Robinsons sets out future of Trooper beer

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Iron Maiden: Bruce Dickinson is passionate about beer
Iron Maiden: Bruce Dickinson is passionate about beer

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Robinsons’ Iron Maiden Trooper beer brand has grown significantly since its launch in 2013, with plans afoot for a further sales boost in the years ahead, according to managing director Oliver Robinson.

The brand, which was launched in conjunction with heavy metal band Iron Maiden in 2013, has sold more than 20m pints and is firmly established as one of the UK’s top 40 beers, as well as securing sales in more than 50 countries.

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser​, Robinson's beer division MD said the success in the UK market was, in part, as a result of vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s passion for beer, which also shines through in each new brew.

“Having the brand as strong as it is now was something we expected,” said Robinson. “The main reason for that is the partnership between us and Bruce, because he is genuinely passionate about beer and on the back of that it’s not a gimmick.”

Iron Maiden started the process of brewing in partnership with Robinsons, said Robinson which meant they were serious about the project from the off.

It came about after Robinsons brewed a beer with Elbow some years ago, while other bands have also approached the brewery and pubco for their own beers.

Robinsons brewery

But Robinson suggested such partnerships only work when both sides are passionate about producing great-tasting beer.

There were many perks of brewing with an internationally famous band, he added, explaining that the brand had received buy-in from the group’s fan base.

“It’s interesting to see how many bands have approached us [to brew a beer], but one of the reasons we haven’t entered into partnerships with them is because we didn’t believe we had buy-in from the band,” said Robinson.

Of the five-year anniversary, Iron Maiden’s lead vocalist Dickinson said: “I’m incredibly proud of the success that Trooper has had, and long may it continue.

“To sell over 20m pints in five years is something that we couldn’t have imagined when we started out with just the simple plan to make a great session ale that didn’t compromise on flavour, and the quality of the end product speaks for itself.”

Many iterations of the brand have been developed over the years, including the recent 4.1% ABV​ golden beer Light Brigade, which was brewed in support of charity Help For Heroes.

Trooper beer

Despite launching variants of the mother brand, Robinson said sales of Trooper hadn’t been affected, but had felt the benefit.

“Over the past five years, year-on-year the brand has grown in terms of the UK, where we’re stocked in most of the major multiple retailers as well as freehold pubs and national distributors,” he said.

It was unlikely Trooper would double its UK sales in the next five years, said Robinson, but that wasn’t a focus for the brand anyway, he added. Of course, there was commitment to growing it in the UK.

Focus would be placed on growing sales in the 50 countries it is also stocked in, with plans to put more sales people where opportunities had been identified, he explained.

“In some of the markets, there’s not a lot that we can do [to grow the brand], but in some we can put more shoe leather there and grow it,” said Robinson.

Markets identified for growth included Scandinavia, while there would be a general wider focus on exports.

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