Lion has finally issued a media statement about the new Tap King home draught beer systems that Brews News revealed late last month. The statement reveals few additional details, other than the opened beer will keep fresh for around 21 days.
It will be fascinating to see how consumers respond to these systems. Anything that creates genuine interest in and excitement for beer can only be good for the category and Tap King would seem to have the capacity to do just that. On the other hand the hotel industry is understandably anxious about the effect that home draught beer will have on them, but that in itself will be an interesting study as these systems roll out.
When AHA Newcastle branch President, Rolly de With, spoke with Brews News recently he pointed out that hoteliers needed to have faith in their operations, and be confident that they offer a point of difference through the value they add to the beer drinking experience. This is a point well made, but is a challenge to traditionally minded publicans about what is the value that they do offer. Walk into just about any mainstream hotel these days and you would be hard-pressed finding a point of difference in most of them. One might offer $2 tacos on Tuesday, while the one down the road a $5 steak with a pot of Pure Blonde, but beyond that drinkers are more-often-than-not confronted with a near-identical tap array consisting of whatever beers their contract dictates that they serve. The beers are generally served in overfilled and dripping glasses designed to be practical rather than aesthically pleasing or that present the beer in an appealing way. The beer drinker is served by staff who would be hard-pressed to answer the average drinker’s most basic questions about the beers they serve in between recording Pokie payouts.
When your prime offering is uninspiring and not differentiated in are any way, you are left competing on price and promotion to try to attract the declining number of pub regulars. This is a race to the bottom of the hill for most pubs.
The home draught system shows that, while Lion has traditionally been happy to get its beers into bars and pay hoteliers for pouring it with rebates and business support, Lion’s prime allegiance is not to hoteliers but to selling more beer. If beer drinkers want to drink draught beer at home, Lion is willing to sell it to them.
Drink-driving laws and the decline of live music have put pressure on hotels for some time. These days pub-goers are able to watch most sports and bet in the comfort of their own homes. It will be interesting to see how traditional pubs respond to the challenge that inexpensive home draught beer will bring, if consumers pick up on it. [MK]
Brewer Sparks a Royal Revolution for Australian Beer
Tap King dispenser unit to offer draught beer at home
15 April, 2013: Australia’s largest brewer, Lion, is set to revolutionise the way Australians enjoy a beer at home with Tap King – a technological first designed to deliver refreshing draught beer at home.
While most Australians enjoy heading out to the pub or club with mates, 69% of drinking occasions take place at home. With the Tap King draught beer dispenser system beer lovers can pour their favourite beers draught-style in the comfort of their own home and unwind with fresh 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.
“We feel Tap King is a great development for the beer category as a whole. Growing appreciation of beer and the experiences of tasting good beer serves to benefit everyone in the industry from primary producers to industry partners.”
Tapper adds: “Lion is pursuing a direction to refresh the beer category, expose and celebrate the richness of the industry, and lead it in exciting new territories. To achieve this we need to deliver new innovations tailored to both consumers and the industry and Tap King is just the first of these.”
Designed with convenience in mind, Tap King is easy to assemble and can fit comfortably within a medium-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 will initially accompany the Tap King. The dispenser unit and bottles will be available from later this year at major liquor retailers nationally.