The Australian Brewery breaks into Japanese market

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th April 2014
The Australian Brewery has broken into the Japanese market

Craft brewer The Australian Brewery has expanded its global reach with successful negotiations to supply to Japan.

The Australian Brewery said it had been “notoriously difficult” for Australian beer manufacturers to export to Japan, but the recently announced Free Trade Agreement between Australian and Japan would see export tariffs lifted. Australian beer producers have been attempting to secure lucrative new contracts that have opened up. The Australian Brewery will supply its canned craft beers throughout Japan via the country’s biggest beer importer Konishi.

“Exporting to Japan is a big deal for any brewery,” said David Ward, Australian Brewery Marketing Manager. “Beer accounts for two thirds of all alcohol consumed,” he said.

The Australian Brewery Pale Ale and Pilsner will be available in hundreds of outlets across Japan, including supermarkets Kinokuniya and Seijo Ishii.

The Rouse Hill based brewery has already made a name for itself in Australia, partly due to its unique packaging: craft beer in cans. The Australian Brewery was the first craft brewery in Australia to install a canning line, with other producers now starting to follow suit. Canned beer is already very common packaging in Japan, with all the major brands having canning lines, according to The Australian Brewery.

Shift in export market trends

The Australian Brewery said the global beer export market has begun looking at smaller Australian breweries “willing to have a go”.

“We are noticing a real shift in people seeking craft beer both here in Australia and overseas,” Mr Ward said. “This is a good sign for Australian craft brewers looking to expand into these overseas markets,” he said.

“Some of us have already dabbled in America, Europe and Asia, with companies such as Coopers, James Squires and others making the shift,” Mr Ward said.

The Australian Brewery said it had put a twist on each of the beers in its range, which are crafted around the international flavours and styles, to give them a “classic Australian taste”.

“We are always interested to see how international audiences respond to our taste in craft beer,” said Neal Cameron, Australian Brewery Head Brewer. “We’ve had success at a number of international trade shows, but each country represents an entirely new audience. But based on what we have heard so far, we are confident that the flavour profiles transfer quite well,” he said.