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The Craft Beer Start-Up Market



Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Beervana, in Wellington, which is a great way to use the excuse of ‘research’ to revisit your University days and get to the pub at 11am for opening drinks!

For those of you who don’t know about Beervana, it’s a Wellington-based celebration of craft beer, featuring over 200 beers from all over New Zealand, and some international brews. For those of you who don’t know Wellington, it’s the home of craft beer in NZ, with 40% of all craft beer consumed here.

One of the things that struck me about Beervana and the exhibitors at the event was how similar to the tech start-up scene it is.

Like tech start-ups, these young businesses have created a minimum viable product (probably in their garage) which they have tested in the market (probably with family and friends) and have now taken the step of injecting some initial cash to build a replicable and scalable product. In their case, it’s through plant and equipment. In our case, it’s in development resource.

The ones that make it through all the initial hurdles, will face the same issue as a tech start-up. Scalability, through distribution (we may have the edge here though, by distributing a digital product, rather than a physical product).

And like our industry, there’s a whole lot of these business that are looking for a pay day, by being acquired by one of the big boys.

So, with an empathetic feeling, that’s why I’ll continue to support the craft beer industry - by continuing to consume their products...