Back in January Asia’s biggest brewer Asahi launched its first dark lager
brand onto the UK market. Asahi Super Dry is brewed like a traditional lager with no.318 yeast, but roasted malt is added to give the brew a deeper, darker appearance and taste.
In the same month Germany-based Krombacher brought its best-selling Krombacher Radler to the UK. The 2.5% ABV brew is available in 33cl bottles to the UK on-trade and is imported by Morgenrot.
One of January’s final launches was the Black Sheep Brewery’s Resolution beer – a 4% ABV ruby ale made with Cascade and Golding hops. It was Black Sheep’s first seasonal beer of the year and launched to back the #TryJanuary campaign.
Swedish cider-maker Kopparberg also put in a January appearance with its new fruit lager, initially available in lemon and lime flavour, with an ABV of 5%.
The liquid is made using a traditional lager process, but does not contain hops, rather fresh lemon and lime juice, the company said.
In February AB InBev UK revealed plans to introduce Beck’s Blue Lemon to its on-trade portfolio – an extension of its non-alcoholic beer portfolio.
Global beer giant
The launch was in line with the global beer giant’s plans to boost its global beer volume sales of low- or no-ABV beer to 20%.
Arkell’s experimented with flavoured beers at its Wiltshire-based family brewery, with the roll out of its entitled Strawberry Sensation, Tinge of Ginge and Vanilla Pod Ale (set to launch next month) brews.
February also saw the Hogs Back Brewery gain a listing for its Montezuma’s Chocolate lager across all 110 of Mitchells & Butlers’ (M&B) Castle pubs, making M&B the first operator to take the brew in keg.
Later in the month Oakham Ales released a range of kegs at the Craft Beer Rising Festival on 26–27 February as part of its Oakham Craftworks initiative.
A 4.5% ABV Blonde and a 6.5% ABV Export Stout were the backbone of the launch.
The London Beer Factory kicked March off with its new 360° cans, which feature a ring pull design to let drinkers remove the whole top of the vessel to release the full spectrum of flavours and aromas inside.
Gluten-free beer also got a look in when Bellfield Brewery, the UK’s first self-claimed entirely gluten-free craft brewery, showed its first two beers at the Allergy and Free From Show in Glasgow.
The beers were a traditional pilsner-style brew called Bellfield Bohemian and a Lawless Village IPA.
The Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations inspired much of the new product development in April and Marston’s was one of the first to get involved with its ‘One is 90’ pale ale, which has an ABV of 3.6%.
Budweiser twist-off bottle caps
Budweiser also chose April to introduce its twist-off beer bottle caps in what the company claimed was a first for the UK on-trade.
The design, already popular in the US, is said to make serving easier for bar staff by eliminating the need for bottle openers.
Carlsberg announced the launch of two new craft beer and cider brands this month – its Shed Head 4.6% ABV American Pale Ale and its Bad Apple ABV 5.1% Herefordshire cider.
Meanwhile, innovations in beer and cider will be top of the agenda at the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s Future Trends: Beer and Cider event in London on 22 June.
Industry experts, business leaders and analysts will come together to discuss the future of the trade at the event, which will also feature interactive sessions in beertail and cidertail making.
For more information and to see the full agenda visit www.FutureTrendsBeerandCider.co.uk.
Book your places now by getting in touch with Joanne Horton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01293 610 403.