Australian drinks group Lion Nathan has announced that its Castlemaine XXXX brand, brewed under licence in the UK by Anheuser-Busch InBev, is being withdrawn from the British market next year.

Castlemaine made its UK debut in 1984 but will disappear from shelves next summer after the current licensing deal – agreed with the pre-merger InBev in 2003 – expires next June.

Lion Nathan attributed the move to “challenging market conditions” in the UK lager market.

In a statement the group said: “In an increasingly globalised world, Lion Nathan [believes] maintaining varied brand positioning in different markets is not in the best interests of the XXXX brand.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev said: “InBev UK is informing stockists of the decision and will continue to work with them to ensure that the InBev range of brands – including Stella Artois, Beck’s and Budweiser – reflects their consumer profile and commercial needs.”

Castlemaine has been brewed in Australia since 1748. In 2006 the brand launched a 375ml ‘tinnie’ in the UK, matching the standard can size in its domestic market.