Turning Beer Launches Into Events


People have a thirst for fresh beer and breweries are realising they can tap into this opportunity by turning beer releases into events.

Beer Launch Events

Boatrocker from Victoria made an impact when they launched their barrel aged imperial stout, Ramjet, on its own day. While this started somewhat tongue in cheek it’s developed into a real event for the brewery.

It follows a similar trend that’s happened in America. Dark Lord Day, Hunahpu Day and other major releases such as Russian River’s Pliny The Younger and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout are now big events in the craft beer calendar. They generate huge demand, a lot of discussion and long queues of customers.

Such events also provide a reason for celebration, a coming together of like-minded people to support their favourite breweries, while the brewery can sell a lot of beer and build their brand.

Aside from these events centred on the brewery, we’re seeing other launches which generate excitement. (Some might call it hype but over the last few years that’s come to hold other connotations in craft beer.)

Kind Of A Big Deal

A recent example is Akasha Brewing from Five Dock and the release of Korben D, their much loved Double IPA.

This beer was excellent when first released as a one off summer seasonal. So much so that it returned and is now released four times a year.

In January 2017 the brewery made more of an event out of the release, getting it into forty venues on the same day and publicising the launch across social media and holding an event at The Royal Albert Hotel in Surry Hills. Akasha turned the launch into a weekend long celebration of both their beer and their philosophy of “fresh is best”.

These events have happened before. Feral’s Tusk Day is probably the benchmark for such launches. It causes a great deal of excitement whenever it rolls around, with the beer being tapped the day it arrives at the venues.

Generating Excitement And Demand

Akasha’s Korben D launch generated a flurry of posts on social media. People were posting photos of their beers, sharing where they got it and what they thought.

Some people even referred to the beer as living up to the hype, which is the potential banana skin on which these launches can sometimes slip up.

Admittedly it also helps that Korben D has got even better over the last year, with fresher hops, more assertive bitterness and a clean finish which is, for me at least, the measure of how good a double IPA really is. (There are too many fuzzy, boozy unbalanced IPAs on the market but that’s a separate issue.)

More Launch Events To Come

I’ve already committed to my predictions for 2017 but if I can proffer another it would be that we’ll see a few more of these types of events where breweries focus on getting fresh beer into numerous venues at the same time.

It makes sense for breweries to make something of a song and dance about releases like this, just so thirsty customers can get out and find their beer in the best possible condition.

It makes sense for breweries to make something of a song and dance about releases... Click To Tweet

Hoppy beers like Korben D are best drunk fresh so Akasha made a good decision in building excitement around it so people could taste it at its absolute best.

Launch events develop a brewery’s brand and can only be a good thing for beer drinkers too.

Launch events develop a brewery’s brand and can only be a good thing for beer drinkers too. Click To Tweet