The two beers, a Bavarian-style pilsner and an American-style IPA (both 4.6% ABV), were brewed at the company’s Caledonian brewery but will be released under the Maltsmiths brand across the on-trade on 27 March after being unveiled at the Craft Beer Rising festival in London this week.
Heineken said it wanted to target “beer-curious” drinkers – customers looking for an accessible entrance point into the craft beer market – with the two brews.
It will be available on draught, in cans (330ml) and in bottles (330ml).
Sam Fielding, new beer team director at Heineken UK, said: “It’s not for us to define what is or isn’t craft beer. We have brewed two beautiful beers that will appeal to the more curious drinker."
Despite brewing the two beers at Caledonian Brewery, Heineken opted not to release them under the already-established Caledonian brand so it could focus on showcasing the company’s younger brewing talent, he added.
"We are confident that if you put this in a pub where you haven’t already listed craft beer – it will perform very strongly,” he said.
"We want to simplify and make this area less confusing for our customers."
Late last year, Heineken launched H41, a lager made from ‘wild’ Patagonian yeast, into Laine Pub Company sites in Brighton and London on draught and in 330ml bottles, with an eye to expanding its presence in the sector if it performed well.
The company’s eponymous lager was named 33rd in The Morning Advertiser's Top 100 Drinks list. It saw 13% volume and 15% value growth over the past year, reinforced by several sports sponsorships.
Punch takeover investigation
The Competition & Markets Authority has launched an investigation into Heineken’s upcoming takeover of 1,900 Punch pubs.
The first phase of the investigation is scheduled to last until April and will decide whether the acquisition – a joint bid between Heineken and Patron Capital – risks jeopardising competition and consumer choice.