Germany: Oettinger starts first-ever nationwide online sale of draft beer

Oettinger Brauerei, one of the leading brewing groups in Germany with national beer sales of about 5 million hl and another 3 million hl of exported beers in 2018, has started the first-ever nationwide online sale of draft beer. Peter Böck, Oettinger’s new Managing Director in charge of marketing and sales has kicked-off this week the sale of Oettinger draft beer on the Internet platform fassbier.online.

The new online concept bypasses intermediaries and delivers draft beer within 2-3 working days directly from the brewery to the doorsteps of the final customer. The concept was made possible by using a non-returnable stainless steel keg, a product which was introduced last year and successfully tested with Oettinger in export markets. (inside.beer, 29.7.2017)

Oettinger aims its product – currently available is only a Pilsen type beer in a 25l keg – mainly for the private and semi-professional use like with birthday, beach or garden parties or rock concerts, where people usually do not have professional tapping equipment. For this purpose, the company also sells online a so-called reusable party pump equipped with a beer gun which can be easily attached to the keg even as a layman with no extra equipment needed.

Tests with online distribution of draft beer failed before because traditional kegs call mostly for costly and complicated professional tapping equipment that restricted the private use. Additionally, clients often refused to return the returnable kegs and breweries had to bear the difference between the higher keg costs and the lower deposit value. In contrast to returnable kegs and other plastic solutions the new Oettinger beer keg does not need to be returned and can be easily recycled.

After Oettinger’s managing partner Dirk Kollmar, who held about 80% of the brewery’s shares unexpectedly passed away in May 2014 at the age of 50, his widow Astrid Colmar fought a legal battle with her mother-in-law Ingrid Kollmar and her sister-in-law Pia Kollmar over the ownership of the Oettinger Group. The dispute was settled in October last year and the Bavarian branch of the family with Ingrid and Pia Kollmar could regain 75% of the company’s shares and the control of the company (inside.beer, 6.10.2017).

Mother and daughter dismissed the old management board and hired new outside managers to lead the company with Dr. Andreas Werner Boettger replacing Technical Director Dr. Karl Liebl  (inside.beer, 31.10.2017) and Peter Böck replacing Jörg Dierig as Managing Director (inside.beer, 2.2.2018).

Oettinger came under heavy fire in its home market when it announced a price increase for October. Consumers of Oettinger beer, which is by far the biggest national beer brand to be sold at the entry-level price segment, are very price sensitive.

The majority of sales are done in retail, either in glass or plastic bottles or in cans. Therefore the new offer in draft beer will be carefully viewed by competing domestic breweries, which fear an inroad of Oettinger in this market segment.

 

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