The season for cider is upon us. With a raft of new ciders hitting the shelves recently, retailers and the hospitality industry are gearing up for their highest cider sales yet in Australia.
This summer, Australian cider drinkers have an ever-increasing range of ciders to choose from with a noticeable uplift in boutique, locally produced ciders on offer.
Camperdown Cellars Marketing Manager, Danielle Kennedy, reveals that across her group of stores the cider category is growing faster than any other and showing no signs of slowing, particularly in the premium end of the market.
“The larger international brands are holding their place, however momentum is growing for well crafted, quality Australian ciders as our customers are becoming increasingly discerning” says Kennedy.
Bars and pubs are also noticing cider’s growing popularity, with cider-specific bars and cider-promotions popping up across the country. Marketing Manager at Hotel Steyne’s Moonshine Cider & Rum bar, Brittany Kinter, has the largest range of ciders on tap in Sydney.
“With 66 beer taps downstairs, the upstairs cider bar has been a strategic point of difference for the Hotel Steyne. We’ve noticed that the smaller independent companies have become increasingly recognised by cider drinkers, and are giving the larger beverage companies a run for their money.”
One local newcomer experiencing a thirsty cider market is Batlow Premium Cider, the debut product from Batlow Brewing Company – a joint collaboration between iconic apple grower cooperative, Batlow Apples, and Sydney- based company, Coombes Bros.
The brand has exceeded its sales and distribution expectations since launching in September, and has successfully partnered with more than 80 on and off premise venues in NSW, including six venues on tap, to serve up its locally made cider, which is free of added concentrates and sugars.
There has also been significant interest from Victoria and Queensland, with distribution in those states expected soon.
Batlow Brewing Company has even received interest from retailers and bar owners in London who love the concept of a 100 per cent Australian made cider.
Batlow Brewing Company Director, Rich Coombes, explains Batlow Premium Cider has been received extremely well by both existing cider drinkers and new fans.
“We’re seeing strong sell-through both on and off premise which is promising this early on. We host tastings most weekends and we’re getting a very positive response from both existing and new cider drinkers, which is sending a really strong message about the cider market in Australia,” says Coombes.
Handcrafted from a carefully selected blend of the best quality Batlow Apples, including varieties such as Pink Lady, Fuji, Braeburn, Royal Gala and Granny Smith, Batlow Premium Cider is a unique offering within the category, boasting three and a half apples per bottle and a crisp flavour profile.
As the official cider for the recent high profile music festival, Harvest, the locally made cider sold out at the Melbourne event and came close again in Sydney. Coombes was blown away with the popularity of his cider and now firmly believes grass-roots music festivals and cider go hand in hand.
Batlow Brewing Company considers grass-roots festivals like Harvest as a perfect association for its brand and they have since come on in mid-November and Sydney’s Secret Garden scheduled for March 2012, both of which are held for charitable causes. The latter will involve a well planned creative activation and bespoke cider bar.
About Batlow Premium Cider
Batlow Premium Cider has a light golden appearance with fine bubbles from natural carbonation. The aroma is fresh, fragrant apples with a hint of earthiness. The taste gives a mild, refreshing sweetness followed by a light grip on the back palate and a clean medium dry finish, resulting in a well-balanced, fresh tasting cider.
Batlow Premium Cider has an alcohol level of 5.5 per cent and will be available in 330ml bottles in four-packs and cartons of 24 bottles, as well as on tap in selected venues.
ABV 5.5% and RRP $17.99 per four-pack.