphur first up followed by the aromatic blend of raspberry and yeast phenolics and esters. Raspberry’s sweet and sour bite leads to the complexity of yeast flavours as barrelling calms the palate.

Stomping Ground Rye Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Nomad Brewing Budgy Smuggler

Stomping Style:ABV:RaspberryGroundSmash4.2%FruitedSour

ABV: Style:4.8%Pale Ale

Pouring an opaque yellow bordering on orange, the smell of stone fruits and melon hit you almost immediately. While the head disappears pretty soon after pouring, the tropical flavours linger throughout each mouthful with just a hint of bitterness right at the end to balance you for the next sip. Expect this to grace BBQ Eskies across the nation once the weather warms.

Food: Pre BBQ stompingground.beernibbles


Style:ABV:(2022)10.0%Imperial Stout

September 2022 | 69

Balter Brewing NZ Style:ABV:Hazy6.0%Hazy Pale Ale



ABV: Style:5.0%Pale Ale

Exit Brewing #029 Grapefruit IPA

The Brew Review - Highly Recommended Picks

ABV: Style:4.3%Pale Ale

Jervis Bay Brewing Bright Idea XPA


Stomping Ground Big Sky Park Ale

Food: Burger & jervisbaybrewing.cochips

Food: Havarti & fig stompingground.beerjam

Food: Hot

There’s something to be said for an everyday kind of beer and with Nomad beers #beachesbrewed this is where it’s meant to be drunk. Pop it open to reveal orange, grapefruit and berry aromas you’re looking for in a pale. It’s well-balanced and brings just the right amount of hop flavour. The finish is tight, dry and brings you back for another sip. A beach Esky-filler for sure.

Hazy pink with a thick head, berry notes are up front with the bacteria notes to follow, while sourness bounces across the palate with a pillowy raspberry that coats in a good way. The mouthfeel is full and soft with an theimpressivedrinkingiscarbonation.effervescentOverall,thisaverymoreishandeasy-goseandaveryshowcasingofraspberry.Faultless.

A moderately hazy body and light but creamy mouthfeel carry punchy citrus, pine and stonefruit flavour, derived from Vic Secret, Ella, Melba, Strata and Mosaic hops. Modest alcohol and noticeably low bitterness enhance drinkability and yield a noteworthy balance of flavour. From the initial sip through to the clean finish, where only gentle hopderived flavours persist, it’s highly refreshing and entirely moreish.


Stomping Ground’s 2022 Into the ‘Wood BA imperial stout is beautiful in appearance with foam oh so nice for something barrel aged. There’s a volatility on the nose, with soft caramel fudge, tiramisu, dark soy, choc bullets and a pepperiness all carrying over into flavour while a very clean malt profile doesn’t attack at any one part of the palate. A slick oily finish works to keep the taste on the tongue.

ABV: Style:4.3%Framboise Witbier

Style:5.0%Extra Pale Ale

Food: Sea salt crisps


Burleigh Brewing Burleigh 28

Rocky Style:ABV:JindongRidgeJuicy5.0%HazyPaleAle

If we had to guess, we’d say Exit has thrown somewhere between ‘lots’ and ‘heaps’ of ruby red grapefruit into this limited release but it never feels overdone. In fact, it’s balanced incredibly well. Slightly hazy in the glass, a zesty citrus goodness is met with a bunch of fruity hops and an assertive bitterness which results in a fantastic beer just built for warmer months.

Ever so well made and balanced, this won its first international gold medal in 2010 and has won many more since. Pale gold in appearance, with low foam and a tropical aroma of passionfruit, grapefruit, lychee, lemon and orange, it’s medium bodied with a lingering orangey citrus palate.

Food: BBQ &

ABV: Style:6.0%Grapefruit IPA

Food: Tropical chicken

Stomping Ground Bonnet Rouge

Food: stompingground.beerrugelachRaspberry

Food: Pulled pork sliders

Big hits of sweet peach notes are followed up by a tart passionfruit and citrus flavour that lingers throughout this luscious beer. A thick creamy body helps carry those fruit flavours from start to finish resulting in a beer that sends you reaching for the glass as soon as you put it down.

Food: stompingground.beerTiramisu

“Age is expressedimmediatelyonthenose with delightful dried sultana and spice. Primary fruit is evident with blueberry and cola richness. Huge mouthfeel with intense tannin and length.” – Ed Peake

Joe Turnaturi, Sommelier and Wine Educator, Sydney Wine Academy


The Panel

David Fahey, Wine Consultant

Tom Czerski, Wine Consultant

VIN: 2020 LUC: $9.68 Distributed by: Millon Wines

VIN: 2019 LUC: $16.90 Distributed by: Brockenchack

70 | National Liquor News Wine Tasting Review

Andrew Milne, Brand Manager, InternationalSouthTrade

Brockenchack Zip Line Shiraz

Sabine Duval, Brand & Sales Manager, Hungerford Hill

Michael Mcintosh, Fine Wine Brand Ambassador, Accolade Wines

Dean Kornman, National Account ConstellationManager,Brands

Andrew Graham, Journalist, Australian Wine Review

Region: Eden Valley

“Garnet crimson colour with attractive oak nose. A well rounded and balanced wine on the palate.” – David Fahey


The Shiraz tasting

Geoff Bollom, Retailer, Porter’s - Balmain East and Glebe


Ed Peake, Key Account Manager, Penfolds



In one of our biggest tastings ever, our expert panel sipped and swirled through a range of Shiraz to find their top picks in three price brackets.

Matt Dunne, Group Wine Ambassador, Joval Wines

Masha Kyrychenko, Business Manager,DevelopmentAccoladeWines

Deb Jackson, Former Editor, National Liquor News

Andy Young, Associate Publisher, The Shout and Bars and Clubs

Beresford Grand Reserve Shiraz

Region: McLaren Vale

Eden Valley

The System Classic: an exceptional wine Outstanding: a wine of remarkable character Very good: a wine impressivewithqualities

Tishena Young, National Account ConstellationExecutive,Brands

VIN: 2015 LUC: $95.00 Distributed by: Vok Beverages

Salvatore Margiotta, Key Account Manager NSW, Pure Wine Co

“Good fruit up front. Coconut and vanilla on the nose with developing black fruits. High in acidity, fruit and tannins. A complex wine with a lot of depth.” –Deb Jackson

Panels Picks

VIN: 2018 LUC: $30.10 Distributed by: Crush Wine and Drinks

VIN: 2018 LUC: $41.36

“Full fruit flavours and balanced oak that draws you to another glass. A very good wine.” – David Fahey

“Slow cooked brisket.”


“The classic – steak and chips!” – Ed Peake

“Pulled pork sliders with a fruity Shiraz.”


Farmer’s Leap Brian

Region:ShirazMcLaren Vale

“Mushroom, zucchini and polenta slice.”

“Intense palate with zingy acidity bringing freshness to bold blackberry, dark chocolate and aniseed. Delicious, bold, complex.” –Salvatore Margiotta

Wirra Wirra RSW

VIN: 2019 LUC: $47.30 Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

Region: Yarra Valley

“Some wines were very green and ‘stalky’, hinting at a challenging harvest maybe. Alcohol levels were much more balanced than in previoustastings.”years’


VIN: 2020 LUC: $31.82 Distributed by: Brown Family Wine Group

“Richly expressive nose screams Shiraz. Deep dark berry fruits, black pepper notes and wonderfully balanced silky finish.” – Ed Peake

Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine

– Tishena Young

VIN: 2017 LUC: $54.18

Distributed by: Farmer’s Leap


– Michael Mcintosh

– Sabine Duval

“Soft red berry fruit on the nose, well integrated with oak into the palate. A very well balanced wine.” – David Fahey

VIN: 2016 LUC: $108.58

Andrew Milne Brand SouthTradeManagerInternational

Food Pairing


Fox Creek Reserve


Distributed by: Fox Creek

“Dark fruits, cherry and chocolate supported with elegant vanilla, leading into a delightfully complex palate that is still balanced and where that elegance continues.” –Andy Young

Region:ShirazMcLaren Vale

“Softer nose with elegant white pepper spice. This leads to a rich and generous palate, yet still balanced.” – Ed Peake


LUC over $25 September 2022 | 71 Wine Tasting Review

Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

Innocent Bystander Mea Culpa Syrah

Distributed by: O’Leary Walker

Yalumba Eden Valley Region:Syrah

LUC $15-$25


Taylors The Pioneer Shiraz 2015, Clare Valley, LUC $118.25 (Taylors Wines)

VIN: 2021 LUC: $18.81 Distributed by: Déjà Vu Wine Co.

VIN: 2019 LUC: $19.35

Editor’s Picks

Eden Valley

O’Leary Walker Clare Valley Shiraz


“This Shiraz has excellent structure with fruit, acidity and tannins all in balance. A heavier Shiraz that would soften up a juicy eye fillet.”

VIN: 2019 LUC: $24.73

VIN: 2019 LUC: $20.58

“An easy drinking, well balanced wine showing sweet red berry fruit and soft tannins.” – David Fahey

Distributed by: Accolade Wines

“Bright, fruity, fragrant with dark cherry and blackberry held together with earthy aromas. The tannins give the wine grip and length and balance with a delightfully plummy finish.” – Andy Young

Clare Valley

VIN: 2019 LUC: $18.28

Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

Distributed by: Taylors Wines

– Ed Peake

Taylor Made Region:Shiraz

72 | National Liquor News Wine Tasting Review

Distributed by: Crush Wine and Drinks

Château Tanunda

McLaren Vale

“Toasted burnt butter/ toffee aromas mixed with blackberry and chocolate. Rich palate with strong jammy fruit and soft oak tannins. Well balanced.”

Fat Bastard Shiraz 2021, South Australia, LUC $11.25 (Red + White)

Tyrrell’s Beside Broke Road Gundagai Shiraz 2021, Gundagai, LUC $11.61 (Tyrrell’s Wines)

Region: Clare Valley

– Tom Czerski

– Ed Peake

Single Vineyard

Region: Barossa


“Caramel and plums on nose. Bursts of warm spice and pepper with a blueberry finish. Fine tannins and balanced acid hold this all –together.”GeoffBollom

In Praise of Shadows

Parishes Shiraz 2019, Langhorne Creek and Barossa, LUC $15.22 (Crush Wine and Drinks)

St Hallett Butcher’s Cart Shiraz

“Dark black fruits and licorice spice, lifted herbaceous aromas with hints of dried oregano on the nose. Black pepper and plums on the palate with a rich long finish.”

Matt Dunne Group Wine Ambassador Joval Wines

VIN: 2020 LUC: $23.95

“Overall there is a movement towards more medium bodied styles of Shiraz, which is much more approachable, giving greater appeal and diversity with food and wine pairings.”


– Andrew Milne

“Blackberry and plum aromas, brooding aromatics and baking spices. Juicy palate, super savoury.” – Matt Dunne

“On the whole, oak seemed well integrated, with fruit the star. Tannins were missing in all but a handful of wines. Tannins are a good thing, not something to be avoided.”

“Ripe black fruits, potpourri aromas. Some nice framework on the fruit side with mouth puckering tannins. Nice flow and length.” – Matt Dunne



Region: Padthaway

September 2022 | 73 Wine Tasting Review

“Ripe and fresh. This wine springs into step with cooked raspberries, prunes and fig. Nice grip on finish but tannins are nice and delicate.”

Pepper Tree


– Andrew Milne

Yalumba Y Series

Yarra Valley

Geoff Bollom Retailer Porter’s – Balmain East and Glebe

“This wine looks stunning in the glass and whets the palate with coffee, earthy and oaky aromas. On the palate soft oak and a nice tannin and oak structure.” – Andy Young

Wrattonbully and Orange

VIN: 2021 LUC: $13.55 Distributed by: Accolade Wines

VIN: 2020 LUC: $9.52 Distributed by: Farmer’s Leap

Andrew Graham AustralianJournalistWineReview

VIN: 2019 LUC: $13.44 Distributed by: Pepper Tree

“Very few, if any, bad wines – even the cheaper options were still very good. Nothing was over oaked and most let fruit do the talking.”

Farmer’s Leap Random Shot Shiraz

LUC under $15

South Australia

VIN: 2021 LUC: $5.86

“Dark, earthy and full. Dried prunes and cooked plums take over with a hint of violet to lift on the finish. This is punching above its weight.”

Distributed by: Independent Beverage Partners

Martingale Estate

Distributed by: Déjà Vu Wine Co.


“Bright and fresh with a mild floral nose. Displays herbaceousness and soft fruits. An elegant style with delicate, balanced flavour.” –Ed Peake

Two Region:ShirazTruths

Langhorne Creek

VIN: 2020 LUC: $14.94

Hunter Valley

VIN: 2020 LUC: $11.29 Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

The Australian Bureau of Statistics cites supply chain disruption because of flooding, labour shortages and rising freight costs as the primary driver of the sizeable increase.

• Purchasing from other banners and changing frequency of purchase, looking for better value.

• Brands will be challenged.

Opportunity abounds however for

• Rationalising choice, deferring purchase and reassessing category choice, based on brand loyalty and satisfaction.

During times of financial stress, households logically looked to stretch the buying power of every dollar, so brand loyalty can take a battering with shoppers trying ‘cheaper’ products and actually liking them, effectively increasing their brand repertoire.

• More in-home occasions and entertainment

• Changing frequency, quantity or place of consumption, making decisions based on informed choice.

In summary, while drinkers will keep a close eye on their expenditure, they will continue to support brands that deliver on their expectations, are readily accessible and work hard to remain top of mind. ■

The latest CPI number is in and it’s not pretty reading. Historically the CPI quarterly increase since June 2012 has averaged 0.6 per cent however seven of the last eight quarters have all recorded increases above the longterm average, highlighting increasing cost of living pressures on households.

It is during such times that loyalty can be challenged with suppliers needing to ensure that their brands are front of mind and readily available.

74 | National Liquor News Strikeforce

• Lower levels of discretionary spending.

A flight to value means a higher level of probability that brand loyalists will flirt with switching to competitor brands if they perceive that the product offers the same features and benefits at a lower price point.

• Comparing price, quantity and brand equity, stretching their spend while meeting their expectations.

Alcohol and tobacco experienced a 0.8 per cent increase for the June quarter versus the previous quarter and 2.2 per cent increase versus year ago.

So, what are key considerations in the current trading environment?


Stephen Wilson, Category & Insights Manager at Strikeforce, discusses some key considerations in the current trading environment.

the initial phase of COVID-19 where choice was often restricted, albeit forced, through a distressed supply chain.

The latest inflation number confirms that all CPI groups have gone up a total of 6.1 per cent over the year to June.

brands that embrace and enable more inhome occasions and provide convenient solutions for Conversely,shoppers.fiscaluncertainty can drive premiumisation at home, with drinkers trading up to reward themselves with affordableDrinkersluxuries.areexpected to respond to budgetary pressures in several ways:

• A flight to value is occurring.

• Household budgets are under pressure.

We saw the same behavioural trait during

For the foreseeable future drinkers will keep a close eye on their spending habits. This increases risk for suppliers who need to continuously remind loyalists about the reasons they are drawn to their favourite brands.

Contact Shane T Williams to book now! on 02 8586 6205 or email * Google Analytics 2021, TheShout averaged 60,497 unique users per month. Do you have an upcoming launch, NPD, line extension or promotion? Then drive brand awareness. Support your sales team. Book a campaign. averaged unique users every month. 60,497*

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