E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: New Zealand: Lionís beer sales up nearly 20% and brewer struggles to keep up with demand

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E-Malt.com News article: New Zealand: Lionís beer sales up nearly 20% and brewer struggles to keep up with demand
Brewery news

They are drinking so much beer this summer in New Zealand that brewing giant Lion is unable to keep up with demand, Stuff.co.nz reported on December 13.

Lion New Zealand spokeswoman Genevieve O'Halloran said sales were up nearly 20 per cent compared to a year ago, which was creating supply issues for North Island customers.

O'Halloran said the problem was "widespread" and affected the company's soft drink deliveries as well.

"This is not a beer shortage - it is a logistical delivery issue ... products across the Lion portfolio are affected," she said.

O'Halloran said demand for craft beer was especially strong.

Lion's sale of Emerson's beer was up 140 per cent, and Panhead brews were up 60 per cent, compared to the same week last year, she said.

"Corona, one of Kiwi's favourite summer drops, was up 50 per cent."

Auckland's Bays Club has told its members club was experiencing a "beer shortage" and "may see some run outs" due in part to late deliveries from Lion.

"I [ordered] kegs of Lion Red on the 7th of December and still have not received them.

"My other two big suppliers do not have Lion either at this point. Hopefully it might arrive tonight."

O'Halloran said Lion had increased logistics staff numbers and extended delivery hours.

"With these changes we've already seen some improvement, but we're still working hard to ensure that we minimise impact to our customers over this busy period."

The hot weather is affecting more than just the demand for beer.

Two Christchurch pubs had issues keeping their tap beer cool after their refrigeration equipment failed.

Dunedin's famous craft brewer Emerson's halted production in August after the city's council issued a 'boil water notice' due to a water quality issuein the north of the city.

It's also been a tough year for hops, the plant that give beer its bitter flavours.

The New Zealand Hops co-operative said in May its growers, all based in Nelson, harvested more than 30 tonnes less than the year before.

An estimated 85 per cent of hop production was exported.

The New Zealand craft beer industry has grown significantly since 2015.

ANZ's Craft Beer Report earlier this year found there were 194 craft breweries in the country.

In the 2016 financial year the industry grew production by 22 per cent and small brewery revenue was up 32 per cent.

12 December, 2017

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