Mainstream lager sales continue to slump, with the latest data from CGA showing total volume sales of lager down by 5.6% in the past four years. However, value in the same period is up 5.5% as consumers switch to higher-quality, premium and craft options.
It’s no surprise, therefore, to see a number of new craft lagers launch in the on-trade, giving operators plenty of choose from when it comes to curating their range this summer.
First up is Sulis, a new premium English lager brewed by Bath Ales to coincide with the opening of its new brewery. It is the West Country brewer’s first lager, and has an ABV of 4.2%. The beer is described as memorable, light and sessionable with a subtle hint of fruitiness thanks to Lemon Drop and Hüll Melon hops.
Tapping into demand for more flavoursome and natural products are Edinburgh Beer Factory, which has released an unfiltered Munich Helles-style lager in cans for the first time. Lagered for five to six weeks to give a depth of flavour and a smooth, satisfying mouthfeel Paolozzi Unfiltered Helles Lager pours slightly hazy, with the same beautiful bitter-sweet balance of its counterpart that makes it perfect for sunny sessions in the pub garden.
Completing the trio of new launches is the returning Camden Town Brewery Inner City Green. Initially released for the first time last spring/summer, Inner City Green has been brought back to coincide with the arrival of British summer time. Inspired by London’s beautiful green spaces, the juicy, fresh and zesty lager has buckets of green grape, gooseberry and passion fruit aromas, along with a low ABV of 3.9%.
Best of the rest
Cornish Orchards Dry – Cider Cornish cider company, Cornish Orchards, has launched a new product, Dry Cider – available in keg and 500ml bottles. Made with three apple varieties – Harry Masters Jersey, Dabinet and Michelin – which deliver a traditional West Country cider character. It has a full, fruity flavour with a long, dry finish.
Fentimans Sparkling Raspberry – Fentimans is to add a new raspberry flavoured soft drink to its range of beverages. The authentic raspberry taste has been achieved by using the botanical brewing method, used to make all Fentimans drinks, combined with an infusion of raspberry and natural botanical ingredients. The result is a vibrant and refreshing drink, embodying the taste of freshly picked raspberries.
Welsh Dry Gin – Aber Falls Whisky Distillery, the first of its kind in north Wales for more than 100 years, has bolstered its range of premium small-batch spirits with its Welsh Dry Gin. Made using water from the Rhaeadr Fawr – the famous Aber Falls waterfall – this copper pot-distilled spirit leads with juniper and gives grapefruit, lemon and orange prominent roles, resulting in a bright and fresh liquid with a subtly spicy and sweet finish.
Chapel Down Wine – English wine producer, Chapel Down, is releasing a 2016 Bacchus from its Kit’s Coty Estate. This premium single-vineyard, single-varietal wine is produced from the finest parcels of Bacchus grapes at the Kit’s Coty vineyard in Kent. It is described as having “guava, melon and peach aromas with background oak influence”.