There's still plenty of debate about what actually constitutes craft beer, but the pundits can agree on one thing: consumption of it is on the rise, with an article on Stuff showing craft beer made up 13 percent of total beer sales over the past year at Foodstuffs, up from nine percent two years ago, and about ten percent of total beer sales at Countdown. And two of the country's top booze chains, Super Liquor and Liquorland, both of which are fighting a battle against those supermarkets, can also see the dollar signs and have signed up to sponsor major events on the craft beer calendar.
Super Liquor's Craftology brand is the new sponsor of the 2013 Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards (enter here) and Super Liquor chief executive Martin Bremner says he's "supremely chuffed" to be able to support New Zealand's premier beer awards event.
"The brewers represented at these Guild Awards are responsible for providing New Zealand beer lovers with diversity and choice of the highest quality, as well as lots of fodder for good arguments. This is what we at Super Liquor are all about, and we strive to provide this for our customers. We love that fact that we can be part of this exciting and fun movement."
Let's hope the judges at these local beer awards are better than those judging at some wine awards.
Over at Liquorland, it has signed on as the major sponsor of the 12th Beervana, which is being held on 9 and 10 August in New Zealand's undisputed craft beer capital, Wellington.
"It's really pleasing to welcome Liquorland as our new retail liquor sponsor for Beervana 2013 and beyond,” says festival owner and director David Cryer. “For a long time now, a number of Liquorland stores have played a key role in supporting the development and ever-increasing availability of craft beers throughout New Zealand. Beervana is particularly keen to partner with Liquorland as they begin a new phase and commitment to the expansion of New Zealand craft beer across all of their 70+ stores."
In the summer months of January to March 2013, he says craft beer volume grew by over 40 percent in retail liquor versus the previous year.
"Beervana is fully committed to continue playing a lead role in realising new opportunities and ongoing growth for our craft brewers, and having craft beer more readily available for discerning beer drinkers," he says.