THEY’RE already one of the biggest wine exporters in Australia and this week, the Casellas stepped up to take on the beer market.
Despite being in stores for over a week, the local family’s first venture into Australia’s favourite beverage was officially launched at a 60-strong gathering of the country’s media elite on Thursday.
Named Arvo Lager, the beer is expected to rival Cooper’s Family Brewery in size and already, managing director John Casella is happy with its progress.
The launch was eight months behind schedule and the specialised brewery doubled the anticipated budget, but Mr Casella wanted to ensure the product was just right before it hit the shelves.
No expense was spared in the making of the beer with the company even launching an iPhone application (the Perfect Lager Project) to gauge the drinking preferences of their intended market.
“Much like wine, beer is a craft. But that is where the similarities end, so we have separately recruited an experienced beer team and invested in resources to produce the perfect Australian lager,” Mr Casella said.
Brew master Andy Mitchell, who was poached from South Africa to oversee the production, said existing breweries were “going to have to watch out”.
The premium brew – which is expected to retail for about $50 per carton – has been launched with two varieties per box, the blend 51 and blend 34.
Consumers have been asked to vote on their favourite, which will be decided on September 1 – though the family has not ruled out releasing each in its own right with the public currently divided in a 43 versus 57 per cent split in favour of blend 51.
“We saw two major trends in the flavour feedback, hence the creation of two brews,” Mr Mitchell said.