Germany's largest malt beer brand, Karamalz, will be collaborating with one of the country's major national pilsner breweries, the family-owned Veltins Brewery. The brewery from Meschede, North Rhine-Westphalia, will take over national distribution starting March 2024. This partnership will encompass both retail and national gastronomy. Karamalz will also leverage the Veltins partner network. Within the Veltins distribution cooperation in Germany, the Gebr. Maisel Brewery will handle distribution in the northern Bavarian retail sector and gastronomy in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
The distribution in discount stores, as well as the production and brand management of the approximately 250,000 hectoliter-strong brand, will remain with the brand owner, the privately-owned PrivatbrauereiEichbaum from Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg. The brewery, with an overall capacity of 1.6 million hectoliters, is one of the largest beer exporters in Germany. It is also a major supplier to the discount store chain Lidl and produces, among other products, their craft beer line Steambrew.
The collaboration is not only based on economic aspects but also on the friendship between the owner families of Veltins and Hiby-Durst.
"Through the distribution collaboration with Veltins Brewery, we see promising prospects to further strengthen the national marketing of Karamalz and thus grow in this specific non-alcoholic segment," says Andreas Hiby-Durst, Managing Partner of Privatbrauerei Eichbaum. The brand management will stay with Eichbaum and will continue to focus on collaborations, such as with Hollywood film studios.
"With Karamalz, we gain an attractive brand for our product portfolio, which, given our broad distribution and logistical engagement, has significant volume potential," says Dr. Volker Kuhl, Managing Director Marketing/Sales of Veltins Brewery. Veltins' sales organization will conduct annual discussions on all distribution channels of the national retail, excluding discount stores, and will be responsible for distribution at the point of sale.
Veltins launched its own malt beer brand, Veltins Malz, in 2005 but recently discontinued it.
Through the new distribution partnership, the market leader aims to distinguish itself more strongly from the competitor Vitamalz. In 2016, the German pilsner market leader Krombacher secured the brand rights to Vitamalz, thereby intensifying competition in the malt beer segment (inside.beer, 28.9.2016).
In addition to national expansion, Karamalz also initiated international expansion last year. Under the international brand Karamalta, the focus is currently on targeting the markets of Central and South America, as well as Africa.