Molson Coors has launched a range of 16 own brand cask ales for its customers.
The launch comes hot on the heels of the global brewer's purchase of Cornish brewer Sharp's for £20m global brewer's purchase of Cornish brewer Sharp's for £20m last week.
The new range will be available to its Independent On-Trade customers and although not directly linked to the purchase of Sharps', it is a further indication of how it views the importance of cask ale to the UK pub market, which now attracts 8.6m drinkers and 15.2% of on-trade volume.
The range of 16 own brand guest ales will include Worthington's seasonal brands — Spring Shield, Summer Shield, Autumn Shield and Winter Shield — as well as Mitchells & Butlers flavoured ales, Stones sports led occasion ales and Hancock's humorous ales.
Worthington's seasonal brands are brewed by Master Brewer Steve Wellington at the William Worthington's Brewery, which launched in December 2010 at the National Brewery Centre in Burton-on-Trent.
"Cask ale has proved to be a star performer in a tough market and is the perfect addition for any business looking to increase profitability and footfall," said Simon Cox, director of sales for the Independent On-Trade at Molson Coors.
"Its exclusivity within pubs, full bodied taste and unique heritage has created an offering that continues to outperform the rest of the beer market.
"Our new range of own brand guest ales have been designed to reflect the expanding diversity, experimentation and creativity within the cask sector."
The full list of seasonal beers is:
• Stones Nice Try & M&B Blueberry — on sale until 26 March
• Stones Hedge Hunter & Worthington's Spring Shield — 17 March to 16 April
• Hancock's Lamb Chop — 14 April to 21 May
• M&B Strawberry & Stones Back Hander — 19 May to 25 June
• Worthington's Summer Shield & Stones In the Bunker — 23 June to 23 July
• Hancock's Lawn Mower — 21 July to 20 August
• Hancock's Penned In & M&B Plum — 18 August to 24 September
• Worthington's Autumn Shield & Hancock's Counting Sheep — 22 September to 22 October
• M&B Chocolate Orange & Worthington's Winter Shield — 20 October to 31 December