Casella’s new brew good for competition

The winemaking Casella family’s move into brewing brings commercial excitement, if not thrills in the flavour department.  Their two new beers – reviewed last week (but destined to be only one after consumer trials) – sit in the mainstream, so-called premium segment. They’re nice, clean, fresh lagers and compare favourably with others costing $45–$50 a slab.

The family’s move into the mainstream premium beer market seems certain to be welcomed by the big retailers. A new high-volume product from a credible producer gives them leverage against the Foster’s-Lion oligopoly, with its estimated 90-plus per cent of the Australian beer market.

But the big boys won’t just cop it sweet. They’re sure to fight back as the Casella family cranks up its 300,000-hectolitre brewery in the shadow of its 12 million case a year winery.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 18 July 2012 in The Canberra Times