Increased demand for craft beer

beer, glass, bar, hospitalityAccording to Natasha D’Costa, researcher for multinational consultancy firm, Frost & Sullivan, the New Zealand craft beer market could perform in much the same way as Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc did for exports in the 1990s because the new generation is opting for craft beer over mainstream beer.

This bodes well for craft breweries Renaissance Brewing and Moa Brewing (Moa Brewing is one of NZ’s  largest craft brewing brands). Both award winning and based in Malborough, they could see Malbororough become the nucleus of a thriving craft beer industry.

According to D’Costa’s report, complied for NZ Trade and Enterprise, the global consumption of beer is changing. While there has been a drop in beer drinking in North America, Europe, Australia and NZ, there is an increased demand for craft beer.

The research forecasts craft beer exports could increase by up to 300 per cent in the next decade, while NZ consumption is expected to increase 80 per cent by 2019. Craft beer is the fastest growing segment of the NZ brewing industry at 25 per cent annually, D’Costa says.

Moa Brewing Company founder, Josh Scott, says he has seen the increase and the company is hard on  its distribution. It has a 8.7 per cent supermarket market share and has produced more than 1.7 million litres of craft beer a year.

“It’s amazing to see how when we first started [in 2003] we were the only craft beer on the shelf and now there are like 35 different brands. I think it has to do with a changing  palate and more education around matching beer and food,” he adds.

He also believes there is  a move away from drinking high amounts of mainstream beer to smaller quantities of craft beer.

“Even in my footy club it’s changing – it’s about quality over quantity.”

Scott welcomes the increase in competition among brewers as it helped lift the profile of craft beer and brought new and innovative flavours and ideas into the industry.

Renaissance Brewing CEO, Brian Thiel, says the company has also seen a strong increase in demand for its craft beers, particularly over the past five years. The Blenheim-based brewery has increased capacity twice last year alone, but is still unable to keep up with demand.

“The demand is definitely there [and] it’s coming from all over the place – domestic sales are good and demand from export is also good.”

He also sees a change in attitude towards beer, with a greater appreciation for craft beer.

“Instead of going out and having as many as you can, more people are going out to enjoy a good quality beer.”

On Monday the company began installing a new $100,000 bottling machine at its Dodson St site, which Thiel hopes will be operational by Wednesday next week.

The company has raised $700,000 through crowdfunding last year for expansions and is planning a second round to grow its export markets. “There is already a representative drumming up business overseas,” Thiel says.

The NZTE research backs their comments, with D’Costa noting there is  a move from “quantity to quality, with drinkers focusing on innovation, unique flavours and the provenance of offers when making their buying decisions”.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.