Far Northerners toast VB with sales surge for back-to-basics beer
Beer drinkers are toasting the return of full strength Victoria Bitter with an almost 25 per cent turnaround in sales in Queensland.
A Carlton United Breweries spokesman said, while figures for the Far North were not available, more than three million extra stubbies were consumed in Queensland in the last quarter of the year.
He said there had been a 24.5 per cent boost in the December quarter, making it the second most popular beer in Queensland with 8.3 per cent market share, behind XXXX Gold on 25 per cent. Third was Carlton Mid on 7.5 per cent.
Edmonton's Hambledon Hotel general manager Steve Cross said long-time VB drinkers were delighted CUB went back to the original recipe and the 4.9 per cent alcohol rating in October last year after dropping to 4.6 per cent more than two years ago.
"A lot of the older drinkers have gone back. We lost a lot when it went down to 4.6."
"Draught sales in the bar have certainly increased as well as 30 packs of cans in retail. CUB certainly accepted the feedback and also noted the drop in sales.''
The increasing sales have broken a decade-long drought. It comes after Carlton United Breweries were forced to return VB to its full strength of 4.9 per cent and original flavour after drinkers turned away.
Since reverting to the original VB in October last year, 20.9 million more stubbies were consumed in Australia in three months compared with the same time the previous year.
Victoria Bitter general manager Richard Oppy said VB sales had been sliding 10 per cent every year since 2001, but the relaunch saw the beer spike by 15 per cent in the fourth quarter, the first time in 10 years VB had had sales growth.
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Oldie coldie: Shane Edmonds enjoys a full-strength VB stubbie at the Hambledon Hotel. Picture: MIKE WATT