International Insights: Costa Nikias, Founder and Chief Brewer, La Sirène Brewing

International Insights is a continuing series of Q&As with brewing members, but this time branching outside of the US and into the rest of the world.

In this series, Brewer will share personal insights from international breweries each week about the craft beer market in other countries, where those brewers get their inspiration, and how the market compares to craft beer in the US.


Costa Nikias, Founder and Chief Brewer, La Sirène Brewing — Australia

BREWER: What can you tell me about the craft beer market in your country?
NIKIAS: The craft beer market in Australia has exploded from five years ago having around 150 breweries nationally, we now have over 600-ish and counting. Some would say it is trending right now. Due to our hot & arid climate, we tend to see a dominant market tendency towards lagers and lighter styles, including sours.  

BREWER: How has the market evolved throughout the past few years?
NIKIAS: Significantly, it’s the same as in the US I suspect where brewers are doing wacky stuff to attract customers attention. This ‘shiny & new’ buying patterns are not viable so we collectively need to direct our market a little more, in my opinion. The haze craze has certainly hit and it’s here to stay we feel however perhaps in a more moderate form.

BREWER: What are the most popular styles in your area?
NIKIAS: NEIPAs, DIPAs, and Sours

BREWER: What can you tell me about your distribution footprint?
NIKIAS: we are distributed nationally, even in Northern Territory where all the crocs are!

BREWER: Where do you get your inspiration when tackling new beers?
NIKIAS: Funnily enough the inspiration for new artisan ales flows rather easily, we are a Farmhouse Producer only, and so we love doing farmhouse Hybrids, Wild Ales, Coolship Ales especially with wine grapes that is a nod to my previous career as a winemaker.

BREWER: How is your brewery innovative?
NIKIAS: Well, we were the first in Australia to purchase a genuine Coolship and have been making Coolship Ales for 4 years now. Its safe to say that we probably have the largest stockpiles of Coolship in the Southern Hemisphere — more than 100 barrels worth!  Does that count?


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