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Craft Beer

Global brewers dressed up as local crafties: How can local beer companies stand out in the crowd?

Having a tipple

Global brewers dressed up as local crafties: How can local beer companies stand out in the crowd?

New Zealand boasts the most breweries per capita in the world outnumbering traditionally beer friendly nations, Australia, the US, and even the puce faced britons. However, despite our rich variety, the market remains controlled by a few global powerhouses, namely Lion Nathan (owned by Kirin Brewery company based in Japan) and DB Breweries (owned by Heineken based in the Netherlands), who swallow approximately 90 percent of national beer sales by volume between them. Unfortunately, it leaves our earnest local brewers scrapping for positions in the crowded local craft beer market. So, how can our genuine locally owned and operated brewers navigate the dominance of global rivals, and has the craft beer bubble burst?

Design/Brand

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". They've moved on to a 2000 litre tank, and a large part of their success is not just the quality of beer, but also the unique branding approach in hiring different artists to design the labels for individual beers.