Beer & Brewer has rounded up the new releases that have hit the shelves and taps in the past few weeks, with three new better-for-you beers and some interesting collaborations.

Gage Roads Air Time

Air Time Low Carb Lager is Gage Roads’ latest core beer, with an ABV of four per cent, low carbs, and only 99 calories per can. Air Time’s can design is inspired by Gage Roads Brew Co. co-owner and pro surfer, Jack Robinson.

Ross Brown, Head Brewer, Gage Roads Brew Co., said that Air Time is a new take on the classic Australian lager.

“There’s no doubt this is a beer that will be loved across the board. Refined but uncomplicated, with a blend of classic ingredients and modern brewing technique. Bright, fresh and crisp with light hop and citrus notes. It’s the ultimate thirst quencher without the carbs,” Brown said.

Mimi Crompton, Brand Manager, Gage Roads Brew Co., said that strong consumer trends will bolster the beer’s popularity.

“Lager remains the most popular style across beer here in Australia, with craft lager continuing to grow ahead of the total craft category. We’re seeing easy drinking styles more sought out than ever, and we’ve also seen a real resurgence of lager in the US.

“We’ve tapped into that with Air Time, along with a consumer desire for better-for-you drinks, and delivered a beer to our on- and off-premise customers that has high consumer demand and strong margin.”

Air Time is available nationally in a 330mL can format.

Guinness 0.0

Lion Australia has announced the Australian rollout of Guinness 0.0, the non-alcoholic version of the famous Irish stout.

With the same smooth taste and balanced flavour of regular Guiness, Guiness 0.0 is a low-calorie option for stout fans looking to moderate their alcohol consumption. According to data from Lion Australia, no- and low-alcohol (NoLo) beer has increased its market share year-on-year for the last four years.

Albertus Lombard, Brand Director of Premium Beer, Lion, said that the release responds to consumer demand.

“As one of the world’s oldest and most loved drinks, Guinness continues to remain at the forefront of innovation. The launch of Guinness 0.0 is catering to consumer needs, without compromising on the signature Guinness flavour profile that its drinkers know and love.”

In July last year, Guiness Ireland announced its plans to triple production volume of Guiness 0.0 to meet demand in domestic and international markets.

Guinness 0.0 is now available in 440mL cans to purchase in liquor stores nationally, with a RRP of $15.99 for a 4-pack.

VB Low Carb

With the low carb market becoming increasingly popular, VB has released VB Low Carb, a full flavoured and full-strength beer with 33 per cent less carbs than regular VB.

Sarah Wilcox, Head of Classic Brands, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), said that fans of classic VB are increasingly interested in a low carb option.

“In the past, some classic beer lovers thought low carb beer was not for them. But with seven out of 10 VB drinkers telling us they’d seriously consider a low carb option, it is the right time for VB Low Carb. We are committed to innovations like this at CUB because it creates value for our customers and helps grow the entire beer category.

“With the full flavour and strength of regular VB at 4.9 per cent ABV, we reckon it will appeal to even the most die-hard VB purists. Our brewers weren’t sure it was possible, but they did it and it’s bloody good,” she said.

Former NRL star and Fox Footy host, Brian Fletcher, supported the release.

“VB Low Carb is a game changer as I can still enjoy my knock off, while worrying less about the carbs. Victoria Bitter is changing with the times without comprising the taste and bitter finish that’s made it Australia’s most iconic beer.”

VB Low Carb will be available in 375mL cans and bottles with a RRP of $55.

Ten Men x Modus Can It! Hazy Pale Ale

Modus Brewing has released Can It! Hazy Pale Ale in collaboration with Ukrainian brewery Ten Men.

In 2022, the Ten Men brewing team were forced to relocate from their home of Vovchans’k, located on the Russian border, as a result of the current conflict in Ukraine. Modus is the first brewery to collaborate with Ten Men in its 100 Collabs campaign, which seeks to raise money to help rebuild the brewery as a BrewHUB in Lviv. Ten Men will receive $5 from every case and $1 from every schooner of ‘Can It!’ sold.

The ‘Can It!’ Hazy Pale Ale uses a Ten Men recipe which employs a unique dry hopping technique. The technique became necessary to increase the hop profile from fewer hops when supplies became scarce.

Sam Evans, Digital Marketing Manager, Modus, explained the meaning behind the beer’s name.

“We have called the beer ‘Can It!’ after recognising that a large hurdle for the Ten Men team was not having a way to efficiently can their beers. Without reliable access to their own canning system, it makes it very difficult and prohibitively expensive for their team to package and grow their BrewHUB,” he said.

“We are encouraging Aussies to help Ten Men ‘Can It!’ (and telling the war to Can It!) by raising funds in the hope they can purchase their own canning line.

Can It! Hazy Pale Ale is available direct from Modus and in select bottle shops.

Gradi Draught and Gradi Bionda Birra

Johnny Di Francesco, Founder of Melbourne’s award-winning Italian restaurant 400 Gradi, has collaborated with Great Ocean Road Brewing to create two exclusive beers to pair with Italian food, especially Neapolitan pizza. The recipes were designed by Great Ocean Road Brewing’s Master Brewer Mattias Isaksson, along with owners Mick Ranger and Matt Shortal.

Gradi Bionda Birra is a mid-strength summer ale, with a crisp taste and smooth finish, and the Gradi Draught is an easy-drinking lager, with tasting notes describing light floral hops and notes of freshly baked bread.

“The creation of the two unique 400 Gradi beers in collaboration with Great Ocean Road Brewing has been an exciting development for the Gradi Group. We are thrilled that our customers can now pair the perfect pizza with the perfect beer,” Di Francesco said.

Both beers are available at 400 Gradi locations in Mornington, Brunswick, Eastland, Essendon, and Norwood. The Gradi Draught is also available at 400 Gradi Crown. Cans are $10, with the Draught also available as a pot for $10 and a schooner for $13.


Coopers Brewery Botanic Ale

The limited-edition Coopers Botanic Ale is a floral twist on a classic ale, responding to the 30 per cent consumer cross over between craft beer and gin.

The design has a retro twist, evoking the juniper tree with the use of purple and green in the artwork. The beer itself had a golden and cloudy appearance, and Coopers describes fruity and floral hop aromas with a full-bodied palate and crisp finishing bitterness.

Coopers Botanic Ale contains no additives or preservatives and has an ABV of 5.8 per cent, responding to a demand for higher ABV beer which has doubled in size in the past five years.

Michael Shearer, General Manager, Coopers said that this release is a unique angle for the brewery team.

“Coopers Botanic Ale draws on our 19th century Sparkling Ale recipe while combining novel elements such as juniper sourced from the UK, and Nectaron hops which are a trending variety from New Zealand,” he said.

“The result is a tasty and unique addition to Australia’s craft beer category that we know will appeal to existing and new drinkers of Coopers. This is a very limited release so you’ll need to get in early before stock runs out.”

Coopers Botanic Ale will be available in 375mL cans and 50L kegs from this month onwards.

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