Newly arrived Lagunitas Brewing Company has almost doubled its export sales as a direct result of its relationship with multinational brewer Heineken, according to founder Tony Magee.
Heineken acquired 100 per cent of Lagunitas in May 2017 and the Californian brand has since enjoyed a 95 per cent sales increase in international markets, Magee told Radio Brews News.
“That is definitely a result of the Heineken relationship and it’s the most gratifying thing in the world to see your beer available in Mexico City and Madrid and Stockholm, and now you know, Melbourne and Sydney and Perth,” he said.
“We’re in the business of making friends and this offers a pipeline to the whole world. We could have done it eventually… [but] for Heineken it took them three generations to develop this global platform.”
Lagunitas officially launched in Australia this month at the Great Northern Hotel in Carlton, where publican Alistair Carragher has poured Lagunitas beers for many years.
“He’s been an enthusiastic supporter of ours for a long time… he grey market marketed beer in, he’d have beer airfreighted,” said Magee.
“Sometimes grey marketing leads to very poor outcomes for the beer, but he’s been very diligent about making sure that the beer is always fresh and poured well.
“If somebody shows you that kind of love, you want to pay it back, you know. It’s cool to be here right now with him tonight, launching all of the whole country here.”
Lagunitas’ Australian rollout will be spearheaded by its IPA, America’s top selling India Pale Ale, but Magee said the flagship will be supported by various other beers.
“We want to present the range of beers that we can make, you know, and let people decide what thrills them,” he said.
Lagunitas’ long-anticipated Australian launch comes via Drinkworks, a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand’s DB Breweries, which itself is owned by Heineken.
Drinkworks general manager Andrew Campbell said the brand joins Monteith’s and Tuatara as the latest addition to the distributor’s international craft portfolio.