Juicy prospects for new brew

Harcourt Valley Vineyard's Kye Lvingstone samples some of their new Mango Smash as many thousands more litres of the new sparkling alcoholic mango product brew in the fermentation tanks.

A Harcourt family business has developed a new alcoholic mango beverage that’s poised to take off nationally following uptake by a large Australia-wide retail chain.
Mango Smash is an eight per cent sparkling alcoholic mango drink that Harcourt Valley Vineyards has now begun producing on a considerable scale, by fermenting Queensland mangoes, at Harcourt.
After much experimentation and trial, the local family business first released its unique mango brew in limited quantity in May, starting with some selected local bottle shops and some in Queensland also.
But now Coles First Choice Liquor and Vintage Cellars have confirmed they’ll be stocking Mango Smash nationally from the start of October – and by all accounts the growth potential is as juicy as a ripe mango.
“I’d say this has huge potential,” Harcourt Valley Vineyard’s Kye Livingstone told the Midland Express.
The family business is well known already for its award-winning wines and its Ginger Kid ginger beer that’s proven a pleaser with many imbibers.
Ginger Kid has no shortage of loyal fans but Kye believes Mango Smash may enjoy even wider appeal than the gingery thirst quencher.
“I think it could even be bigger than Ginger Kid because some people don’t like ginger, but there’s not many who don’t love a mango,” he says.
They obtain fresh mango pulp from Queensland to make the new mango brew which, Kye says, is neither a cider, nor a flavoured beer.
“It’s unique. As far as we know there’s nothing quite like it,” he says.
They ferment it in large 25,000-litre fermentation tanks at their Harcourt property and right now they’re pretty busy.
“We presented it to Coles for their range review and both First Choice and Vintage Cellars confirmed they would range it nationally from October this year,” Kye says.
“It has already hit independent stores from Tasmania to Queensland with all our interstate distributors placing orders. Queensland in particular is looking promising with the distributor already ordering another two pallets.
“We are now making another 12,000 cases before December to meet summer demand.
“Before December we need to produce 300,000 litres of product. That’s including both Ginger Kid and Mango Smash. So, close to one million bottles to meet the summer demand.”
Kye and brother Quinn Livingstone say the national uptake of Mango Smash is going far to compensate for earnings lost to their business due to COVID-19 impacts.
“Our cellar door has been closed for three months and we’ve lost 12 weddings for our function centre, and we also lost our Easter festival,” Quinn says.
Coles Liquor Group’s First Choice national beer manager Anthony Bannister says Ginger Kid is growing at 72 per cent FYTD, ahead of the flavoured beer category growth of 60 per cent as interest in flavoured beer continues to build.
“Customers have really embraced ginger beer as a style and we are excited about how they may embrace other flavour varieties into the future.”