Business Irish

Friday 15 December 2017

Richard Curran: If it's your round, I'll have a small one

Richard Curran

Richard Curran

THE ever-changing palate of the young drinker spawned an explosion in micro-breweries and specialist craft beers a few years ago.

It was a very positive development for the industry. It meant that after decades of domination by big multi-nationals, small start-up companies had a chance of getting into the drinks industry.

To a certain extent a similar trend is emerging in Ireland with the rediscovered success of Irish whiskey.

Cooley led the way in small beginnings and became a multimillion euro business. Growth in Irish whiskey sales has spawned a raft of new distilleries, some being developed by whiskey giants, others are emerging practically from scratch.

So it was all the more interesting to see that a sizeable international business like C&C announced last week that it plans to build a craft beer brewery in Glasgow.

According to C&C, which makes Tennents, as well as Bulmers and Magners, pubs are enjoying a resurgence.

Coupled with new minimum pricing legislation due to hit supermarket drink sales here, C&C is wise to an opportunity to position itself nicely in the craft beer business. It is a smart commercial move.

Trends in these things always follow a pattern. Younger consumers reject conventional big brands for a while and seek out smaller, newer more "authentic" products.

Smaller operators emerge and do well. Then the big players say, we can do small, new and "authentic" even better than those guys.

After a while it all comes back around in a circle once again. That's the drink for ye!

Sunday Independent

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