How much wood can a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? None, because it’s chilling in a corner with an ice-cold cider.
Beer importer Dre@amfields has rather quietly brought in Vermont, US-based hard cider brand Woodchuck Cider into Singapore to test the burgeoning cider market here. Owned by Irish beverage group C&C Group, Woodchuck is in fact the top-selling cider in United States and carries a range of around six core and four seasonal flavours. The Singapore-based importer however has confirmed only one flavour so far – the Woodchuck Amber – while trialling a few others with selected trade partners before firming up the lineup.
The Woodchuck brand was originally started at The Joseph Cerniglia Winery in Cavendish, Vermont, in 1991 and was bought over by C&C Group for US$305 million in end 2012. It today operates under the Vermont Hard Cider Company, and commands over 40% of the total cider market in the United States.
It may make sense for Dre@mfields to bring in Woodchuck in; it recently landed a deal to bring in C&C Group’s Tennent’s Whisky Oak beer, so it can easily share the same logistics chain. Before Woodchuck Dre@mfields only carried one cider in its portfolio, the small batch Sidro from Piozzo, Italy-based brewery Baladin.
The Woodchuck Amber was the original Woodchuck Cider, first handcrafted in a two-car garage back in 1991 and is made with red apple varieties including McIntosh, Cortland and Red Delicious apples.
But while the popularity of cider has been exploding around the world, Dre@mfields may find the cider market in Singapore not so easy to crack; ever since Carlsberg came in big with Somersby about three years back the number of competing brands has literally exploded, with the likes of Magners, Kopperberg, Rekorderlig, and most recently Strongbow, muscling into an increasingly crowded space. With Carlsberg’s marketing muscle behind Somersby and APB’s vast distribution network supporting Rekorderlig and Strongbow, the top-selling cider in the United States may have somewhat of an underdog status here.
Woodchuck Amber Cider
Maker: Vermont Hard Cider Company