Iconic Queensland beer Power’s will finally flow again across the Sunshine State, 35 years after a Brisbane publican built a brewery, took on the industry and hit the big time.
Two years in the planning, a new Power’s Ultra Smooth Lager will be sold at pubs, clubs and bottleshops – decades after it was last widely available. A new modern take on a true classic.
Power’s Ultra Smooth is a new smooth and crisp beer specifically brewed for warm weather, modern tastes and with a packaging that pays tribute to the pivotal time in Queensland’s history when Bernie Power built the Yatala Brewery in 1988. The Sunshine State embraced one of their own and – when Power’s sponsored the Broncos in their inaugural season and beyond – together they wrote themselves into Queensland folklore.
Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) Queensland State Manager, Ian Giles, said:
“The relaunch of the Power’s brand marks the return of a Queensland icon that celebrated our underdog spirit and showed the rest of Australia there was nothing we couldn’t do.
“It was so popular that it sold out on day 1 and never returned to full stock, smashing all expectations to eventually capture about 20% of the Queensland beer market.
“People are yearning for simpler times, the pandemic is almost over and Queensland is well and truly open for business. Now is the right time to relaunch the Power’s brand so a new generation of beer lovers can enjoy this uniquely Queensland beer.”
Founder Bernie Power said:
“Making a beer that resonates with people is a challenging thing, and I know everyone involved in this has been very careful with what has ended up inside and outside the bottle.
“I am absolutely chuffed to see the Power’s brand returning. When I sold the brewery to CUB in 1993, we were more focused on the future of our staff than we were on the future of the brand. So to see it return, and hear what it means to people, has been a wonderful thing.”
Along with its classic flavour profile, the new Power’s Ultra Smooth has slight bitterness, balanced by a light rounded body, slight malt sweetness, a crisp, smooth, clean finish and 4% ABV. While some Power’s has been brewed over the past 20 years, it was available in limited quantities, with the original Power’s Bitter not brewed in over a decade and not available on tap since the early 2000s.
Power’s Ultra Smooth is being brewed at the original Yatala Brewery.
First CEO of the Brisbane Broncos John Ribot agreed Power’s was one of the best comebacks in Queensland history:
“Power’s and the Brisbane Broncos were built on shared philosophies – a bunch of intrepid, gutsy Queenslanders with a whole lot of front and can-do attitude who ended up changing the state forever.
“Bernard privately provided the seed capital to the fledgling Broncos and the players took the Power’s partnership to another level. Alfie Langer once nominated himself Power’s customer service manager, turning up to customers’ houses with a six-pack.”
Brisbane publican Bob Singleton, owner of Brisbane’s Pineapple Hotel, said:
“People still speak reverentially about Bernie Power and how he launched a beer that helped change the state forever.
“Queensland is ready for the return of a state-based brand and Power’s is a brand that is Queensland to its core. Power’s is simply a great story that will bring back great memories for people of when Queenslanders got a unique beer they could truly call their own.
“But I’m just as excited about how good it tastes. The new liquid in the bottle is as good as the story behind it!”
Power’s Ultra Smooth Lager will be available across Queensland in stubbies as well as on tap from mid-February.
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1985: Bernie Power sets out to build a world-class brewery at Yatala to challenge the stranglehold of Castlemaine Perkins, then owned by Alan Bond
1988: The Yatala Brewery opens and Power’s Bitter starts rolling off the line, securing 10% of the
QLD beer market almost immediately
1988: The Brisbane Broncos become the first non-NSW team to join the NSW Rugby League
(forerunner to the NRL). Power’s signs a three-year sponsorship with the fledgling team for one
million dollars a year, at the time the largest sponsorship in the league’s history
1988: Brisbane Broncos debut match in the NRL competition announces their arrival with a huge 44-10 win over reigning premiers Manly
1989: Power’s Light launches in September, followed by Power’s Gold
1990: Power’s Brewery produces 140 million litres and has 20% of the Queensland market
1992: Bernard Power enters a joint venture with CUB and forms Queensland Breweries
1993: Bernard Power sells his stake to CUB in October. CUB moves their QLD brewing operations to Yatala
2000s: Power’s Bitter ceases to be brewed regularly
2011: Power’s Bitter, with just a fraction of its former market share, is brewed for the last time and the brand fades into history – or so it was thought
2023: Power’s Ultra Smooth Lager rolls off the line at Yatala Brewery – now the biggest brewery in Australia -with the first carton taken off the line and signed by Bernie Power.