In a marked departure from its commitment to traditional cask ales, Greene King has announced it is to trial a keg version of its bottled Ruddles Wheat beer in a number of selected outlets this summer.
The blonde beer, 5.3 per cent ABV, is due to be released into 35 pubs from the beginning of July and will be served at a cooler temperature of six degrees celsius using a lager dispense system.
Sarah Whyte, marketing manager for Greene King, said: "Traditionally, the summer is a slow period for cask ales because people switch from ales and bitters to lager in hot temperatures. Ruddles Wheat offers a colder alternative to ale and a tastier option than lager."
The bottled version, which was launched last February, is available all year round while the keg version will be rolled-out nationwide if the trial proves successful.
In February, Greene King expanded into the mid-gravity sector with the £1m relaunch of Ruddles County ending an extended period of inactivity for the brand. Before Greene King's acquisition of the brand, Ruddles County had suffered from a lack of support from a string of previous owners including Dutch brewer Grolsch and the now defunct Morland.