Top Wellington craft brewers will be dominating the New Zealand stand at Australia’s premier beer festival in Melbourne next week.
The Great Australasian Beer Spectapular (GABS) runs from May 23 – 25 in Melbourne and six top Wellington craft brewers are to join a New Zealand contingent of seven exhibitors putting their beers to the test of the taste-buds of up to 12,000 attendees.
Manufacturing Sector Development Manager Grant Lumsden says GABS offers an important opportunity for the brewers to break further into the lucrative Australian craft beer market and increase export sales. “The Australian beer market is worth $5,000 million a year, of which $160 million is craft beer. New Zealand beers make up less than 1% of the total market, so the opportunities are huge.”
The Australian beer market overall grew by 0.9% per annum over the last five years, but craft beer grew by 10% per annum on average.
Lumsden says that all but one of the New Zealand brewers exhibiting at GABS this year will be from the Wellington region. “Wellington is known as the Craft Beer Capital and it’s vital for our growing export industry to have a presence at this event.”
Grow Wellington is providing a market exhibitor stand for up and coming exporters ParrotDog, Yeastie boys, Panhead Custom Ales and Funk Estate. Their ‘Craft Beer Capital’ stand will sit alongside Garage Project, Tuatara and South Island’s Moa, the only non-Wellington region brewer.
Positively Wellington Tourism is also providing marketing support at the event with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise running networking and information events in Wellington and Melbourne for the brewers.
“Australia is a key first export market for New Zealand brewers,” Lumsden says. “All of the brewers attending are already exporting to Australia and beyond, or about to break into the market. The Melbourne event will give brewers a chance to meet key buyers from Australian retail face to face as well as growing their brand presence.”
GABS 2014 is now in its fourth year and will take place in the Royal Exhibition Building during Good Beer Week.