Tearing up the marketing rulebook since the very beginning, Garage Project has paved its own unique path to success. Now entering a new phase of growth with the opening of its Hawkes Bay brewery, Garage Project co-founder Jos Ruffell explains both the benefits and challenges of foregoing an overarching brand, how it works directly with artists in lieu of agencies, and its relentless commitment to remaining an independent brewer.
Marketing, advertising & media intelligence
Since the craft beer industry started booming over the past few years in New Zealand, we've seen some beautiful labels adorning supermarket shelves and bar taps. These labels are often less about trumpeting the brand and more about celebrating the distinctive personality of the beer, often expressed through creative illustrations and inventive names. We had a chat with The Wireless's Toby Morris about his experience illustrating for beer brands, and look into why illustration has become a popular promotional tool.
Garage Project, a Wellington-based craft brewery, has taken the number one ranking on this year’s Deloitte Fast 50 with a three year growth rate of 664%. Here's how it got there.
With hefty student loans and a growing consensus among international businesses that undergraduate degrees aren't necessary for entry-level jobs, some are beginning to question whether dedicating three years to a single certificate is really worthwhile. Fortunately, Boundary Road’s Brewniversity offers an alternative. And the best part is that it only takes five minutes to complete the exam.
Wellington-based craft beer brewery Garage Project has grown from humble beginnings since Pete Gillespie, brother Ian Gillespie and Jos Ruffel started out in 2011 using a 500 litre “glorified home brew kit” to moving to a 2000 litre tank and say a large part of their success is not just the quality of the beer, but also its unique branding approach, hiring different artists to design the labels for individual beers. The brewery has also been a frontrunner in the canning of its craft beer, much to the scepticism of some. But it has worked. Demand is strong, and over 140 beers later, a slew of awards and a team that’s grown from three to about twenty, it’s showing no signs of slowing down yet.
When it comes to alcohol, the tastes of the nation are changing, with wine, cider and more expensive, more interesting, high alcohol beer all on the increase. And this has led to a decrease in the consumption of mainstream beer. As president of the Brewer's Guild Ralph Bungard says: “New Zealanders still love beer, there's no doubt, but they don't want to drink those classic big brands by the crate-load anymore." So, as we head into prime drinking time, here are some trends on New Zealand beer consumption taken from ANZ's report on the craft beer industry, which have been brought to life by Dot Loves Data.
Media folk have long been renowned for their love of a tipple. And, if the StopPress Towers are any gauge, many of them seem to have a penchant for the tasty, interesting and expensive beers emanating from some of the country's numerous craft breweries. Every year, those two things are combined at Beervana's Media Brew competition, which sees adventurous beer-loving journalists from around the country paired up with a craft brewer to develop a special, one-off brew. And Dish's recently departed editor Victoria Wells and Hallertau Brewery took out the title with a NZ Wild Ale with Horopito. Plus: ANZ report suggests potential growth of 300 percent in the next decade for Kiwi craft beer companies as demand ramps up overseas.
Beer and reptiles might not have much in common, but Carl Vasta, founder and owner of Tuatara, one of the country’s most successful craft beer brands, has combined these two things to great effect.
Craft brewers have a penchant for experimentation and, judging by the growth of the sector, that seems to be working out pretty well for a few of them. But Wellington-based ParrotDog is one of the few to have applied that philosophy to the audio-visual realm and it has once again gone loco in its newest ad.
Spanning over six generations and almost twice as many brewers, the Duncan family have been brewing Founders in Nelson for almost 160 years. But the company is thinking a bit bigger than boutique and its newly refreshed range of craft beers are now available around the nation.
There's plenty of excitement about craft beer at the moment. And plenty of debate about what that term actually means. But, after a big few days for the sector in Wellingtion, John Baker asks if it is the big boys making 'faux craft' or the new players making average product that are likely to do more damage.
The Crown, Pack & Co's latest venue on Auckland's Customs St in Britomart and the first of its Little Empire Brewery and Eating Houses, had its official opening last week. It plans on tapping into the craft boom and brewing its own beer in the near future. So no doubt it will need some help to name its different varieties. We've got two $50 bar tabs and two tickets to Beervana in Wellington on 9-10 August to give away. So add your best craft beer name to the comment wall and the top efforts (from those over 18, of course) will get the loot.
US craft beer exports rose 72 percent last year compared to 2011 numbers and while New Zealand still has a long way to go to reach the approximately 15 percent of market share craft beer holds stateside, similarly impressive growth trends exist in New Zealand. So as the movement gains steam—among both brewers and drinkers—Super Liquor is aiming to bring those two segments closer together with its Craftology initiative, which is part loyalty scheme, part content marketing and part kerrazzzee idea dreamed up while sitting around having a beer.
Of all the sabbaticals you could embark on, flying halfway round the world to New Zealand to work on crafting a new beer range surely has to be one of the most desirable. And that’s the precise task assigned to US brewmaster Brian “Spike” Buckowski thanks to a campaign run by Barnes, Catmur & Friends for Boundary Road Brewery. Utilising brewing sites around the world, the agency put the call out for a genius brewer, with a skill set that sits somewhere between genius and God-like, to “come down and do his stuff”.