Bondi Brewing signs US airline deal

Sydney-based contract brand Bondi Brewing Co. has signed a deal with US airline United to offer its beers on flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Sydney.

It is a major deal for the brewing brand, and means its Beach Beer Bondi XPA is now available on all United flights to the two US cities, which fly twice a day, until March 2022.

“Showcasing our flagship beer on America’s premier airline, United Airlines, is a dream for us,” said Paul Parks, Bondi’s founder and director.

“It’s very cool that United is supporting an independent brewer from down-under in what has been a tough couple of years for everyone.”

The news comes following the announcement that Grifter Brewing Co. and Young Henrys are taking taps at Sydney Cricket Grounds, as craft brewers move further into spaces previously occupied only by the big brewers.

The achievement does raise some issues which have been persistently broached within the brewing industry including the challenges of contract brewing beer and also transparency in labelling, particularly in relation to provenance.

Although it is unlikely to be a consideration for United, Bondi Brewing’s beer is not brewed in Bondi currently, with contract arrangements at The Rocks, Dad and Dave’s in Brookvale and Sauce Brewing Co. in Marrickville in place. Tribe Breweries has also supplied Bondi’s beer previously.

“Contract brewing at different locations has its challenges but it also gives assurance of supply,” explained Parks.

“For consistency, we don’t often produce the same SKU over different breweries, only if there is a capacity issue and a brewery doesn’t have room for us.”

Bondi Brewing does have an office in a Bondi garage that contains a small brewkit, although it does not have an excise licence for it.

“The garage is my home office and I have my small home brew kit were I play around with my recipes,” Parks said.

The brand is opening a venue in partnership with House Made Hospitality at Bondi Pavilion, which is set to open in May 2022, but it will not include a brewhouse.

On its cans, Bondi said it has labelled “Made in Australia For the Bondi Brewing Co”, specifying that it does not say brewed “by the Bondi Brewing Co.”

“I believe this to be in line with the IBA labelling guidelines,” explained Bondi in answer to questions regarding ACCC guidelines on labelling.

Brews News understands that the IBA guidelines are currently under review to better reflect guidance issued by the ACCC.

It has been an issue for a number of years within the industry, most prominently in 2014 when the ACCC launched action against Carlton & United Breweries for “misleading conduct” in relation to the labelling of its Byron Bay Brewery beers.

Back then, CUB paid two infringement notices totalling $20,400 for giving the overall impression the beer was brewed in Byron Bay when it was brewed at CUB’s Warnervale facility, 630km away from Byron Bay.

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