US craft beer Samuel Adams Boston Lager is to be brewed in the UK for the first time.

Kent-based Shepherd Neame will be producing the beer under licence from the Boston Beer Company, which first brewed the beer in 1984.

Sheps said it had been working to match the techniques used to produce Boston Lager, described as combining the flavour of ale with the smoothness of lager. It will use the same recipe and ingredients as the US brewer, including the yeast strain, Bavarian Noble hop varieties Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Tettnang Tettnanger, and malted barley.

The beer will be available to the on-trade from mid-April, where it is to be served in Samuel Adams two-thirds of a pint glasses, before rolling out in 330ml and 500ml bottles to the off-trade this autumn.

“This partnership further strengthens our enviable portfolio of distinctive international lagers,” said Jonathan Neame, CEO of Shepherd Neame, which already brews Asahi Super Dry under licence in the UK.

The speciality beer category has risen 13.5% in the mults to £32.2m on volumes up 6.5% [Nielsen 52w/e 7 January 2012].