After an extended trademark wrangle, New Zealand brewery Behemoth is opening in Australia next month as Chur Brewing Co.
“We’ll just be sending a couple of pallets of kegs to start with, and then we’ll take a few kegs from each batch and send them over. We are talking to a couple of very reputable Australian breweries about contract brewing.”
Stage one is Melbourne, to be followed by Sydney and then Brisbane. “I’ve been over there building relationships with brewers and pubs, and one of my investors is a Wellingtonian who now lives in Melbourne. It’s good to have a man on the ground. Melbourne alone will double our market.”
And while Andrew has ended up with two brands, he has no plans at this stage to develop a distinct Chur range.
“All the branding apart from the name will still be the same. Churly the Chur Monster will be on all our tap badges and packaged products, the logos are the same shape, the ethos is the same, everything about the beer will be the same, but tailored in a way that we can spend money on beers instead of lawyers.”
Andrew reluctantly chose not to use ‘Behemoth’ in Australia following what he describes as “some trademark issues in Australia (which we think are a bit shit)”.
While Andrew has consistently declined to name the Australian brewery, Beertown.NZ understands it to be Kaiju Beer, formerly known as Monster Mash – “A certain energy drink company didn’t like us using that name, so we changed it. No time for big legal battles here, we’re just little craft producers who want to make good stuff” – says Kaiju’s website.
So how does Andrew expect Aussies to react to ‘Chur’ (a distinct Kiwism possibly derived from the French ‘mon cher)’? “Australians love New Zealand beer, and I think it’s just us shifting a bit of New Zealand culture over to Australia. Aussies like to take the piss and a lot of our marketing is about taking the piss, so I have no problem if Aussies want to take the piss out of us as well.”
Mate! Sounds like they might have been already.