A UK drinks company plans to go head-to-head against Cobra beer with the launch of a new Indian lager brand.
Barrel Booze, which recently launched its Luxus Belgian beer brand specifically for the UK off-trade, has plans to launch an authentic Indian lager into the UK this summer.
The lager will follow the recipe for the Indian Murree lager created at India’s Murree Brewery, established in 1861.
Imran Younus, director of sales and marketing at Barrel Booze, said the company hadn’t yet decided on a name for the new beer, but it may be based around the brewery’s date of origin (Murree 1860) or the date it was first brewed (Murree 1861), in a similar style to Kronenbourg 1664.
“We have really smart, new Indian restaurants and retail outlets in this country and they need a smart, new designer bottle to reflect this,” said Younus. “We are going to highlight the taste of the beer itself, which we feel Cobra doesn’t really focus on enough.”
Younus said he believed there was a market in the UK for another Indian lager, and he wanted it to be seen as the ideal accompaniment to a variety of foods. “It has a higher alcoholic strength than Cobra, but it will be marketed as an anytime beer,” he added.
The lager will be sold in 330 and 660ml bottles, and the launch will also include a non-alcoholic version to target Muslim communities.
According to Younus, the company is also looking at launching a wine to compete with Cobra’s General Bilimoria brand.
Barrel Booze will also be continuing to push its Luxus brand this year.
“I would like to launch a bottled version of our 6.5% abv Luxus variant and it would be positioned alongside Artois Bock and Kronenbourg Blanc,” said Younus.
Sonya Hook