October 23, 2014
Note: Today’s blog is dedicated to Geoff Ross former founder of 42 Below Vodka, now all “hopsed” up with New Zealand craft beer producer Moa.
Doesn't the answer depend on which side of the still you’re on!
The word Craft Distiller seems destined to become a sentence, as unrelenting Craft Brewers become the distillers of tomorrow... should this trend continue, small distillers beware... the Kings of Brew are looking to Mow(a) your lawn!
This type of disintermediation is not new and is being played out across many industries, as the lines between manufacturer, producer and consumer are blurring; shrinking barriers to entry, reducing margins, increasing competition to the chagrin of incumbents!
Over the last 5 years Craft Brewers have created quite a market for new consumers questing for quality, innovation, bespoke flavours, with arising experiences and exciting new expressions to match.
Craft Distillers by their own admission are now disadvantaged by the very positives that separated them from the big boys of distilling: namely speed to market, production, and volume. These issues when smashed over the net to a brewer become at best a marginal cost, with raw materials added quickly and cheaply, with excess production, distilled to create base spirit for barrelling (if required!).
Regrettably Craft Distillers mostly win loyalty slowly; brewers have established fans who’ll journey on to ciders and possibly newer categories with little or NO risk to the brewer making the segue!
Whilst the recent debate between Distiller and Craft Distillers has raged... a new killer has been lurking the depths ready to fight!
Now see what the brew ha-ha’s about!