In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Drink Craft discussed how it is planning to cycle a massive year of growth.

It was all systems go in 2022 for Australian producer Drink Craft, alongside its contract manufacturing business ABC Filling. Business Development Director, Paul Weaving, said it was a landmark year of achievements, which saw the completion of a two year project to build a new 11,000 square metre manufacturing site and major regional hospitality venue on the NSW Central Coast from scratch.

“We are now an award-winning brewery and liqueur producer, a regional distillery and a mainstream RTD producer, with a full service operation including beverage and packaging design all under one roof,” says Weaving.

“And work has continued above the roof too, with 300kw of solar installed last year – the largest independent brewery installation, incorporating a world first cryptocurrency produced beer, but more on that soon. Sustainability is an integral part of how this business will run and is a consideration in everything we do.”

On a product front, 2022 was also a strong success for Drink Craft’s stable of world class brands, with an NPD pipeline that gathered momentum as the construction project neared completion. One example of this success can be found in the first launch of a new partnership with RTD brand, Hard Rock.

Weaving said: “Hard Fruit Punch launched in December 2022 and virtually sold out on pre-sell before launch.”

Sales have surged for other brands in the portfolio too, including Wild Boar, particularly with its new format higher ABV bourbon and rum RTDs. Meanwhile, the craft beer share of the business has grown significantly, driven by the success of Botany Brew fruit-flavoured beers, new Hawkesbury Hazy Pale Ale, and award-winning non-alcoholic Prohibition beer range.

“Non-alcoholic beer has been very busy, with new Prohibition Lager and Stout launching, and packaging switching to a new four-pack cube which looks just fantastic on the shelf. More importantly, I love seeing the number of five star consumer reviews for Prohibition, as it really is an excellent beer,” Weaving said.

After seeing such solid achievements in the past year, Drink Craft won’t be slowing down in 2023, with Weaving noting: “This year is all about growth.”

That will mean growth in existing brands and NPD, growth in the hospitality venue, and the scaling of the broad and ultraflexible contract manufacturing capability of ABC Filling.

“We have done a lot of the hard operational graft. This year will focus on brands and product development,” Weaving said.

“You will see the first regional spirits released from the Hawkesbury Distilling Co, more launches from our new longterm partnership with Hard Rock and more innovation in RTD, particularly targeting drinks which deliver great consumer value.”

This value element is where Drink Craft sees considerable opportunity in 2023, as inflationary pressures mount in the market.

Weaving said: “Pressure on consumerspending has definitely been a concern, but we have focussed hard on keeping a strong value proposition with our products. It’s tough for everyone, but we feel confident that we have built a business and brands which will thrive in this market.”

Find more from the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum here.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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