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Australian market lager dominance

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Strolling though Dans the other night to kill a bit of time and noticed that there was a dominance of Lagers in the "mainstream" section.

VB, Great Northern, Carlton Dry, Iron Jack, and the others (XXXX, Melbourne bitter etc) dominate the landscape of beers in Australia.

Is there a reason for this style dominating, or is it simply: Hot weather, easy to drink beer

Surely it cant be eaiser to make and keep fresh, im assuming thats why so many preservatives.

If its been covered before, apologies...

 

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Climate would be a large part of it, the beers were made for it, then there's the marketing, the set in their ways drinkers who won't drink anything else. Plus they've been around for decades before all the craft stuff came along, it'll take a long time for these beers to lose their dominance if they ever do. 

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They are cheap as to make, & the "dry" beers are even cheaper. Slightly elevated lager ferment temps has them done & in the bottle in record time. From a costing perspective, a pencil pusher's dream.

They are easy drinking beers with no bells & whistles, & whether we craft loving types like it or not, a greater percentage of beer drinkers like this style of beer, or at least think they do.

There is a progressive shift in the market that indicates more beer drinkers are interested in drinking different styles of beer than ever before here in AUS, or else we wouldn't have the variety of beers we now see on the shelves.

So I'm at least happy about that.

Cheers,

Lusty.

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All that says is that the majority of beer drinkers in this country are a bunch of tasteless morons. Or as Otto and Lusty have put it, it’s cheap to make and that’s what beer is right? And has been for ever. 

 

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That's what mainstream beer is, so I'd expect that section would largely comprise those types of beer. 

They're pretty shit examples of lager though. 

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1 hour ago, Beerlust said:

They are cheap as to make, & the "dry" beers are even cheaper. Slightly elevated lager ferment temps has them done & in the bottle in record time. From a costing perspective, a pencil pusher's dream.

Yep. If i can make a 19L batch of a tooheys new clone for 12 bucks whats it costing them? 6 or 7 probably. 

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In the defence of the mainstream drinker, it isn't necessarily they have bad taste but it's just what they're accustomed to. Being South Australian I used to drink West End Draught exclusively. It was often on special and easily available. Then a mate got a job at CUB and introduced me to Carlton and VB, while at the same time their market share was increasing in SA and so they became more available and regularly on special. I got accustomed to those beers.
Now I make my own. There's no way I'm going to claim I make great beer but I enjoy some of the styles I make and I'm now accustomed to it.
@Greeny - I don't know what the breweries' costs are but keep in mind the massive tax they pay that we home brewers don't.

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24 minutes ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

They're pretty shit examples of lager though. 

I'm probably guilty of judging all lagers and pilsners from my experience with Aussie megaswill lagers. To challenge my own assumptions, I'm prepared to buy a bottle or two of something that is considered top notch. What would you (anyone) recommend? Urquell?

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Urquell is probably my favourite one, also enjoy Budvar. The Bavarian bier cafe has some great German lagers but you don't seem to be able to get them in bottle shops. 

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3 hours ago, Instigator said:

What would you (anyone) recommend? Urquell?

Anything Czech ... they make some wonderful beers ... Urquell is the great exported beer but each district makes great stuff ... also Polish beers are superb ... I am not a big fan of the German and Dutch beers many are made under licence, the immediate one I think of is Heiniken which is 100% imported from NZ  .. .  the exception to that is Grolsch that stuff is pretty good  ... so my advise is look for Czech beer you have never heard of or a Polish beer ...  

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4 hours ago, Instigator said:

I'm probably guilty of judging all lagers and pilsners from my experience with Aussie megaswill lagers. To challenge my own assumptions, I'm prepared to buy a bottle or two of something that is considered top notch. What would you (anyone) recommend? Urquell?

Weinstaphener Pilsner is good too. Should be available at Dan's

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8 hours ago, MUZZY said:

@Greeny - I don't know what the breweries' costs are but keep in mind the massive tax they pay that we home brewers don't.

As home brewers we're not trying to profit from the exercise though. 😉

Cheers,

Lusty.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

Yep. If i can make a 19L batch of a tooheys new clone for 12 bucks whats it costing them? 6 or 7 probably. 

Regardless of supply chain, marketing, wages, plant, and other costs commercial beer is cheap to make so why does a pint of craft beer cost so much. When one considers craft brewers don't have those cost it is made and sold on site in many many cases ... 

 

Edited by MartyG1525230263

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Taxes may unfairly affect smaller operations, I'm not sure, it's a complex area that only the govt makes money out of. But craft and microbreweries probably don't have anything near the economies of scale the large brewers do, so charge more.

There's always the marketing tag of 'craft brewing'. Big brewers (and micros) use this label to market some really ordinary products, simply so they can charge more.

Big brew started the whole scam with buying the licenses to euro beers, brewing them here, and selling at the export price.

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7 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

Big brew started the whole scam with buying the licenses to euro beers, brewing them here, and selling at the export price.

To be honest the price of beer does not really bother me for a few reasons ... 1) somewhere there is a guy who has invested his hard earned into a pub trying to make a buck ... 2) I very rarely go to pubs these days so when there I pay without argument and 3) I like that we live in a country where people get paid a living wage and if the price we pay is at the hip pocket so be it ... I have been in loads of places where beer is less than $1.00 and seen the standard of living there ... me I am happy ... mind you I do remember the days when on pay day i could walk into the pub and  buy a beer, a pack of smokes and get change from a dollar ... 

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19 minutes ago, MartyG1525230263 said:

mind you I do remember the days when on pay day i could walk into the pub and  buy a beer, a pack of smokes and get change from a dollar ... 

You look really good for your age Marty....... Who would have thought that we are in the presence of the worlds oldest Homebrewer..... ha ha ha

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40 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

...Big brew started the whole scam with buying the licenses to euro beers, brewing them here, and selling at the export price.

I agreed with most of what you said bar this bit.

These overseas beers are licensed under contract to be brewed locally & authentically. I am aware that under some of these agreements the barley malt & hops are actually shipped in from overseas to maintain certain standards.

Initially I believe you were correct as the local breweries cashed in on the imported beer tag when they first started to brew these beers locally, but that isn't the case anymore for the most part. If you look at beers such as Carlsberg, Heineken, Stella Artois, Asahi, Peroni, Miller (to name a few), their retail price points sit on par with locally designed mainstream beer prices.

Cheers,

Lusty.

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Posted (edited)

I can't concur there. Try a Aus Heinken and an imported one. Two different beers IMO, guess which ones sucks? The imported version was never a classic beer to start with - just massively marketed worldwide.

The 'euro' beers the locals have bought licence to brew, still cost far more than standard beers. I think a lot of beer 'cost' comes form having to recoup marketing budgets - look at what Carlton are doing with lo carb, dry and other such nonsense.

Beer might costs cents to make, but costs more to sell, and they're sold pretty hard, to a market that isn't particularly discerning and they hope - easily moved by being in their face. The licensees don't pay for all that marketing though, they're riding on the global brand awareness, and is why they bought in.

A lot of big brand stuff is like that though... Corona probably tops the list of worst beer with biggest marketing.

Edited by Lab Rat

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9 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

Aus Heinken and an imported one. Two different beers

I agree. But I think the local one is better because it tastes fresher.  The last time I had an imported, I thought how good is this.  However,  on reflection I think it was more funky and was probably light affected. 

If you had one in Amsterdam, it would probably be wonderful. 

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21 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

I can't concur there. Try a Aus Heinken and an imported one. Two different beers IMO, guess which ones sucks? The imported version was never a classic beer to start with - just massively marketed worldwide.

The talk has always been about a possible water quality difference. I don't know if there is any truth to that.

23 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

The 'euro' beers the locals have bought licence to brew, still cost far more than standard beers.

I'm not sure what you are referring to there or where you reside personally, but as a bottleshop manager myself I can tell you where I reside & work there is barely a dollar between locally made recipe beers & imported recipe beers brewed under license at the retail end when on special.

28 minutes ago, Lab Rat said:

...A lot of big brand stuff is like that though... Corona probably tops the list of worst beer with biggest marketing.

True. But to its credit globally I think it is the highest selling beer by volume in the world. If it isn't No.1, it's No.2.

At the end of the day, if you don't like the commercial prices, brew it yourself. That's the main reason I got into home brewing in the first place.

Cheers & good brewing,

Lusty.

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2 hours ago, Beerlust said:

True. But to its credit globally I think it is the highest selling beer by volume in the world. If it isn't No.1, it's No.2.

Not sure why we would credit it. It's a terrible product. It's a case study for the Gruen program - they love to gush about how advertising can any old flog crap.

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11 hours ago, Beerlust said:

As home brewers we're not trying to profit from the exercise though. 😉

Cheers,

Lusty.

I've been told you're always trying to get your 5 cents worth, Lusty.

🤑🤑😂😂😂

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Whenever I go into Dan's, the Euro lagers are pretty much on par for price with local megaswill. Stella is often cheaper than a carton of something like New, XXXX Bitter or the like, and that's the everyday price. The proper imports like Urquell or Budvar are more around the $60 mark, and they're much better beers.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

...The proper imports like Urquell or Budvar are more around the $60 mark, and they're much better beers.

I'm not sure what you mean by "proper" here. Stella Artois, Carlsberg & Heineken etc. are "proper" European based beers too, they're just contract brewed here now through commercial agreements between large scale breweries to avoid the import taxes your Urquell & Budejovicky Budvar incur because they are brewed & bottled overseas. I wouldn't class the two you mentioned as "much better beers" though as that is a matter of perspective & personal taste.

Out of curiosity, I just checked some prices on those... Urquell = $56.99 @ Dan's, Budvar = $55.00 @ First Choice Liquor. Not bad for full fledged imports.

Cheers,

Lusty.

Edited by Beerlust

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