A newly-formed specialist beer agency has announced its entry into the UK beer sector with the launch of a white fruit beer.
Specialist Brand Development (SBD) is a new company set-up with the aim of bringing alternative beers and diversity to a British market dominated by big brewers and big brands.
The first product to be introduced is Früli, a classic Belgian beer made with a blend of light white beer and a variety of fruit juices.
Over the past three months the brand has been in market trials on draught and in bottles and it is set to be taken on by the Pitcher & Piano chain.
Managing director Nick Holmes believes the new arrival will successfully tap into the growing demand for continental white beers and also appeal to female drinkers who normally drink premium packaged spirits (PPS).
"We have been extremely pleased with the reaction so far among both females and connoisseurs," said Mr Holmes.
"It's a completely different product and although it will compete with PPS brands, it is much better quality and a lot more interesting. The taste is often compared to ice cream or yoghurt. It is simply delicious."
Früli, at 4.1 per cent ABV, is initially available in two varieties, strawberry and apple, and packaged in 25cl bottles. The strawberry beer is also available in 30 litre kegs with a funky counter mount and branded glassware.
Früli is the first of many choice beer brands SBD is looking to bring to a UK market Nick Holmes believes is being stifled by the big brands.
"There is clear evidence that people want choice and people are going off beer because it's boring and there's no innovation. As a consequence, beer is losing share of throat to other drink categories.
"We have targeted a number beer styles we wished to include in our portfolio and also a number of countries from where we would like to source brands.
"In other words, as an independent player we have built our portfolio on the market opportunities rather than having to work with any particular brewer or particular brand."
SBD has appointed Turnkey Drinks, a company that specialises in the marketing and distribution of speciality beers on draught, to source appropriate outlets for the range of new beers.
lTurnkey Drinks is also set to introduce a stylish branded glass for its Belgian speciality beer Affligem, available on draught.