Australian craft beer buying website launched
Making the most of Australia’s craft beer boom, three former bankers have launched a dedicated craft beer buying website, BeerBud.com.au, a new one-stop-shop for discovering and buying Australia’s best craft beer.
Australian Food News reported in August 2014 that the number of Australian adults consuming craft beer in an average four-week period had increased to more than one million for the first time, defying the downward trend of local mainstream beers, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.
But despite its growing popularity, the best craft beers have to date been largely unavailable in bottle shops. According to market research organisation IBISWorld, only 3.3 per cent of the $6.7 billion annual beer market in Australia is craft beer.
“We are on a mission to help Australians drink better beer,” said Andy Williamson, BeerBud co-founder, who started the company along with friends Alex Gale and Mark Woollcott.
“The traditional mainstream brewers are the first to admit that they’ve purposely designed their beers to be bland and flavourless in order to ensure their mass appeal,” Mr Williamson said. “Fortunately there are now hundreds of Australian craft breweries creating a diverse range of styles and flavours like you’ve come to expect from wine or coffee,” he said.
Tasting notes, brewery info and subscription service available
For the first time, the best beers are now available at the click of a mouse on one convenient ordering platform and can be delivered to a consumer’s doorstep anywhere in Australia.
The website offers over 100 craft beers, mixed cases and exclusive limited edition releases from more than 30 of Australia’s best craft breweries and the BeerBud founders said this number was growing by the day. The website also has expert advice, tasting notes, member ratings and background on the breweries. The Company also offers a ‘beer club’ monthly and quarterly subscription, where consumers are sent a hand-selected mixed case from their brewery of the month.
BeerBud founders believe Australian craft beer has reached ‘tipping point’
In the US, craft beer is a $14 billion industry accounting for 14 per cent of total beer sales. BeerBud’s founders said they believed the craft beer market in Australia has reached a similar tipping point, with the total number of breweries in Australia jumping from 40 to more than 180 in the past decade.
“We have seen Aztec data covering Woolworths, Coles and ALM which shows craft beer sales grew by 48 per cent between 2011 and 2013,” said Mr Williamson.
“At the heart of the craft beer movement is a shift in consumer preferences from drinking a particular brand of beer to a style like wine,” Mr Williamson said. “From easy drinking summer ales, to dark and heavily roasted stouts and flavour-packed IPA’s, there is now a variety for any taste or occasion,” he said.
Mr Williamson said this explosion in the number of different beers produced by Australian breweries had been “driven by a thirst to push the boundaries of traditional beer production”.
“We now have beers like Burleigh Brewing’s FIGJAM and My Wife’s Bitter to Feral’s Hopfen Fahrt and Barrique O’Karma,” Mr Williamson said.
Mr Williamson, Mr Gale and Mr Woollcott have each had successful careers in finance with firms such as Macquarie Capital and CMB Capital, where they advised some of the best digital businesses including Carsales, Seek, Open Universities Australia, iProperty, Dimmi, Genero, Site Tour and Divvy.
Company also offers craft beer events
BeerBud also offers tailored craft beer events and experiences for both consumers and corporate environments, such as tasting and information sessions, meet the brewers, brewery tours and the opportunity to create your very own beer.
The team has signed up hundreds of customers in the two months since soft launching including Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom, NTT, Standard & Poors and Bankwest. They recently curated an event for Sydney’s Vivid Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art and together with Pop-up Yoga Sydney introduced a new past-time called “Beer & Broga” – a yoga class for men followed by a craft beer tasting session.