A new campaign from the Independent Brewers Association (IBA) aims to reveal what’s ‘Behind every great Aussie indie’, by highlighting the association’s Independence Seal, which was launched in 2018.
As a part of this campaign, the IBA will be focusing on the stories and people behind independent beer, to help drinkers to more easily identify beers from genuinely independent breweries.
This ambition responds to consumer research from KPMG, that showed that businesses being a locally owned part of the community is important to Australian consumers.
IBA CEO Kylie Lethbridge believes that her organisation is well-placed to help independent breweries capitalise on the opportunities available.
“We provide a united voice for independently-owned brewers across Australia, working with government agencies, industry stakeholders, trade and media to represent the interests of the 600+ Australian independent brewers who are part of our community,” Lethbridge said.
“As we emerge from the last few challenging years research tells us consumers are more concerned about supporting small and local over larger, global players. We see the Independent Seal and the ‘Behind every great Aussie Indie’ campaign offering beer lovers a simpler way to do that,” she added.
The recent 2022 Australian Craft Beer Survey found that awareness of the Independence Seal was high and still increasing amongst craft beer drinkers.
This campaign is also part of a longer term ambition to shift the language of beer drinking, as an IBA statement explained: ‘For much of the past decade in Australia the term ‘craft beer’ served its purpose well. It referred to small, local breweries passionately committed to brewing a wider variety of beer styles than the mainstream offerings.’
‘In the last few years, however, larger multinational breweries have increasingly been developing their own craft brands or acquiring successful smaller independent brewers so the need to differentiate is now more important than ever,’ the statement continued.
And the organisation’s CEO provides further context.
“We are really trying to creating a consumer-based social movement to drive further understanding of what being independent really means,” Lethbridge added.
“We made the decision to create the Independent Seal so beer lovers could easily and quickly identify what is made by Australian owned brewers. But as the landscape of craft brewing has changed over the last decade we are now faced with more competition than ever.
“Without the budgets of global organisations, to compete we need to find a way to engage with the consumer directly, to build a relationship with them and to start the process of creating an understanding of what the seal of independence actually means. We want them to build an emotional connection with these family-owned, community-driven, sustainability-oriented, local businesses.”
Lethbridge explained that certified independent breweries can use the seal in marketing materials, on packaging and on tap decals. The hashtag #askforindiebeer has been created to drive the campaign on social media.
The seal should encourage discerning drinkers to choose their products, and also help to drive awareness in the on- and off-premise, with the IBA hoping that more drinkers will ask for pubs, bars and shops to stock independent beers, if they do not already.
And the support for independents spills the banks of the beer world too, as Lethbridge illustrates.
“We are also excited by how Loud, our agency partner created this campaign using independent artists – both visual and musical.
“It’s great that our work is supporting exceptional Australian artists. These are values that resonate with ours and I think, makes this campaign extra special,” she concluded.