Hofmeister Helles is helping to bring more younger drinkers into the craft beer sector by opening it up to drinkers looking for a refreshing alternative to craft beer.
Hofmeister Helles Bavarian lager believes it is ideally placed to offer discerning millennials looking for alternatives to craft ale, a new style of pure, authentic, refreshing craft lager for the first time.
The rise of the craft beer market has been one of the biggest consumer products success stories in recent years. It saw a further 57% growth in draught craft keg and 45% in packaged craft beers in 2017 (CGA), helping to challenge traditional brands with new, authentic products that younger drinkers, in particular, have switched to in their droves.
But up to now their main choice has been an ever changing mix of craft ales with few, if any, authentic, craft lager alternatives.
Hofmeister believes it has the right combination of history, tradition, quality, taste and refreshment to win them over.
Crucially Hofmeister’s new Helles style of lager is made in accordance to the 1516 German purity law, the Reinheitsgebot, the only craft lager available in the UK to do so.
It means Hofmeister Helles can only be made from three ingredients, all of which come within the surrounding area of the fourth generation Bavarian brewer where it is made. It uses natural mineral water taken from the brewery’s own lake; barley specially grown for the brewery and malted in its own malt house; and hops grown in the award Hallertau region.
What’s more the Schweiger brewery is one of only four out of 600 plus Bavarian breweries to be Slow-Brewed Accredited, meaning Hofmeister Helles is brewed slower and colder than most other lagers to make it lightly carbonated, easier to drink, but with a real depth of taste.
Zoe Howorth, marketing director at the Hofmeister Brewing Company, says: “ We want to do to the craft lager market what small breweries have been able to do to the craft ale market. To make something new and genuinely different.
“We want to give younger drinkers, in particular, the quality, authentic craft lager brand they currently are not able to get. A Helles lager based on this unique 1516 German beer purity law.”
Recent Mintel research into consumer attitudes towards craft alcoholic drinks shows how on trend Hofmeister Helles is. It found that nearly half (47%) of consumers most associate craft drinks with having a unique flavour; 42% for their quality ingredients; and 41% expect them to be made in small volumes, over time and with more care and attention.
Exactly the attributes that younger drinkers, in particularly, have related to in Hofmeister since its relaunch in October 2016 as a premium, authentic, Helles lager.
Howorth explains why: “Our consumer research has shown it has quickly won a growing fan base amongst young, urban, millennials in their late 20s. Educated, discerning consumers who are looking to discover, new, authentic quality products they can believe in and trust.”
But the craft sector can be off putting to those drinkers who want to try new styles of beer, but rarely buy craft beers as they are intimidated by the choice, and don’t know what to buy. Major brewers believe there could be up to 13 million “curious beer” drinkers, ready and waiting to be convinced to buy into the craft category.
It is where a rejuvenated Hofmeister, with all its branded history, can potentially be an easier, more comfortable craft brand for them to understand and appeal to.
“Hofmeister can offer them pure enjoyment with an authentic craft product made using natural ingredients to create a genuine, refreshing flavour,” says Howorth.
Craft lager also opens up a potentially new craft beer market for pub and bar operators, as 90% of consumers say beer quality is a key factor in deciding which outlet to go to on a night out (Vianet/Cask Marque).
Which is good news for publicans and bar owners. For it is those drinkers, particularly those in their 20s, that are looking for new, authentic and premium products to try on a night out. The kind of brands that have helped world lager sales increase by 10% in 2017.
“Hofmeister Helles can be part of a successful outlet that drinkers want to come back to, as it offers them beers they can relate to and trust in,” adds Howorth.
“Helles lager is the beer that millions of beer drinkers enjoy every year at Munich’s Oktoberfest. It’s hugely satisfying to see younger drinkers, particularly at consumer, trade or special pub tastings, who are unfamiliar with an authentic Bavarian Helles lager, discovering it for the first time. They are engaging not only with the authentic brewery story behind Hofmeister Helles, but crucially are finding its unique, refreshing, more-ish taste is like nothing else on offer.”