Suntory Whisky To Release Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

Suntory Whisky, the pioneer of Japanese Whisky, will launch the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 into the Australian market in February 2016. 

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask has been created for lovers of complex, refined, yet subtle tastes. Only 246 bottles will be available for sale in specialist whisky retailers and bars. 

In 2015, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible awarded the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 “World Whisky of the Year”. The new 2016 blend incorporates the same whiskies that created the 2013’s base with an additional two years maturation as well as adding various rare sherry cask single malt whiskies, some of which are over 25 years old.  

Created by Chief Blender and Great Grandson of founder Shinjiro Torii, Shinji Fukuyo, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is a deliberate design, choosing from over a hundred malt whiskies.

While sherry casks are both revered and feared for their strong character, Shinji Fukuyo selects only casks that hold a delicate balance of chemistry between the Yamazaki malt, and sherry cask, thereby enhancing Yamazaki’s characteristically rich and multifaceted flavour.

“Shinji Fukuyo has designed a journey in this whisky. The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 is undeniably where Spain meets Japan in the form of a whisky. To fully enjoy this journey, Fukuyo recommends the whisky first be served neat to showcase its nose.

On its own, there is a clear and fresh top note. A raisin-like, deep sweetness that is both elegant and rich,” Narelle McDonald, Beam Suntory Marketing Manager for Premium Brands, said.

“You immediately taste the complexity of this liquid, and the fine balance of maturity and delicateness. Served on the rocks, the flavour opens as you begin to taste the Delaware grape-like sweetness and its slightly bitter acidity. When cut with water, there is a soft sweetness that blossoms like the first apples of the harvest,” said McDonald.

Sherry cask whisky has been a constant staple of the Suntory Whisky portfolio since 1924; a year after the distillery began construction. Shinjiro Torii started making Suntory Whisky in sherry casks imported from southern Spain, which he had originally used to blend his famous Akadama Sweet Wine.

Today, Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo visits the Northern region of Spain himself to ensure that it is his selection of Spanish oak to be sent to the “bodegas” sherry wineries to be made into sherry casks used to store their Oloroso Sherry.

Fukuyo carefully oversees this entire process, from the selection and making of the casks, to the charring, and the aging of their sherry. After three years of aging, the sherry casks are sent back to Suntory Whisky, ready to receive what becomes the distinguished Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky.

The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 will be available in selected specialist whisky retailers and bars from February 2016.

White Rabbit Brewery hops over to the new Little Creatures site

Beca and Lion have moved its Lion's White Rabbit Brewery from Healesville, north east of Melbourne to Lion's Little Creatures site in Geelong, some 144 kms away.

In 2014, Lion engaged Beca to assist with a review of their craft brewery footprint in Victoria. Beca worked with Lion to complete an initial feasibility and options analysis for the White Rabbit Brewery operation. 

This was conducted to determine the most cost and time effective relocation approach. The relocation would allow Lion to create a consolidated hub for craft brewing operations in Victoria; the site also has the capacity for future development.

Following this, Beca was subsequently engaged at the start of 2015 to design and project manage the relocation. The first project stage involved bringing a 2000m2 1920's building on the Geelong site up to current standards to accommodate the relocated brewery and a new hospitality venue. In parallel to the building works at the Geelong site, Beca also managed the decommissioning and finalisation of the Healesville site.

The existing equipment from the Healesville site was relocated and integrated with additional new equipment at the Geelong site. The refurbishment of the improved system was then fully commissioned. The first brew of White Rabbit using the recommissioned equipment was successfully achieved in early October 2015 and the project was delivered on time, on budget and with no LTI/MTIs.

"Beca provided excellent end to end project management support and this greatly assisted delivery of the project to schedule and within our budget. This was particularly pleasing given the nature of the building refurbishment at Geelong and the tight timelines required, which ensured the start-up of the brewery prior to our peak production period," said Matthew Anderson, Lion's Operations Director Craft, Supply Chain.
 

Coopers launches DIY brewing extracts

Coopers Brewery is launching a new series of DIY beer extracts in response to the growing interest in craft beer across the world.

The new premium quality brewing extracts are being released under the Thomas Cooper label and have been designed to help DIY brewers mimic most popular styles of craft beer.

At the same time, Coopers has revamped and refreshed the labelling for its Original and International DIY Beer extracts, adding multi-language information and nutritional panels.

Coopers Marketing Manager, Brewing Products, Scott Harris, said craft beer was the fastest growing sector of the beer market worldwide and DIY brewers were increasingly looking to make craft styles of beer at home.

“This particularly applies to enthusiasts who have progressed from making basic brews to more intricate beer styles,” he said.

“The Thomas Cooper range comprises high quality pure malted barley extracts, each with its own specifically matched yeast blend and are designed to be used with additional brewing adjuncts to replicate the bolder characters and flavours associated with craft beers.

“A good example of this is the Brew A IPA which has a significant level of both bittering and aromatic hops matched with west coast style yeast which when made as directed will give a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) level, extra hoppy IPA typical of the north west USA craft breweries.

“The range is designed to encourage experimentation by experienced DIY brewers who want to further develop the brews into their own unique craft beer styles.”

Harris said the new Thomas Cooper range included an Amber Ale, US American Pale Ale and US Indian Pale Ale (IPA), styles of beer, which together represent the majority of craft beers consumed.

The labelling for the three Coopers’ ranges had been changed to meet demands of overseas markets and to give them a familiar “Coopers” feel.

“Overseas markets now demand nutrition panels, while the old labelling was also due for a refresh,” he said.

It’s Beermageddon: AB InBev guzzles up rival SABMiller

The world's top brewer, Belgian-Brazilian behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev has clinched a $A172.28 billion deal for rival, SABMiller, in what is now the third biggest takeover in global corporate history.

The deal will bring together InBev's top lagers like Beck's, Budweiser and Stella Artois, with SABMiller brands Foster's, Grolsch and Peroni.

According to analysts Euromonitor International, “AB InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller is the natural conclusion of over a decade of consolidation within the brewing industry.” 

The new company will account for 29 per cent of the global 198 billion litre beer market. 

This will make it more than three times bigger than its nearest rival, Heineken, which has 9 per cent of the global beer market.  

“The deal is a culmination of over a decade of mass consolidation which has seen the top five’s share of global beer volumes rise from 38 per cent in 2005 to 56 per cent following this deal in a category that has grown by 23 per cent over the same period.”

“With little geographic overlap between the two companies, it is of little surprise the deal has been agreed and the deal will also have limited anti-trust issues.” Jeremy Cunnington Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst at Euromonitor International
 
According to Euromonitor, A-B InBev will have the following presence regionally:
·         Number 3 in Asia-Pacific with 12 per cent of the region’s 71 billion litre volumes. Five and one percentage points respectively behind Chinese giants China Resources and Tsingtao.
·         Number 1 Player in Australasia with 40 per cent of the region’s 2 billion litre volumes, or seven percentage points ahead of Kirin.

However in order to gain US regulatory approval, the enlarged brewer will now have to divest SABMiller’s US operations to Molson Coors, along with the interest in the SABMiller joint venture with China Resources.

Queensland gets its very own beer

XXXX has announced XXXX Origins – a limited edition beer that has been brewed just for Queensland locals, and features 36 of their iconic towns on the label in a tribute to the sunshine state.

XXXX Origins is a crisp lager, with low bitterness and medium body with a 4.2 per cent ABV content with a subtle Saaz hop aroma that gives it a light and refreshing finish.

Tanya Marler, XXXX Brand Director, said that the launch of XXXX Origins celebrates the varied and distinct personalities of Queensland’s many towns that help to make this state truly incomparable.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to recognise their significance than by commemorating them on a bottle of XXXX Origins.

“We know that Queenslanders want a contemporary beer that appeals to their evolving tastes, so we created XXXX Origins just for them,” said Marler.

Marler said that it was a tough decision to whittle down to a final list of 36 towns which includes Atherton, Bellbowrie, Birdsville, Bluff, Cairns, Calen, Chinchilla, Cloncurry, Coolangatta, Curra, Deeragun, Drillham, Emerald, Foxdale, Gatton, Gin Gin, Giru, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Herberton,
Inkerman, Jimboomba, Karara, Laura, Mackay, Maryborough, Mirani, Mount Isa, Nobby, Rockhampton, Roma, Stonehenge, Toowoomba, Townsville, Warwick and Windorah.

“We believe that we’ve reached a great mix of towns across the state and there is a pretty good chance every Queenslander will have a connection to at least one of the 36 towns,” said Marler.

XXXX Origins ‘Queensland Towns’ is a limited edition release and will be available from October 26 until the end of February 2016.

Coopers Clear unveils new look packaging

New packaging for Coopers Clear has been unveiled by Coopers Brewery ahead of summer.
According to National Sales and Marketing Director for Coopers, Cam Pearce, Coopers Clear had been introduced to provide an alternative low carbohydrate beer that would be suitable for summer afternoons. 

“Since its introduction, it has established a strong position in the market and is currently the fourth biggest selling beer behind Coopers Original Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale and Mild Ale 3.5 per cent”
Bottle labels, cans and cluster packs are set to begin entering the Australian market over the next few weeks before the busy Christmas and summer period.

Jonah Lomu hosts Heineken’s Rugby World Cup campaign

Heineken has announced details of their Rugby World Cup 2015 activity with a multi-channel campaign that is designed to bring fans in Australia closer to the action. 

As a worldwide partner for Rugby World Cup 2015, Heineken's campaign will encourage fans to embrace the spirit of the tournament through experiential and digital activity that will be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

Heineken has partnered with key venues around the country to create the Heineken RWC Clubhouses. At each of the Clubhouses, fans can see every match live on big screens in a unique stadium atmosphere while having the opportunity to participate in Heineken promotions which will include a chance to win tickets to the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final at Twickenham in England – the ultimate prize for rugby fans. 

Heineken has also launched limited edition packaging and bottles to celebrate the Rugby World Cup. For the first time, this includes a limited edition 1st XV Can pack that is aimed at amplifying the experience of those watching games in the comfort of their own home. 

Heineken will also be producing an exclusive series of digital content, giving fans the chance to be part of the ultimate second screen experience. 

The Heineken Rugby Studio, hosted by former England captain Will Carling, is a preview and review show that will broadcast across social media. 

The show will offer an international perspective on the tournament through the eyes of an elite panel of Heineken Rugby Legends which includes ex-All Black superstar Jonah Lomu and former Australia captain Rocky Elsom along with other decorated special guests from Australia, England, Ireland and South Africa's rugby alumni. 

Guests will drop into the studio throughout the tournament to offer opinion and an irreverent look at the major talking points of Rugby World Cup 2015, with fans able to be a part of the action via #ItsYourCall. 

Alessandro Manunta, Heineken Marketing Manager said: “The Rugby World Cup is always one of the biggest events globally and this year's tournament will be no exception. Here in Australia, we'll be celebrating the occasion by providing fans with the ultimate experience that brings another level of enjoyment to the game and unprecedented access to rugby's biggest stars. Through our activations and the development of engaging digital content, fans will be able to get closer to the action and their heroes than they have ever been before."

Pure Blonde gets a carb make over

Pure Blonde, the original low carb beer, has had a makeover, now boasting an even lower carb content.

 Called ‘Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb’, it’s a lager that contains 80% less carbohydrates than regular beer. 

According to Carlton & United Breweries, with 30% less calories than a regular beer; and 50% less calories than wine (per mL), it is “the perfect tipple for men and women who live a healthy balanced lifestyle.”
 
The first ultra low carb, lower calorie, and low gluten beer on the market, Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb Lager contains no artificial additives or preservatives, the brewer said.