the cold revolution
Brewers are increasingly looking to cold versions of popular brands to boost the flagging premium lager category.
Coors this week revealed it is trialling a cold draught version of its premium lager Grolsch.
This follows last week's announcement that Scottish Courage is rolling out Kronenbourg 1664 Cold Premiere, a cold variant of Kronenbourg.
Carlsberg pioneered cold premium lager with the release of Carlsberg Export Extra Cold three months ago.
This spurt of activity reflects the growing consensus among brewers that 'going cold is the best way to revive premium lagers.
Figures from ACNielsen reveal that the standard lager category is growing by around 2.5% while the premium sector remains flat.
And, significantly, UK volumes of the number one premium lager, Stella Artois, fell 9.6% in the first half of 2005, it was revealed last week.
Stella brewer InBev has so far not followed the move into cold premium lagers. InBev boss Steve Cahillane believes brewers must do more than just release cold versions of their brands to rejuvenate the premium lager category.
But InBev has announced it is trialling an extra cold version of its standard lager Castlemaine 'XXXX'.
l The Big Chill, p25