Craft beers dispute duty free bragging rights

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  • November 10, 2011
  • Cath Winks
Craft beers dispute duty free bragging rights

Trouble's a brewin' in beersville with Monteith's and Moa both claiming to be the first craft beer available duty free.

Marlborough craft beer Moa says it's the first craft beer to be sold in duty free stores now that it's on shelves in JR / Duty Free stores at Auckland Airport Arrivals and Departures.

Moa's general manager Gareth Hughes says this is huge news for the brewery.

“We know the powerful impact duty free stockists have on liquor sales and product consideration, so we couldn’t be in a better place than the JR / Duty Free stores at the nation’s busiest airport.

“It’s the first time a craft beer has been offered in duty free in New Zealand and, we’re told, the world – we’re excited to be blazing the trail and hope more of our craft colleagues will follow," he says.

But Monteith's disputes these claims, saying they were the first - four years ago.

Monteith’s marketing manager, Jennie Macindoe, says Monteith’s has been in and out of the duty-free market for years after first selling Monteith’s through Regency Duty Free stores in 2007.

“Our decision to begin selling through duty free stores was extremely well received at the time due to awareness of our West Coast brand. We quickly grew our sales over the following years but the reality is that beer is not a key driver in duty free stores given the fact people tend to purchase items such as spirits, perfume or electronics when travelling abroad because of significant duty savings offered.”

So who's right?  Well it depends on your definition of craft beer.  Craft beer microbreweries are traditionally seen as small, independent and traditional, so going the amount of beer brewed each year, plus the fact Monteith's is actually owned by DB...  we're giving Moa the moral victory here.

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