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Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder

Russell Crowe famously once said: “I only have respect for beer.” The proliferation of boutique breweries over the past decades in Australia illustrates just how much most of us hold the same opinion. The six o’clock swill is ancient history and a beer of good palate and quality is now the norm.

Today, it’s not unusual for a winery to produce its own beer, almost as commonly as they have restaurants, cheese shops and the like attachedto businesses that once only concerned themselves with wine.These adjuncts exist to attract the punters and increase sales overall.It’s been a successful ploy for most breweries, so successful that the market is now flooded with dozens of brands, as a visit to any bottle shop will show.

The age-old question, always arising when marketing wine, then applies equally to these boutique brands. How can they be made to stand out from their competitors? If a potential buyer hasn’t visited a particular brewery and has no idea of how it stacks up, what prompts them to favour one beer over another? What can the brewer do, apart from making sure their beer tastes terrific, to tempt the consumer to buy their product. Beer reviews in trade journals and food magazines are commonplace and are one way to promote your beer, but not everyone reads them.

It then falls back on great labels and equally distinct bottles to make sure that the buyer’s hand reaches for your beer. Makers of premium wines don’t think twice about putting their product in premium glass. Generally, each wine style is contained in bottles of shapes associated with it, a European tradition we have happily adopted. Equally, European brewers follow that course. They use premium glass of distinct design and shape for their beers. They are easily recognisable on any shelf, standing out from their competitors (think of the Grolsch bottle as an example).

Reflecting back to that tradition and employing specific glass for your beer is a proven successful strategy. It is also a strategy that won’t cost the earth. For a few extra cents a unit, the resulting profits will repay this investment many times over. The typical number of units produced by any brewery would easily fill the volume on the single sea container that is the minimum order required. And if that tactic achieves the goal of increasing market share and increasing profit margins, it’s more than a reasonable course of action to take.

As usual, the sad story is that such glass isn’t readily available in Australia any more, if at all.Europe, on the other hand, has a range of quality premium glass that can be sourced, and it’s possible to customise the proprietary beer bottles exactly like customised proprietary wine bottles.Just one call to Pipwin can set you on the way to a bottle that will enhance your beer, and make it a byword with the discerning drinker who, like Crowe, loves and respects their beer.

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