Foreign news and imports

Grolsch is back as a 4% ABV beer, answering the call from UK consumers, retailers, and publicans alike, the maker says, for a product that delivers great refreshment at a slightly lower ABV, while retaining its distinctive depth of flavour. Grolsch Premium Pilsner achieves this through its ‘double-brew’ process — a double-decoction mash, using two hop varieties for bitterness and aroma, blended with two types of Dutch malt, and Enschede’s original Dutch spring water. Grolsch is part of Asahi.

BrewDog has agreed a franchise deal to open ten bars in Germany. It is working with Bruton Capital to open the venues over the next three years.

Budvar packaging

Budweiser Budvar UK is trialling Smurfit Kappa’s TopClip, a newly-designed cardboard beer can packaging solution, as the Czech beer brand works to reduce plastic waste. The branded packaging, holding six 330ml cans of Budweiser Budvar Original Czech Lager, will be available in 168 Waitrose shops. Made from sustainably sourced paper, it is 100% recyclable, and will eliminate an estimated metric tonne of single-use plastic waste in its first year of use — the equivalent of a quarter of a million plastic bags.

Big Drop Australia

Alcohol-free brewer Big Drop has extended its international reach with two of its full-flavour 0.5% ABV signature beers now being brewed in Australia and widely available throughout the country. Big Drop’s Pine Trail Pale Ale and Uptown Craft Lager have debuted with the Dan Murphy’s retail chain and are about to go live in BWS, Australia’s largest liquor retailer with 1,100 stores. 

Brewed under contract in Melbourne, the first two beers were specifically chosen to appeal to the healthier lifestyles of younger Australian consumers. Not only do they comply with Australia’s ‘Ultra-Low’ alcohol labelling but they are also low in gluten, calories and carbohydrates. Big Drop’s Lager is also vegan-friendly.

Saigon craft brewery Heart of Darkness is working with Behemoth Brewing to launch its beers in New Zealand. From later this year, Behemoth Brewing will be brewing a range of Heart of Darkness beers under supervision at its newly established brewery site in Mount Eden, Auckland. The partnership also extends to distribution, with Behemoth and its regional distribution partners selling Heart of Darkness beers throughout New Zealand.

Austrian brewer Steigl’s Grapefruit Radler (2% ABV) is now available in retail in the UK. The drink is produced by combining Stiegl’s Goldbräu lager with fresh grapefruit juice.

Coopers IPA

Coopers, Australia’s largest independently owned brewer, has launched its 20th Vintage Ale, paying tribute to its 168-year brewing heritage, and in particular its former Leabrook brewery in Adelaide, South Australia. It has also ennounced that it will also launch its Hazy IPA this month, to help it stay competitive in the ever-evolving modern craft beer market.

The New England IPA has become an increasingly popular style among craft beer lovers in recent years, characterised by a pale yellow colour, intense juicy flavour, fruit-forward aroma, creamy mouthfeel and hazy, opaque appearance.

Asahi Super Dry has launched an integrated marketing campaign, Discovery is Calling, highlighting the beer’s offering and encouraging consumers to discover its distinctive dry, crisp taste known as ‘Karakuchi’.

Upset Hindus have urged Anheuser-Busch InBev to change the name of its popular Brahma beer, calling it highly inappropriate. “Creator god Lord Brahma was highly revered in Hinduism, and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, and not to be misused as a ‘toasting’ tool or selling beer for mercantile greed,” said Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.

Waitrose has rolled out Iceland’s Einstök Artic Pale Ale across its stores. Available in a 33cl can it uses the country’s inimitable pure water and three types of hops, joining the brewery’s White Ale (wheat beer) on the store’s shelves. The 5.6% ABV brew is described as full flavoured with beautiful hop aromas, toffee notes, and a thirst-quenching, crisp bitter finish. Perfect match to a wide range of summer barbecue fayre. 

Jurgen Klopp Erdinger

An Erdinger Weissbräu ad campaign featuring Liverpool FC manager manager Jürgen Klopp (pictured above) has launched. The campaign is all about wheat beer enjoyment, including the right way to pour, a perfect head, football, and Jürgen Klopp the private person.

Jürgen said: “When we first got to know each other, I quickly realised that Erdinger’s owner, Werner Brombach, was an inspirational guy. We had an instant understanding and shared many of the same views on respecting and motivating those around us. We have a passion for quality and hard work, encouraging talent and single-mindedly pursuing our objectives, whilst recognising the importance of a balanced lifestyle and enjoyment of our surroundings. Our mindset is positive and very similar, and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun working together here in the UK.”

One Circle kegs

OneCircle, the specialist in sustainable kegs, has announced a commercial partnership with Australia’s Vinpac International, part of the Endeavour Group, to support growth in this strategically important market. Vinpac is the first official reseller of OneCircle’s KeyKeg, UniKeg, and accessories in Australia.

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