Bluetongue takes on Boags and Crown
Once a humble microbrewer, Bluetongue beer is going for the big leagues. Bluetongue have opened a new $120 million brewery and have a new look for its ‘Premium Range’, with lager and light beers.
Ten years ago, brands like Little Creatures and Bluetongue were either backyard operations or not even conceived yet, now they lead a colossal and mature Australian craft beer market.
A recent study showed Australians were turning to craft beers more and more over traditional options like VB and Tooheys, and Bluetongue’s marketing manager Pieta Jordan has definitely noticed a change in what consumers want in a beer.
“Australians taste for beer is changing,” Jordan tells Marketing magazine. “They used to have limited choice and now they have a plethora of choice. Now consumers say that beer has to taste great, and now they are more skilled with taste to pick it out.”
Starting up 8 years ago, Bluetongue began as a simple tipple alternative for tourists in the wine-heavy Hunter Valley, but rapidly became a local success story.
By the time Bluetongue’s first brewery was finished, they were running at capacity, and while they continued to upgrade, they struggled with demand. John Singleton got involved and the brand was ultimately sold to Pacific Beverages in a move to take the brand national.
Now, Bluetongue is trying to keep its fingers in a few pies, staying in the craft beer market with its Pilsner, and going after Boags premium beers and Crown Lager with their own premium line.
“Australians have had so much exposure to so many beers, they know there is a great range out there,” Jordan tells Marketing magazine. “We started out as a craft beer brand, and we will continue to play in the craft arena with the pilsner. But there aren’t contemporary, young brands in the premium domestic market at the moment. We have the opportunity to be the younger player on the block, with James Boags premium and Crown Lager, we’ll play the segment the way we like to play it.”