Australian owned & operated pure-play rum distillery that is reinventing Australian rum.
- Type: Retail
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What is Brix?
Brix Distillers ("Brix") is an award-winning craft rum distillery, based in the heart of Sydney, with national distribution and international recognition. With a focus on producing premium Australian rums for the world stage, Brix is committed to educating a new audience on all rum has to offer.
Since its inception in 2018, Brix has achieved 30% to 40% YoY growth. Their initial focus has been on re-education and awareness of premium rum, building out a sales and distribution pipeline, sourcing high-quality raw materials, and developing and releasing unique spirits to market.
With a multi-channel revenue stream, Brix sells wholesale to on-premise and off-premise venues such as the AHL group, Dan Murphys and BWS, online through its website, and earns on-site retail revenue through its bar, events, and food & beverage offerings. It has established a national distribution network consisting of 3PLs such as Paramount, an in-house sales team, and commission agents. The company generated revenues of $1.7m in FY21, with gross margin of c. 45%.
The company has amassed over 30,000 litres of rum under maturation, has positioned itself as a category pioneer, and is ready for launch with a Sydney-aged product. As the market shifts towards craft, local, and premium experiences, Brix holds an enviable first move advantage in the reinvention of Australian rum.
Brix is able to champion the rum category as a hero brand with multi-tiered price points and strong appeal across consumers and trade. Brix can position itself as Four Pillars has for gin, and Lark for whisky as the premium go-to choice for rum in the Australian drinks cabinet.
2021 is a pivotal year for the brand as their first batch of premium, Sydney barrel-aged rum will be ready for sale. Funds raised will be used to increase barrelled rum inventory, add personnel as well as for sales & marketing spend.
Brix wants to invite a new generation to share in their passion for a forgotten drink by showing how rich Australian molasses are turned via copper stills, into the burnished spirit swirling in their glass.
"The Brix vision is to share an adventurous spirit and passion for rum with everyone we come into contact with. We want to create a premium rum that can be enjoyed in the bars and backyards of Australia and the world."
The Brix Range
Brix has produced three unique base rums, complemented by seasonal special edition rums. Brix also produces RTS (Ready to Serve) cocktails, aimed to further the education of the rum category, and RTD (Ready to Drink) canned cocktails, provided as an alternative for Brix to reach a wider audience. In 2021, Brix’s first Sydney aged rum has reached maturity and is ready to be sold.
All products are rigidly and periodically tested via internal standards and operating procedures, safety manuals and quality systems, which are all created and implemented by ex-Archie Rose Head Distiller Shane Casey.
Brix’s current product line are as follows:
An unaged ABV 40% rum that is produced 100% onsite at the Surry Hills distillery.
A blend of 5 & 8 year old ABV 40% rums imported from Barbados, created in collaboration with international master distiller & blenders E and A Scheer who are based in Holland.
A blended ABV 40% product using Brix White infusions and imported Barbados rum, created by head distiller Shane Casey
Limited release using local ingredients. The range includes, but is not limited to:
- Citrus Got Real - a citrus-infused, sweeter option made from a blend of Brix White and fresh local fruit.
- Urban Cane - an unaged Agricole expression from fresh sugarcane juice and double pot distilled.
- Trail Mix - 100% Native Australian Spiced Rum which is aged for 4 months in Mountain Goat barley wine barrels.
A craft RTD range using natural flavours, including Spiced Blood Orange, Spiced Ginger Beer, Peach and Grapefruit. This provides a fast-growing entry point to rum.
A range of 200ml rum-based craft cocktails, including Rum Old Fashioned, Rum Negroni, and Rum Manhattan. This provides a fast-growing entry point to rum.
Consisting of either “Pure Single Rum” made from 100% Brix aged rum or “Premium Australian Rum” blended from aged Wilma product (column distilled) and Brix aged rum (pot-distilled), the product will have been barrel-aged for 2.5 to 3 years.
- Award-winning Premium Craft Rum Brand
As Four Pillars is for gin, and Lark for Whisky, Brix is reinventing a category in premium craft spirits. They have a core range of premium bottled rums, with seasonal editions for more discerning consumers. They also have a range of fast-growing canned cocktails, which act as an entry point to the category.
- World Class Distillery
Centered on their site in Surry Hills, Sydney, Brix has a large distillery with 10,000 LALs per production capacity. Ex-Archie Rose head distiller, Shane Casey, leads the distilling process. The cellar door is the brand home for Brix and is used for highly effective consumer engagement and brand awareness.
- Multi-Channel Distribution
Beyond the core retail site in Sydney, Brix also has national wholesale distribution across on and off premise channels as well as online. This is serviced from the large Brix storage facility in Mascot, Sydney. They also have a number of brand partnerships that serve to increase awareness of the brand.
- Industry Leading Management and Advisory Team
As well as having industry royalty with ex-Archie Rose Head Distiller, Shane Casey, Brix is led by a management team with more than 40 years of combined experience in sales, marketing, and finance. They are advised by Tim Salt, former managing director of Diageo ANZ, and Geoff Kriegar, CEO and part-owner of Brokenwood Wines.
- Significant First Mover Advantage with Sydney Aged Rum
2021 is a pivotal year for Brix with the release of its Sydney barrel-aged premium rum, which is ready to be sold for market. This longer lead time and upfront cost is a barrier to new entrants into the market (unlike gin). Over the next few years, Brix is forecast to scale with $2.8m in revenues in FY22 and $3.5m in FY23.
- Time for the Rumolution! Large and Untapped Market Opportunity
Rum is reinventing itself as a premium and fashionable spirit. Growing at 17%, it is set to soon experience the same spike of popularity as craft gin has had and capture a larger portion of the $2.6bn Australian spirits market.
The craft distilling movement in Australia is well established, with gin, whisky, and now rum ready for revival.
The Australian Distillers Association has increased from 30 members in 2014 to 280 at the start of 2021, and there are thought to be up to 700 independent distilleries nationwide. Despite industry consolidation, new players have entered the industry in an attempt to carve out niches and capture the gradual move to higher price segments and increased interest in locally produced brands.
Craft rum is anticipated to be at the beginning of the same movement that craft gin has experienced, driven by innovation from first-generation distillers and changing consumer preferences of drinking less but better, local offerings, bespoke experiences, and the willingness to try something new. The COVID pandemic has not disturbed these trends but has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, higher at-home consumption, and the ‘shop local’ ethos.
The category has also benefited from rum’s perceived exotism, offering consumers a chance to escape from lockdowns and international travel restrictions. This has driven greater exposure and appreciation of the spirit, resulting in increased sales of premium sipping rums in the off-premise. These trends have already been felt overseas, with UK growth rates of premium rum sales eclipsing those of gin in FY20 and FY21. The Australian craft rum industry has been growing at 17% per year and is poised to capture a larger portion of the A$2.6bn spirits market.
High barriers to entry in the aged spirits category of rum present a significant opportunity for Brix to establish itself as a market leader in the premium rum space, where they are currently the first mover.
Australia is considered one of the biggest markets for RTDs, and is currently worth over A$1.1bn. The segment grew 40% YoY over 2021, and the trend is expected to continue. Premiumisation through alcohol base, unique flavours, functional benefits, and purposeful marketing strategies are among the angles that could yield greater consumer appeal and demand.
Brix has marketed itself as a lifestyle brand, having developed its RTD range as a premium, small-batch craft product. This taps into a wider trend of twists on classic services with unusual or exotic ingredients, providing an entry point into its premium rum offering.
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