Famous ex-cricketer rings bell to promote himself at beer festival


For those that haven’t seen (and the release is below), Warnie now has a beer brewed by Moa and is ringing the opening bell at GABS.

Ok. Plus side of the ledger. Warnie opening opening GABS is great free (presumably free) promotion for Australia’s leading stand-alonebeer event. It brings mainstream attention to craft beer and beer in general.

Negatives? Come on…it’s Warnie. A bloke that is best summed up by the UK tabloids as a macho beer-guzzling sportsman (at least that’s what they said he used to be before Liz Hurley turned him into a “spooky waxwork“. It’s Warnie releasing a beer as front man for the misogynistic NZ marketing machine that can’t decide whether it brews beer or courts tacky headlines.

GABS has been spectacularly successful at putting the most positive face on both beer festivals and the liquid that flows in them. But having Warnie – a man who knows nothing about beer and is associated in the public minds with the worst aspects of drinking it – as the front man for the festival this year risks undoing that in one swoop. Beer appreciation festival or Kontiki tour to Oktoberfest?

This isn’t snobbery, it’s branding. If you’re looking to rebrand beer you align your brand to how you want beer to be seen, rather than take the path of least resistance to court headlines. Even CUB eventually apologised for the Boonie/Warnie doll campaigns acknowledging they were a bad look for beer. Judging by the aggressive media campaign around Warnie, his beer and the bell ringing, this is seen as a coup for GABS. It may make headlines, but I suspect it will make the wrong ones for both for the festival and for beer.

These concerns were put to festival director, Steve Jeffares, who responded:
“One of the objectives of GABS is to introduce craft beer to a broad audience, many whom have never tried it before. We are excited that Shane has seen the (craft beer) light and is helping to promote our event.”

Media Release

Warnie trying his innings with crafty creation at leading craft beer event

Shane Warne at the Moa Brewery_300Legendary cricketer Shane Warne is taking a spin at what is regarded one of the world’s best beer festivals, the Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular (GABS), with his recently released craft beer 99 Not Out SKW Pale Ale – created in partnership with leading Kiwi brewers, Moa Brewing Company.

As well as pouring the first few pots of his beer at the event, he’ll be ringing the official bell, beginning proceedings at midday on Friday 23 May at the event’s venue – the historical Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.

99 Not Out, his first foray into the craft beer market, and a play on his infamous innings when Australia played New Zealand in Perth in 2001, where he was caught out on 99 off a no ball that wasn’t picked up by the umpire, was released on the Australian market late last year and is now available nationwide at Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

This is the first time it is being showcased at a leading craft beer event in this way, where it will be exposed to the 12,000 discerning craft beer enthusiasts who are expected to attend GABS.

GABS attracts leading craft beer brewers from Australia and internationally and will showcase as many as 250 beers (including 120 brand new creative one-off releases) from 130 breweries over three days.

Warne’s 99 Not Out – a sessionable ‘new world’ style pale ale hopped with New Zealand kohatu and cascade hops – will be available at the Moa Brewing Company stand for the duration of the event.

Website link: www.moabeer.com

GABS: gabsfestival.com.au

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