Craft Beer VS Wine in New Zealand

2012-01-13 16.14.31When Epic Pale Ale was launched nearly 10 years ago it was possibly the most aggressively hopped beer on the market. Huge hop aroma and huge hop flavour.

After 18 months of doing tastings, and sampling I got a clear message from the market that the beer wasn’t like what people’s expectations of beer was. Beer drinkers were going straight to the fridge and looking for the green bottled premium lager that was on special for $19.99 a dozen. They were only loyal to the price point and not the brand.

The interesting observation I made at the time was a lot of feedback from people was “I use to be a beer drinker but I drink wine now because it has a range of flavours”.

Now 10 years on I can see a turning tide. The wine drinkers are returning to beer, this time its craft beer. Why? because it offers flavour, and a diverse range of styles.

So we are now entering an age where it will be craft beer vs wine. Craft beer seems to sit closer to flavours offerings than the mainstream industrial beer, making it easier for wine drinkers to change beverages.

2015-08-13 20.36.26This is potentially a threat to wine sale in the coming generation. Similar to what has happen over the previous 20-30 years where beer has lost out to wine.

Extrapolating this out maybe the wine industry, which is a mature market now in NZ, should look at craft beer. Maybe for inspiration but possibly for acquisition. If you look back to the 1980’s and 90’s the two large brewers in NZ bought up wineries and wine brands to make sure they had a portfolio of beverages to reflect the changing market.

How much will craft beer affect wine sales in the coming years?

Will wineries look to acquire craft breweries to balance the effect of loss in sales from wine?