Brewing endeavour

It seems to be raining new beers. The latest – Endeavour Reserve Amber Ale 2010 (reviewed here last week) and Endeavour Reserve Pale Ale 2010 – have been released through Coles’ 1st Choice and Vintage Cellars outlets.

These are both interesting, reasonably complex beers with no rough edges and a seamless drinkability usually associated with larger, professional brewing operations.

The website ( describes the venture as “three blokes having a go” – the three blokes being a former viticulturist, a marketing and sales specialist and a chartered accountant.

There’s no talk of the scale of the operation. But the professional packaging, smooth-edged beers and launch through a national chain suggest serious ambitions.

While it may be very good, initially,  for the three blokes to be off and running with Coles, I wonder how far down the track they’ve looked and if they’ve really considered the vulnerability of having all their eggs in one basket.

The supermarkets have more of a record for exploiting brands than building them. And there’s the downside of alienating what’s left of the independent trade; and, oh, the little matter of Woolworths, which is even bigger in liquor than Coles. Can’t imagine them climbing on board any time soon.

However, the beers are good and add to the diversity on offer.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2010