By James Atkinson

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has announced a new agreement to distribute Samuel Adams beer in Australia and has outlined CCA’s plans to launch a number of its own products.

In a trading update released this morning, CCA said it had signed a long-term exclusive agreement with the Boston Beer Company to distribute Samuel Adams, America’s largest selling craft beer, effective from mid-December.

“The Boston Beer Company is America’s leading brewer of handcrafted, full-flavoured beers and has won more awards in the last five years than any other brewery in the world,” said CCA CEO Terry Davis.

The long-time Australian importer of Samuel Adams, Beer Importers & Distributors (BID) managing director Franck Berges, told TheShout he is disappointed to have lost one of his flagship brands, which represents a big chunk of BID’s turnover.

“We got 90 days’ notice. It just once again shows that people like us, we do the hard yards, and then the big boys come and pick it up – nothing new there,” he said.

“But we’ll wear it – everybody’s safe in their jobs. We’ll rebuild with another brand.”

Alehouse beer and Pressman’s cider

Along with the Molson Coors premium beers including Blue Moon and Coors and Rekorderlig ciders, CCA’s Terry Davis also announced that the company has developed a number of its own products ahead of the company’s relaunch into the alcohol market at the end of this year.

These include Alehouse, an on-premise only premium draught beer in both mid and full strength, and Pressman’s cider, an Australian craft cider.

“We have also been making great progress on our revitalisation plan for Paradise Beverages in Fiji at both our beer and rum operations with capital upgrades well advanced and a strong new product pipeline,” Davis said. 

“I believe the alcoholic beverages business will generate 1-2% of incremental group earnings growth in 2014.”

Five to seven per cent decline expected

CCA said it expects 2013 full year group EBIT to be within a range of a five to seven per cent decline on last year, before significant items. 

“The updated guidance range factors in weaker than expected post-election consumer demand, more aggressive competitor activity in Australia as well as an estimated negative impact of almost 1% to group earnings due to the weaker Indonesian Rupiah and the PNG Kina.”

The Shout Team

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

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  1. Maybe the profit decline also factors in their decision to drop their #1 SKU from 6 packs to 4 packs thereby pissing off most of the industry by reducing our basket size with each transaction. Or is this sales decline to hit their next profit reporting?

    Just saying….

  2. Can’t say i agree with Mr Berges.

    How long did they (BID) have the contract to distribute Sam Adams? 10 years? Longer? In that time we saw legitimate distribution of Boston Lager and Noble Pils bottles.

    Willie Simpson penned an article for Fairfax talking about the arrival of the Latitude 48 IPA range which never eventuated ( Likewise Utopias which also never showed up (it has recently but i understand this is grey-market).

    So in all that time, where the interest in craft beer and US craft in particular has skyrocketed, BID added Noble Pils to the range alongside Boston Lager.

    More like a case of demolition by neglect.

  3. Hi Owen
    You are quite correct in your statement on Boston Brewery labels that never made it to Autralia.
    The simple reason for that is that ,unlike the grey market which buys from wholesale warehouses,as the official distributor,we can only import the labels that the brewery deems “exportable”.FYI the Boston brewry has over 20 other brilliant beers that are not deemed exportable as they are not pasteurised and therefore would require continual refrigeration fro A to Z + have a too short life span before before possible oxydisation.
    As for the Noble pils(my personal favourite)it was unfortunately not accepted by the Oz public and we had to destroy the last 200 ctns we had in stock (broke my heart!).
    Nevertheless the new year will see the arrival of some new craft pasteurised American beers + a couple of surprises never seen in Australia.
    Franck Berges

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