The XXXX Brewery in Brisbane will see an expansion in production, with Lion set to invest nearly $5 million to enable mass production of seltzers and RTD beverages at the iconic site.
The seltzer category is the fastest growing segment within the alcohol industry. Currently valued at $35 million, the category now accounts for 16% of the total RTD market and is projected to grow to 40 percent by 2023.
The RTD category is booming. New data from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report shows the pandemic passion in Australia for RTD drinks hasn’t receded, with a record number of people consuming them each month.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “The standout performer of the last few years has been RTDs, which have kept increasing despite the ending of lockdowns and almost all pandemic-related restrictions. A record high 16.7% of Australians, up 3.2% points (+680,000) from a year ago, now drink RTDs in an average four weeks.
“A deeper look into the RTD market in Australia shows the increasing popularity of seltzers over the last few years is continuing to drive the increasing consumption of RTDs generally. ‘Hard seltzers’ began to hit the Australian market in significant numbers in 2019, just before the pandemic struck, and these newer alcoholic products are still attracting an increasing array of customers.”
XXXX Sales Director Patrick Donohue said the XXXX Brewery was a Queensland icon, having stood proudly on Milton Road for nearly 145-years.
“It is an integral part of Lion’s brewing network – producing the vast majority of Lion’s portfolio of household name beer brands, including XXXX, Hahn and James Squire,” Donohue said.
“The beer and alcohol beverages market continues to evolve, as do consumers’ tastes and preferences. It is important that we innovate and set the brewery up for long-term success.
“We are pleased to announce that we are looking to produce most of our portfolio of seltzer brands, including global sensation, White Claw, at the XXXX Brewery.
“Mass production of seltzers and RTD beverages requires bulk ethanol storage, and so we will lodge a development application with Brisbane City Council in the coming weeks to build a new facility on the current site to ensure we’re doing this in the safest way possible.
“This represents a significant investment in the site and builds on our decade-long registration under state planning laws protecting the existing use of the brewery from encroachment from other development, which was extended in 2019.”
As part of its application, XXXX will conduct a period of community consultation, which will commence later this year.
Byron Bay Brewery goes national with new sparkling seltzer range
The news follows Lion announcing the national release of its Peach & Mango premium alcoholic seltzer from its Byron Bay Brewery brand.
After a successful limited launch with customers in northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland, the Byron Bay Brewery Peach & Mango seltzer is now available on tap nationally in bars and clubs.
The newly-launched seltzer (4% ABV) is vodka-based with low sugar and low calories per 330ml serve. The new thirst quenching range is Australian-made with sparkling water using natural flavours to create a naturally delicious and refreshing alcoholic seltzer, allowing you to transport to Byron Bay wherever you are.
Ed Jamison, Byron Bay Brewery Brand Director of Lion Australia said: “We’re looking forward to releasing our new seltzer, and sharing a taste of Byron Bay with drinkers nationally. Our brand has a strong base of Gen Z and Millennial customers, and the new range appeals to drinkers who are after low sugar, easy-drinking and flavourful pre-mixed drinks whilst they’re at the pub with mates.
“We know the seltzer category represents an opportunity for major growth for Byron Bay Brewery, and we’re particularly proud to support our Australian industry by releasing a seltzer range that’s available in a range of fruit flavours.”
Byron Bay Brewery Peach & Mango seltzer is now available on tap nationally at RRP $11 for a schooner and $25 for a jug. Peach & Mango and Watermelon & Mint are available in packs of 4 x 330 ml cans in Northern NSW and South-Eastern QLD across the independents channel, with additional flavours to be released more broadly in the coming months.