The Keg is Dead, Long Live the Keg

Why Worksmith believes kegs are the future of cocktails in high volume venues.

Michael Bascetta

Kegs (and beer lines) have been the fabric of our great venues around Australia. From your local boozer to the clubs you wish you didn’t frequent early in your drinking life, we have inadvertently come into contact with kegs on our nights out. Whilst most consumers would say they order draught beer because of the superior taste, the speed in which it is delivered draws people to the bank of taps to ensure they needn't wait long to have liquid on their lips, whilst also being a necessity for venues to deliver as many drinks to their customers as possible in a short period of time.

Beer has traditionally dominated this area of the pub and restaurant space with CUB (Carlton United Breweries) and Lion (Lion Nathan) being the dominant duo who own a combined 80% of the tap share in Australia, with 15% going to independent breweries and Coopers holding a steady 5%. With this dominance in beer and tap infrastructure, independent producers have always faced an uphill battle to have their beers poured in any sizable venues.

As beer consumption begins to slow and cocktail consumption increases, the very taps considered holy ground for beer use are now being used to pour cocktails.

The varied brands that had initially hit the market with kegged cocktails did us no favours. Using inferior quality cocktails merely to fill a tap line and service the non-beer drinking customer, hopefully moving them along more quickly so as to serve more beer to their other customers. The missed opportunity here now lies in a category that has burst onto the hospitality scene over the last two years, with few brands able to keep up with the demands of quality that modern consumers now have. 

With the demand for cocktails skyrocketing since the reopening of venues post lockdowns, skilled, unskilled bartenders and hospitality staff have decreased to levels that we can’t comprehend. With poor quality cocktails being the norm in many venues, the industry is missing out on a huge amount of revenue, thrown to the wind when an inexperienced bartender steps behind a busy bar and is asked to produce cocktails at speed with little training. As many venues spend little to no money on training, the outlook for cocktails is looking grim for years to come. 

As the producers of kegged cocktails slowly catch up to the market, the Worksmith team have spent the last two years tirelessly working through an R&D process to capture the essence of a great cocktail, whilst ensuring speed of service and shelf stability are achieved. 

Enter mid-2023 and Worksmith has now released three kegged Spritz cocktails (Pink Hibiscus Spritz, Orange & Mandarin Spritz, Ginger & Mango Spritz) to the market, along with our much anticipated Grada Espresso Martini. 

Why do we believe these are the best available kegged cocktails? Simply because we have created these drinks with both the consumer and the venue in mind. No cutting corners with either stakeholder, meaning the consumer gets a delicious cocktail and the venue can serve quality cocktails at speed with a margin that stacks up. 

Along with this, the expertise in the Worksmith team spans some of the best cocktail bars, restaurants, coffee roasteries, drinks publications and cocktail festivals the world over. With a quality led approach in a space in desperate need of it, Worksmith provides cocktails that meet consumer expectations, align with venue margins and provide a positive outlook for cocktails for venues that are ready to lift their game.

With the nimbleness of the Worksmith team and the adaptability of our cocktail solutions, we  now proudly serve cocktails in over 250 venues across Australia with our kegs becoming the driver of volume in many of these venues. 

Let’s get to work.

Enquire now to start pouring Worksmith cocktails in your venue.

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