Weekend Reading #39

This edition looks at beer trends in the US, opinions on Matilda Bay Brewing and XXXX new Pale Ale …

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From the American craft beer scene, local beer news and anything else that tickles my beery fancy, there is a lot of excellent reading material out there! Every weekend (though I may miss the occasional one due to forgetfulness!) I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have enjoyed and hope that you will too!


This apparently weekly post has been a little MIA of late, my apologies, hopefully things get back on track from here on in!

Nielson | Tapped In: Craft and Local are Powerful Trends in the Beer Aisle

Though it’s from the US it is still interesting to see the trends especially beyond just the mainstream versus craft beer categories. This looks at where people are buying their beer, what qualities are important to them and, most interestingly, what those qualities – things like “craft” – actually mean to them.

Beer Diary | Wellington Bars from inside and out

Phil Cook reflects on two recent articles in the New Zealand media on craft beer in a nice demonstration of when mainstream media starts to understand craft and when they don’t.

Australian Brews News | XXXX God Serves Up New Pale Ale

Ah, it is hard not to screw your nose up at something like this. I’d like to think it’s not because I’m a beer snob but because I don’t think it’s smart from a branding point of view.

VB tried this a few years ago, buried in the back of my beer muddled memory is some sort of tall and skinny bottle with a faux vintage oval label with the words “Victorian Bitter” something something on it. Anyway, my point being that VB tried to move their brand into the craft beer space and it didn’t work.

It doesn’t work, in my opinion, because you have a brand that is so entrenched in its roots that to change it, or to even try to change it, alienates exciting drinkers and confuses the rest. Either way it is not doing much for sales.

Maybe I’m wrong but I see the same thing here, XXXX drinkers like their XXXX, why would they change? Do XXXX even want them to switch to the Pale Ale?

“The craft beer market in Australia is starting to really take off …” – sorry, but the craft beer market has already taken flight, the take off was a while ago.

Ale of a Time | Matilda Bay: A Branding Mess

Beer is Your Friend | Matilda Bay: A Tale of Too Many Beers

Two great posts from two of my favourite beer writers on the muddle that seems to be Matilda Bay.

Once a brand that way very well respected and had a clear identity as WA’s pioneer of craft beer it has since become a bit of a nothing brand. It doesn’t seem to stand for anything, there’s no clear messages I can see and the portfolio of beers seem to keep increasing, each one more vague than the other. It feels like they’ve taken the approach of “the more darts we throw at the board, the greater the odds one will hit the bullseye”

I’d love to see Matilda Bay reclaim its identity and be the welcome drink to craft beer that it was for me when I started looking for beer with flavour, not just beers to get drunk on cheap. I drank Redback and Beez Neez and from there I found James Squire Golden Ale and then on to Little Creatures Pale Ale. I have a soft spot for Matilda Bay and I just hope they don’t kill off Alpha. That’s a pretty damn good beer.



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