Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Does hite beer damage Australian beer market?

The weekend just passed was a bit of Hite one for me.
No, I didn't misspell that, I'm talking about the beer.
It's been a while since I had come across the leading South Korean lager brand, not that I'm complaining.
On a trip to Seoul a few years ago I'd sworn myself off the uninspiring local brews of Hite and Cass, preferring the excessively priced equally unimpressive euro fizz on offer.

I spotted on a news feed that Hite Brewery were about to increase their prices by 2.6% in their local market and thought to myself 'poor buggers, they've gotta pay more for that!'
Lo and behold, later that day I was having a look around the local 1st Choice Liquor store and what was stacked to the ceiling before me? Pallets of a new "Premium Cleanskin Lager" with cartons priced at $29.99. On closer inspection of the no-brand brew you discover that the beer is produced in Korea by, you've guessed it, the Hite Brewery. And at 4.5% abv it suggests that they are keen to bolster global volumes on their standard draught brand.
As the picture demonstrates, it didn't take well to being introduced to a glass; presented little aroma; little carbonation (past the initial pour) and was a bit on the sweet side.
Don't we produce enough of these bottom end beers ourselves at sufficient quantities to hit the same price point for behemoth liquor barns? OK, it's good for the pocket of those that care not of their beers flavour; freshness or origin. But surely it doesn't do the Australian brewing industry any favours?
*For the record I only purchased the one stubby!

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