Every six months, pubs in the scheme will offer a new draught craft beer, from a selection of 10 beers produced by third-party brewers, in addition to Heineken. Licensees will be able to change products whenever they want to keep customers coming back for new tastes, with a special rotational craft font.
The pubco hopes to see about 275 of its pubs participating in the scheme by the end of the year.
Pubs that have just started to trial craft beers are offered a permanent range of Heineken-owned and third-party craft brands, instead of a rotational stocking process.
Not a passing fad
Steve Dancer, buying director of Star Pubs & Bars said craft beer was an "important growth area" for the industry.
He said: “It is served in more than half the pubs in the UK. It’s not a passing fad, it is here to stay.
“Craft sales are increasing in volume by 25% year on year and the category is predicted to make up 10% of total beer market volumes in the next three years.
“We want to help craft-focused pubs with a proven demand to capitalise on this growth, build on their speciality and enrich their customers’ experience by widening the choice of craft on tap.”
Mark Anderson of the Ruddington Arms said the new scheme was exciting news for his Nottinghamshire pub.
He explained: “I was so excited when I saw the range we’d be able to offer customers because there is a real consumer appetite for craft beer.”
The move means tied pubs like the Ruddington Arms are able to rival specialist ale pubs, Anderson added.
“Tied pubs don’t normally have this breadth of choice. It makes us really competitive with specialist ale pubs – we can take a bit of their market now. It’s great as we can change the beers as often as we want," he added.
“All we need to do is swap the badge on the font. Offering a decent choice of craft keg is particularly good for the Ruddington Arms because these beers go really well with food.”