Lord Nelson raises the legal drinking age

Australia’s oldest pub brewery, The Lord Nelson, has launched a campaign to highlight the traditional nature of its beers in a move designed to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded craft beer market.

In the campaign designed to elevate the position of its Three Sheets Pale Ale, the Sydney brewery is eschewing shoeys and wants to make beer more mature by ‘raising’ the drinking age for its flagship to 35+.

Lord Nelson Managing Director Blair Hayden said in a media release the brewery had been focused on creating quality beers that are refined and well-balanced for 30 years.

“Three Sheets Pale Ale remains our flagship brew and is testament to being true to ourselves and not following trends and “in” styles,” he said.

“While our decision might affect sales, we know that Three Sheets customers are loyal, and until the young ones cut their weird drinking habits out, it’ll be reserved for the over 35s.”

Campaigns that seek to differentiate beers have a fraught history, risking insulting some beer drinkers or denigrating the beer category. However, Hayden told Brews News that the tongue-in-cheek campaign wasn’t designed to put down other beers, just celebrate what was special about the Lord Nelson’s beers: a lack of novelty.

“It’s just not what we’re about and never have been,” he said.

“We make pure beers, and we love that and are proud of it. And people have forgotten that.

“They can go and have their sours and cherries and pavlovas and whatever they want, that’s fine. We just want to celebrate that we’re sticking to our guns.

“We’re proud of that, so why not say that and have a laugh while you do.”

The campaign was developed by agency Howatson+Company, with creative director Gavin Chimes saying the campaign is all about connecting with drinkers at the moment of purchase.

“For craft beer lovers over 35, it’ll drive loyalty. For those under 35, it’ll drive intrigue. After all, what better way to make someone want something than by telling them they can’t have it?”

The campaign is something of a relaunch for the storied brewery and hotel, which was taken off the market late last year, after a long sale campaign.

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