With beer consumption declining and some research (see media release below) suggesting that beer consumption is increasingly taking place outside the pub, it’s perhaps sensible that a brewer would look to ways to engage the beer drinker where they prefer to drink.
While publicans are up in arms about Lion’s soon-to-be-released Tap King home draught set up, and some regular readers of Brews News may be underwhelmed by the range of beers initially on offer through the system, it does seem to be a big money play by Australia’s largest brewing company to engage beer drinkers in something genuinely about beer and beer delivery. It will be fascinating to see how the system is received by the market. Personally, I’m tipping it to be huge.
It’s also interesting to contrast this innovation by Lion with rival CUB’s response to it.
Interviewed by The Shout when Tap King became public, CUB’s sales director – on-premise Paul Donaldson apparently said it was his company’s view that draught beer is “sacrosanct” and that this view had only been heightened under SABMiller’s ownership.
“It’s just too important to put mixed messages in the market,” he was quoted as saying.
This seems an unusual thing to say given CUB’s ‘brewery fresh’ Carlton Draught is available in bottles and cans for home consumption. It also raises the question of what is planned around the Carlton Draught ‘keg cans’ that were trademarked last year bearing the words “Draught beer at its best”.
We are used to marketers using words for how they sound rather than what they actually mean, but the semantics of this distinction would would be fascinating to understand.1 I would love to hear at what point the message about draught beer becomes mixed between a keg-shaped beer can being sold for home consumption promising “Draught Beer At Its Best” and something that actually approaches the experience of draught beer at home.
Anyway, I digress. This is a story about Tap King, not Carlton Draught. Apparently a Tap King unit is making its way to me for trial, so I will report on that experience soon. We will also soon have a report by Max Brearley who was invited to last week’s launch of the Tap King system. [MK]
Brewer Sparks a Royal Revolution for Australian Beer
Tap King dispenser unit to offer draught beer at home
June, 2013: Australia’s largest brewer, Lion, is set to revolutionise the way Australians enjoy a beer at home with the launch of TAP KING – an innovative new product designed to deliver refreshing draught beer at home.
While most Australians enjoy heading out to the pub or club with mates, surprisingly 69% of drinking occasions now take place at home2 .
With the TAP KING draught beer dispenser system launching in July, beer lovers can now pour their favourite beers in the comfort of their own home and unwind with fresh draught beer straight from a glass.
TAP KING’s main target is men over the age of 30 who appreciate the taste of draught beer but their busy lives with work and family commitments means they spend more time relaxing at home.
“The launch of TAP KING is a hugely exciting milestone for beer. It offers more choice for people enjoying our beers at home and supports our commitment to developing and promoting better quality beer experiences for all beer drinkers – a trend which has already been shown by our continued investment in craft beers and mid-strength beer, XXXX GOLD,” said Matt Tapper, Marketing Director at Lion.
Designed with convenience in mind, TAP KING is easy to assemble and can fit comfortably within a standard-sized fridge.
The TAP KING dispenser can be removed and washed as needed. It works together with 3.2L recyclable bottles that are also designed for easy storage in most fridges. The system delivers fresh draught beer straight from the fridge and each bottle can be enjoyed for up to 21 days after opening.
“TAP KING is great for beer lovers who want to enjoy a draught beer at home, when relaxing with their partner or with friends. The self-serve format means it is easy to pour just the right amount. The fact that each unit lasts for 21 days means TAP KING can be kept in the fridge for whenever people feel like a fresh draught beer at home. It’s ideal for sharing and low-key social occasions at home,” said Tapper.
This exciting innovation was born out of a partnership between Lion and renowned Australian packaging company Visy. Tap King is the culmination of two years of extensive research and refinement to bring to market and is Lion’s first major product innovation outside of its current range of well-known beer and wine brands.
Six Lion beers, including XXXX GOLD, Hahn SuperDry, James Squire Golden Ale, James Boag’s Premium, Tooheys New and Tooheys Extra Dry, will initially accompany the Tap King. The product will be available from July 2013 at major liquor retailers nationally for RRP $32.99 for the dispenser unit and between RRP $33.00 – $48.00 per 3.2L bottle twin pack.