There are a number of key industry trends driving growth at the moment, and wellbeing and moderation are two of the major drivers, especially in the beer category.

According to the 2018 Australian Liquor Stores Association and IRI State of the Industry Report, brands with low carb or mid-strength characteristics accounted for 32 per cent of all beer sales in 2017. That is up four percentage points on 2015 and in 2017 the low carb/mid-strength beer category grew by 9.7 per cent.

So the consumer desire for mid-strength beer is massive, in fact the category was responsible for the number one growth brand and the leading NPD in 2017, and that success has brought many more products into the market.

Retailers are also recognising the huge growth that the category affords them and are dedicating more shelf and fridge space to the beers.

One of the reasons behind this trend is that millennial consumers are much more aware of health factors in their drinking, with a report from Nielsen in 2017 saying millennials “rate health factors” as very important.

However, the decision to purchase and consume mid-strength beers should not mean having to compromise on taste and flavour. With that in mind, the Crazy Bastard Beer Company is launching into the market with a full-flavoured pale ale that it believes is sure to have wide appeal, and which highlights the philosophy of individuality which is at the core of the new brand.

The Crazy Bastard 357 Pale Ale is mid-strength at 3.5 per cent ABV, and is a low bitterness, full-flavoured, malt driven pale ale and Simon Lang, CEO of the CB Beer Company, also believes that it is a beer with the individuality to stand out in the increasingly congested market.

“At the heart of Crazy Bastard is a sense of adventure, being a little daring and pushing the boundaries a little,” says Lang. “We think there’s a little bit of Crazy Bastard in everyone.

“Fundamentally, the Crazy Bastard beer brand stands for something real, something meaningful and this is what people are looking for more and more.

“Additionally consumers are making the lifestyle choice of drinking beers that are lower in alcohol. Anyone can make a pale ale that’s full of hops, full of flavour and high in alcohol. But there is a real skill in creating a delicious mid-strength pale ale that appeals to that lifestyle choice without compromising on flavour.”

Lang also says that adventure and freedom are the two words that he would use to really sum up what the Crazy Bastard brand is all about.

“We want to encourage people to embrace the freedom to be themselves. All you need is a bit of enthusiasm, determination and that all important spark of individuality to free the Crazy Bastard within and really go for your dreams.

“We want people to understand that it is OK to bring out their individual freedoms, to have a sense of adventure, but that you can still be sensible when you are doing that.”

With that philosophy supporting the Crazy Bastard brand, Lang made the decision to launch into the market with the mid-strength 357 Pale Ale, because he recognised the growth and trend that is the Australian mid-strength beer market.

“The mid-strength trend is definitely there,” he said. “People are shifting to lower alcohol beers for a range of reasons. For some it’s the healthier lifestyle choice, while for others mid-strength means that they can maybe have a couple more than they would if they were drinking full-strength beer.

“The 357 Pale Ale has a great flavour for a beer regardless of its alcohol content and for a mid-strength beer it really delivers. Some mid-strength beers can fall off in flavour, but this beer has a flavour that we think consumers will really enjoy.”

The Crazy Bastard 357 Pale Ale is the first beer to be launched by the CB Beer Company with a Crazy Bastard Ball Tearer Pale Ale at five per cent ABV and a Crazy Bastard 22 Crisp Lager at 2.2 per cent ABV scheduled to launch this summer. The Crazy Bastard 44 Amber Ale at 4.4 per cent ABV is scheduled to launch in autumn 2019.

Retailers and wholesale trade customers can purchase online via the Crazy Bastard website or by contacting the CB Beer Company directly.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.