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Indie brewers win big in buy local campaign

Akasha Brewing (NSW), 3 Ravens Brewery (VIC), Little Bang Brewing (SA), Aether Brewing (QLD), Plenty Cider (TAS) and Wilson Brewing (WA) have all won BWS’ Local Luvva campaign and will now have their products ranged with the bottle shop chain – or ranged even further afield if they were already being stocked.

Nearly 300 independent winemakers, brewers and distillers from across the country entered the competition that aimed to raise awareness of Australian independent producers. Over 50,000 people had their say in naming the winners via an online poll.

In the last six months and during the campaign, BWS said it had seen an increase of 15 per cent of sales of local, independent products.

“This campaign has been all about celebrating our local heroes and trying to encourage more customers to become lovers of local products. Now that we’ve seen more customers than ever try local, we hope they have found new homegrown favourites,” BWS Local Manager Richard Mok said.

“We are now working with the winners on how to best expand their range within our store network.”

Albany’s Wilson Brewing Company was named Fan Favourite in the Beer category in West Australia.

Established just three years ago, the brewery is the result of passion and hard work led by husband and wife team Matty and Jessica Wilson, who traded the FIFO life to chase their dream.

“Winning the BWS Local Luvva campaign means that a lot of hard work has paid off. We’ve slugged away, diligently making delicious beer and building a following, and now our loyal followers have rallied behind us – it means the world to realise JUST how much support we have!” Matty said.

“From a practical perspective it means the opportunity to climb on to the next rung of the distribution ladder. We’ve been working hard for over a year to get our beer into every BWS store in our amazing state of Western Australia.”

Little Bang Brewing Company was named Fan Favourite in the Beer category in South Australia to add to their recent win in the GABS Can Design Award. Video game developers turned craft brewers Fil Kemp and Ryan Davidson have grown their business from a one-car garage to a thriving production facility and taproom within the Inner-Eastern suburbs of Adelaide in six years.

“One upside to this insane year has been the amazing upsurge in local support, it’s humbling, immensely heartening, and has literally saved our business,” Ryan said.

Established in 2003, 3 Ravens is Melbourne’s oldest independent brewery, and was named Fan Favourite in the beer/cider category.

“We’re really feeling the ‘luv’ from our fellow Victorians. We enjoy spending time face to face with our consumers, so while we haven’t had much opportunity to do that this year, this result is a wonderful reminder that people are still very much interested in what we’re brewing,” General Manager Nathan Liascos said.

“We’re still a small business, so we’re thrilled to be able to share our pride and joy with a much broader and diverse audience.”

Aether Brewing was named Fan Favourite in the Beer category in Queensland.

“Being the winner of this amazing campaign by BWS means that we are going to get huge support and help in growing our reach and presence, all while increasing our availability via the additional ranging throughout BWS stores. That means more people know who we are, and we can get more of our award-winning beer into people’s hands. This makes for a very happy brewery,” said Aether Brewing owner Dave Ward.

Plenty Cider in Derwent Valley was named Fan Favourite in the beer/cider category, and is run by husband and wife team Adam and Grace D’Arcy.

“We are super excited and are very grateful to all those who voted for us. Hopefully the ‘vote of confidence’ from our existing customers will encourage people who have not tried our cider to give it go!” Grace said.

After many years working as contract wine and cider makers, the couple turned their dreams into reality and launched Plenty Cider earlier this year.

“Launching a brand during COVID had its own unique set of challenges, such as being unable to attend markets or in-store tastings and on premise venues facing closure or operational restrictions. However, we have also had some amazing wins. As a new brand, winning in a campaign such as this is extremely valuable. We are also getting closer every day to being able to open our Cidery & Tasting house, Adam has been working on three new products and we recently celebrated our daughter Isabella’s first birthday.”

All the winners in the Local Luvva campaign

NSW
Wine: Nueva Sangria and Audrey Wilkinson
Beer/Cider: Akasha Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Lust Liquor
VIC
Wine: 6 ft 6 Wines
Beer/Cider: 3 Ravens
Spirit/Premix: Billson’s
SA
Wine: Paracombe Wines
Beer/Cider: Little Bang Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Never Never Distillery Co
QLD
Wine: No entries (additional winner in category chosen in NSW)
Beer/Cider: Aether Brewing
Spirit/Premix: Botanic Australis
TAS
Wine: Pepik Wines
Beer/Cider: Plenty Cider
Spirit/Premix: Hellfire Bluff Distillery
WA
Wine: Ferngrove Wines
Beer/Cider: Wilson Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Illegal Tender Rum Co

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