Melbourne beer company A Local Beer has rebranded to Local Brewing Co. as part of the “next evolution” of the business.
The beer brand, which currently contract brews at Burnley Brewing, launched in February 2019 with a socially conscious aim to help support SecondBite.
For every six-pack and pint sold, Local Brewing Co. donates a meal to someone. It said it has been able to contribute to 17,000 meals so far through SecondBite.
The charity is backed by Coles and aims to redistribute surplus food through local non-profit organisations throughout Australia.
A Local Beer’s original name and logo was trademarked, and it is in the early stages of doing the same with Local Brewing Co., according to co-founder Nick Campbell.
“Our name has served its purpose so far with grabbing attention and providing a point of difference for retailers over the past 18 months,” explained Campbell.
“We have changed the name to give the business more of an identity as we move forward to the next stage of growth.
“As our business has grown, we have been able to allocate funds through the proceeds of the business to fund our rebrand activities. It’s an investment in our future rather than a pure expense,” he explained.
Despite contract brewing, Local Brewing Co. said that the concept of local has always “been crucial to the identity of A Local Beer”.
But as the industry has found, identifying what it means to be local can be tricky.
“We define local now as a community or a social unit with commonality such as values and identity,” Campbell told Brews News.
“As a result, the principles have evolved to looking after each other through social measures and the environment through sustainable practices.”
With major campaigns within the craft beer industry as well as mainstream retailers like Endeavour Drinks to support and market local products, Campbell said he wasn’t concerned about any confusion between them and the newly rebranded company.
“We were excited to see all the campaigns on ‘Supporting Local’ especially from the larger chains,” he said.
“If anything, the last nine months has shown that the craft community has become stronger and is better when we are all united in promoting independence.
“We have a great relationship with a lot of people in the industry and the feedback has been very positive so far.
“I believe people understand we aren’t captalising on the word ‘local’ as this has been part of our business since we started. If you are authentic in your approach then others will respect that.
“On the Local Luvva competition, we ranked 3rd out of 16 breweries based in Victoria that demonstrates that craft lovers want to see more of our brand on retail shelves which drives us forward.”
But, like most breweries during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not been an easy ride.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say the last nine months haven’t been difficult. Your whole business changes overnight in terms of profitability with on-premise venues shutting down and managing employees.
“We have taken the opportunity to work on value-adding activities such as building relationships with retailers, supporting distressed venues, rebranding and building our sustainable limited releases.
“From that perspective, we are very positive that we will be ready for when the hospitality industry opens up again. “
The brewery has three core beers in their range covering a Pacific Ale, an XPA and a West Coast IPA, and long-term plans will be to brew their beers on their own site.
“We want to give Local Brewing Co. a physical home to connect directly with our loyal customers, retailers and partners.,” Campbell said.
“The criteria for a venue is location, accessibility and potential. It’s located in either Richmond or Cremorne (3121) as this is where the business started and is managed from daily.
“[But] we have a great relationship with subleasing space at Burnley Brewing so [there are] no immediate plans to move our production needs until our size warrants it.”