Jason Warner, AB InBev’s soon-to-be promoted North Europe president, exclusively revealed Lisa’s launch to The Morning Advertiser in an interview at the company’s customer day in Wembley Stadium yesterday (27 September).
Warner, who will be promoted to ABI president of Europe on 1 January next year, said: “The brewer Birra del Borgo is a very premium craft beer brand in Italy, similar to what we have in Camden here in the UK."
He continued: “And what we’ve created is a sessionable lager with the team there, which we’re launching in the UK. An Italian-style beer is an interesting category.”
When asked if it was in direct competition with Peroni, he added: “If the logic is it’s Italian, then sure, but we’re bringing it in as a super-premium craft and Peroni is a scale brand that’s very large and we’re trying to plant the next seed and offer more choice.”
The golden lager comes in at 5% ABV and will be available in the on-trade from October.
Birra del Borgo, which is based in Borgorose in the Lazio region of Italy, sites within ABI’s ZX Ventures, which incubates smaller brewers.
Within Italy, Lisa has seen a 140% sales growth between April and August. The bottom-fermented brew is described as being crisp, but smooth in taste with a citrus finish “thanks to the distinctive Senatore Capelli wheat and orange peel used in brewing,” said AB InBev.
In a statement about the launch, Warner added: “We are thrilled to bring this premium Italian lager to the UK, exclusively to the on-trade in draught.
“We know that consumers are choosing more premium options when going out for food and are happy to trade up to elevate their dining experience. We want to raise the quality standard of Italian beer, to become the number 1 favourite Italian lager.”