Deep Creek Brewing’s cold-shipped beer portfolio – led by sour beer and hazy IPA – is in hot demand in Asia, with sales surging across China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The brewery’s sales production has grown by 50% over the past year, the family owned business has set ambitious targets to build on its current success.
The Deep Creek team are aiming to increase production by a further 50% this year and are also investigating other export markets that can meet their cold-shipped criteria. Deep Creek only ships full cold chain to ensure the quality of product from brewery to consumer.
The Silverdale-based brewery has enjoyed particular success in the sour beer and hazy IPA categories, with sales rising by 165% and 665% in total sales respectively over the past year.
Deep Creek’s inventive sour beers update the style’s German and Belgian origins with tropical flavours including Guava Passionfruit, Hibiscus Watermelon and Mango Raspberry.
Hazy IPAs – also known as New England IPAs as the style first emerged in the US – have a fuller mouthfeel than a West Coast style IPA. Characterised by juicy, tropical, fruity hop flavours, this beer has an orange juice-like haze with lower bitterness. Deep Creek’s range incorporate Misty Miyagi, Zen and Brewtiful Haze with another release coming in late June.
According to Deep Creek co-founder Jarred MacLachlan the popularity of the hazy IPAs and sour beer styles in China come down to both flavour and packaging.
“The Chinese are very taken by colour and the aesthetics of beer,” he said. “Plus, they love to discover emerging trends. We’ve found the juicy, cloudy look – which is characteristic of a hazy IPA beer – really appeals to beer drinkers in China, while the tart crisp taste of our sour beers have also been a huge hit.
“While fruity flavour profiles are important, packaging also plays a vital role. The Chinese are drawn to bold, vibrant cans and a recent decision to invest in transforming our packaging is really paying dividends in the international market. Sales have soared following a recent re-brand that saw us transitioning to bold and colourful labels.”
Deep Creek’s sour beers and hazy IPAs were recently recognised at the 2019 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) with the brewery being awarded the Champion Medium International Brewery trophy in May.
Its Waikiki Watermelon Hibiscus Sour won a Gold medal while the Aloha Guava Passionfruit Sour, Misty Miyagi and Zen Hazy IPAs were all awarded Silver.
The brewery also beat 145 other entries to win the trophy for Best International Lager for its Undercurrent Pilsner at the competition.
Deep Creek’s new products lined up for release in 2019 and 2020 include a focus on sour beers that have been aged in wine and bourbon barrels.