In a new approach to private label craft beer, Coles is trumpeting the involvement of Macarthur Grange Brewery in the production of its new brands, Lorry Boys and 3 Pub Circus.
Macarthur Grange, also known as contract producer Brewpack, is named on the labels of both brands, launched this month in 1st Choice Liquor, Liquorland and Vintage Cellars stores.
In-store marketing collateral seen this week parades Macarthur Grange’s Sunny Browning as head brewer of Lorry Boys.
A Coles spokesman declined to comment on the reasons for the new labelling approach, which contrasts markedly with the manner in which it brought the Steamrail brand to market.
Steamrail is brewed at Asahi’s Laverton facility, but this detail as well as the fact that it was a Liquorland-owned product was concealed behind the veneer of the retailer’s Australian Beer Connoisseurs subsidiary.
This approach earnt the attention of the ACCC and the acknowledgement of Liquorland’s ultimate ownership of the brands on the Steamrail labels.
The 3 Pub Circus range includes an Artisan Ale, a Kolsch and a Pale Ale. It is priced at a premium to the other brands: $50 for a 24 x 330ml carton in 1st Choice Liquor, $54.99 in Vintage Cellars or $60 in Liquorland.
Lorry Boys offers a Bright Lager, a Pale Ale and a Golden Ale, and its pricing is comparable to that of Steamrail: $44.99 in Vintage Cellars, $45 in 1st Choice and $50 in Liquorland.
In October last year, Coles declared its intention to triple private label sales through its liquor stores.
Tripling the shelf space devoted to its own brands appears to be the first step to executing this strategy in craft beer.