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Big brewers in box seat for craft boom: Jamie Cook

May 11, 2015

Jamie Cook

Carlton & United Breweries and Lion will be the biggest beneficiaries of consumers’ growing appetites for more diverse, flavourful beers if independent breweries cannot find the capital they need to keep up, says Stone & Wood co-founder Jamie Cook.

The craft beer segment currently has a four to five per cent share of the beer market if you include CUB and Lion-owned brands such as James Squire, Matilda Bay, Little Creatures and White Rabbit, Cook told Radio Brews News.

He predicted the segment could double its current share to around ten per cent within the next five years.

“There’s about $85 million worth of capital investment required to produce that sort of volume,” he said.

“That’s a lot of money to be sourced from somewhere for a lot of small breweries. Those brands that are owned by the larger brewers have a better chance of growing with and probably faster than the market because they have the production capacity to do so.

“That’s the big challenge we face – actually having the ability to grow in line with the market and keep up with those larger brewers.”

Cook will moderate a session on Sourcing Growth Funding at the Australian Craft Brewers Conference in Melbourne on Wednesday May 20.

Episode 52 of Radio Brews News is available to download here.

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