Who owns Brews News?
Brews News is an independent publishing company with a single shareholder, founder and publisher – Matt Kirkegaard.
How does Brews News make money?
Quality content has a cost. Brews News employs journalists to dig deeper into what is often a PR-driven industry. To cover the costs involved in independent journalism, Brews News derives income from a number of different sources, including advertising, subscriptions, and paid advertorial. Our commercial arrangements and policies are structured so that no partner or advertiser has the ability to control or influence editorial policy.
Companies may underwrite a series of content that Brews News is creating but they have no editorial influence over the content. Any content that is not editorial – where the company being discussed has control over some of all of the content – is clearly demarcated as commercial content.
Editorial content is published under a journalist’s name, the source of all other content, including media releases we believe rise to the level of news, is clearly attributed.
What is the origin of your news stories?
We find our information from a variety of sources across the Australian and international brewing industry and the broader economy and society.
Being a specialised news source covering the brewing industry, we maintain close contacts with the industry and identify important issues worthy of coverage through constant contact with those working in the industry. We also receive media releases and leads from those seeking coverage.
We don’t aim to be the first to report a story, rather we focus on making sure that any information we receive is independently corroborated and fact checked and is presented with full context.
Sometimes we will reach out to an individual or a company and sometimes we receive information unsolicited about a wide range of information. These come to us via email, social media messaging, text messaging and via an old fashioned phone call.
How do you decide what to report on?
Brews News is a reader-focused news source. We report the news that our readers want and need to know to stay informed about what matters in the brewing industry.
We report on a broad spectrum of topics for the Australian and New Zealand brewing industries. We know that many people working in the brewing industry are time poor and so we balance topics that we know people working in the brewing industry care about and topics that we think the industry should know about.
In a media environment that has become increasingly public relations-driven, we ask three questions in deciding whether and how we cover a story:
- Do our readers need to know this?
- Do our readers want to know this?
- Does someone want our readers to know this?
Our mission is to provide busy industry professionals the information they want and need. If the answer to the first two questions is ‘yes’ we cover a story as news, for free and free of commercial obligation. If we believe that the answer to the first two questions is ‘no’, but someone wants us to cover it, we regard that as promotional content and, if it is published, it will be clearly attributed.
Determining what is news is a judgment call that we balance as best we can though, ultimately, it is a decision that we make in partnership with our industry readers who tell us the news that they value every time that they open – or don’t open – our news emails.
The biggest constraint on our reporting is the size of our team. There are always many more stories that we would like to cover and investigative/long form journalism that we know could take place. Like any business we often have to make hard decisions about what we cover and how much time and effort we spend given our limited resources.
What makes Brews News different, and valued by the industry, is the stories that we don’t cover as much as the stories we do.
What if you are wrong?
Brews News has grown alongside the brewing industry and the only way we have been able to do that successfully is through admitting when we’ve made a mistake. If we get something wrong we want to make it right and will apologise and own our mistakes.
If you think we have some facts wrong in a news article please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org
How many breweries are there in Australia?
“How many breweries are there in Australia?” is one of the most frequently asked questions we get at Brews News.
The Brews News Brewery Database, powered by Konvoy, aims to be the most comprehensive listing of physical breweries in Australia to answer that question.
A variety of online directories purport to provide a meaningful number of breweries and these figures are often quoted by industry and the media. However, when we dug a little deeper, a significant number of these businesses seemed a little ethereal. Many were effectively zombies, existing as a social media presence – and maybe a website – but in many cases these had not been updated for an extended period of time. Importantly, beer from the entity did not appear to be available, and it was not clear whether the business still operated.
As we dug into some of the lists, almost 300 of the 750 ‘breweries’ did not have physical premises or own stainless steel. Almost two-thirds of the former did not appear to be still operating in any meaningful way.
This database did initially set out to include ‘nomad’ and ‘contract’ brands. These business structures are legitimate and valuable beer businesses adding vibrancy, innovation and interest to the beer landscape.
However, when you step away from physical production venues, the differences between brands can be harder to distinguish.
Private label brands are produced under contract for retailers, white label beers produced for publicans and ‘vanity brews’ with little business intent or commercial investment in the brewing industry all inhabit the marketplace. Finally, there are also major beer brands produced by multinational brewers coming out of just one or two large production breweries.
We came to ask ‘How can a brand such as the Great Northern Brewing Company be distinguished from Coles’ Tinnies Brand and in turn be distinguished from a brand owned by “three mates who conceived an idea for a beer” and found someone to brew it for them?
We could not come up with a satisfactory answer that wasn’t arbitrary or saw every beer brand on the shelf included in the count.
Finding meaningful distinctions between businesses that describe themselves as nomad and contract brands and other beer marketing companies is difficult, as is determining when these businesses cease to operate.
Counting physical breweries provides a meaningful and robust datapoint that still indicates the health of the brewing industry as well as its size and capacity and level of investment.
Most importantly openings and closings of physical breweries is a much more meaningful dataset than brand concepts.
If there is an error you see in the database or a brewery we are missing or that has closed – please let us know email@example.com
How do you track ownership of breweries for the Australian Brewery Database?
As the Australian industry continues to change it is also difficult to track all of the private ownership structures and models for every brewery. We have therefore limited the ownership monitoring to the largest and most significant entities in the industry these include:
- Good Drinks Australia
- Mighty Craft
- Coca Cola
Independent means that the brewery would meet the definition of Independence as set out by the Independent Brewers Association.
We have only included breweries that are wholly or more than 51% owned by a parent company. For example, Mighty Craft have changed their % holdings in a number of breweries but none of these is a majority shareholding and so brewery ownership is denoted as Independent.
How do you determine the size of each brewery in the Australian Brewery Database?
Brews News has adopted the size definitions provided by the Independent Brewers Association and allocated breweries to those sizes according to advice directly from the brewery, publicly available information including brewkit size and also a reasonable estimate.
The size bands are:
- Large Brewery – 700,000- 40 million litres per annum
- Medium Brewery – 100,000-699,000 litres per annum
- Small Brewery – 0-99,999 litres per annum
If you think we have a size wrong please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org