Fans of the brewer’s XX Mild ale expressed their dismay on Twitter after it was reported that the drink would be “dropped” by the brewer.
One commented: “And so it begins... why are we surprised?”
Others said the English ale was their favourite made by the company, with one social media user describing the news as a “disaster”.
New Greene King owners quick to wield the axe. XX Mild to be dropped.— Roger Protz (@RogerProtzBeer) November 19, 2019
However, Greene King clarified that the drink had not been permanently removed but was on a less frequent brewing schedule than more popular beers.
The pub company confirmed that there had been no recent changes in the frequency of the ale’s brewing production and said it was business as usual.
A spokesperson said: “We are the UK’s largest cask beer brewer with a portfolio of more than 50 regular beers and many more recipes to draw upon in our archive.
“We have a busy brewing schedule, which operates seven days a week, tailored to fulfil customer orders and demand. Sometimes, in order to continue to develop and introduce new beers, we must rotate the brewing schedule to accommodate them.”
The ale won the Champion Beer of Britain in the mild beers category at the 2018 Great British Beer Festival.
A GK spokesperson added: “This may mean that a beer that has a low demand may be put on a reduced brewing schedule and be in limited stock at certain times of year.
“In the case of XX Mild, it remains a permanent beer in our portfolio but is brewed less frequently than our core beers such as IPA, Abbot Ale or Old Speckled Hen.”
A takeover of the Bury St-Edmund’s-based operation by a Hong Kong property company was completed last month (October).
Real estate giant CK Bidco acquired the company for £2.7bn, making Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-Shang, the owner of the pub estate.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) called on the new owners to ensure that operations were continued as normal “without any disappointing changes”.
There were concerns about potential job losses with beer campaigners urging the firm to assure publicans that its current portfolio of sites would be retained.