By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

More and more pubs that have a large beer offering are adding American beers to their line-up – and the thirst for US beers keeps growing.

The desire for international craft beers in the Australian market caused boutique spirits distributor, Handcrafted, to branch out, creating their sister company, Craft Revolution. The business has an impressive American beer portfolio, securing distribution rights to the fifth largest craft brewer in the US. The range includes beers from Kona, Redhook Brewery and Widmer Bros.

“We believe our Kona Big Wave Golden Ale will do exceptionally well in our market, as the fruity flavour from the hops gives that soft passionfruit flavour that Australians have proven to desire,” states Julie Hancock of Craft Revolution.

Beers from the US are proving so popular that even one of Australia’s biggest brewers is getting in on the act. In August last year, Coopers struck a deal with Brooklyn Brewery to distribute several of their beers in Australia and to brew their most popular beverage, Brooklyn Lager, here in Australia. 

“Brooklyn Brewery is regarded as one of the leaders of the American craft brewing movement. Its flagship beer, Brooklyn Lager, is a high quality, all-malt beer which fits well into the Coopers portfolio,” said Dr Tim Cooper, managing director of Coopers.

The Australian beer giant is so confident in the New York beer’s success that they are brewing the lager in their Regency Park brewery to the specifications of Brooklyn Brewery. “They’re passionate about their beer, training and education, which makes a good fit between our two cultures,” said Cam Pearce.

World Brands Australia is another distributor of beers from the US, supplying Aussie pubs with the popular Big Sky Moose Drool. The curiously named beer is considered one of the world’s premier brown ales and won a gold medal at the North American Beer awards. 

It’s extremely sessionable for a dark beer, and makes for great pub grub match. It’s often on the beer list at Nieuw Amsterdam, whose venue manager, Justin Lustman, ensures that the beer complements the menu. “Nieuw Amsterdam, is a New-York-style venue and our menu features foods from around America, so we wanted to serve beers that match our dishes. We look for different or small-run breweries to allow the punter to find something unique and great to go with their brisket, sugar pie or even a whiskey.”

With big flavours, large varieties and a bold approach to brewing, it’s no wonder that Australians are hankering for American beers. Plus any real beer-lover is always happy to ‘discover’ a new brew, making the inclusion of a couple of American beers on your beer list a good decision.

“When it comes to craft beer, the American approach is strong, loud and great,” says Justin Nichols of Scratch Bar. “They’ll have to watch out though – the rest of the craft beer world is catching up.”

To read more on American beers in Aussie pubs, check out the December issue of Australian Hotelier, at 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. Craft beer is strong in the US because the mainstream “beers” are so dreadful. The big brewers’ offerings – I won’t name them – taste like they’ve been drunk before!

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