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Bars thirsty for tap beer choice

Bars thirsty for tap beer choice
Independent Liquor says more than 100 bars and restaurants have signed up to its new tap beer option, indicating the industry's thirst for choice.

Independent Liquor says more than 100 bars and restaurants have signed up to its new tap beer option, indicating the industry's thirst for choice.

The first kegs are rolling out this week, bringing brands including Carlsberg and Kingfisher on tap for the first time.

Independent Liquor chief executive Julian Davidson is confident demand will continue to grow. 

“We have also received large numbers of unsolicited inquiries which is something we hadn’t anticipated. It clearly shows there is room for a third player to seriously enter the market.”

He declined to say how much market share Independent Liquor hoped to gain but said it currently sold 11 percent of all pack beer sales and was confident it could replicate this in the tap beer market.

“What we’re seeing is quite an intense competitive response from the other brewers. DB for example has been discounting up to $60 per keg for on premise operators whom we have approached.”

Davidson said expanding into the tap beer market was a logical step after its success in pack beer.

"On-premise operators have been very receptive to our offer and we already have more than 100 accounts signed up.

“This is a particularly encouraging start as we are entering a tightly guarded market, and we look forward to growing a significant market share over time," he said.

“The price of tap beer has seen a steady increase over the years which in part, is reflective of a market which only has two main suppliers. We hope that our entry will result in improved service levels and more competitive prices."