By Gillian McKenzie
FROM new brands and flavoured beers to the expansion of production facilities, the beer category has been a hive of activity in the last couple of weeks.
And it’s not all been focused on one particular part of the category.
Yes, craft beer continues to boom.
According to the recently-published 2014 Beer Report from the Society for Independent Brewers (SIBA), its brewer members saw a 7.9% uplift in volumes last year.
Argyll-based Fyne Ales unveiled ambitious expansion plans which will initially double its volumes; Brewdog has secured a site for a new craft beer bar in Dundee; and the new Drygate Brewing Co – a collaboration between Alloa brewer Williams Brothers and Tennent’s owner C&C Group – is set to launch its first beers in the next few months.
But it’s not just craft.
In the spirit beer sector, Heineken unveiled Desperados Verde – a ‘Mojito-inspired twist’ on the tequila-flavoured beer, while AB InBev is set to launch new rum-flavoured beer Cubanisto.
At the lower ABV end of the spectrum, Heineken is to introduce 2% ABV Foster’s Radler with Lime & Ginger and a 0% ABV Cloudy Lemon variant, while Carlsberg has launched 2.8% ABV Carlsberg Blackcurrant.
And McEwan’s Beer Company is rolling out Young’s London Stout and DNA New World IPA in Scotland.
With many operators seeking new ways to give their outlet a point of difference, it seems the increasingly diverse beer category might just offer some options.