Rosie Davenport
Interbrew is reviewing the future of its PPS brand Boru Black.
The Stella Artois brewer is expected to make a decision about the drink in the next few weeks but emphasised that Vodka Source, its second foray into the sector, is still an important part of the business.
Launched last May with a £2.5m investment, Boru Black is a spin-off from Irish spirit Boru Vodka and comes in lemon and orange flavours.
The brewer signed a deal with Boru's owner, the Roaring Water Bay Spirits Company, to make the product using the brand name.
Interbrew had planned to support the brand with advertising once it had won sufficient distribution, but this has been put on hold.
A spokeswoman for the company said: "It's still quite a new product so it's usual to keep reviewing it. "We are looking at the future development of the brand at the moment. But Vodka Source is still very much on the agenda."
Interbrew's take home sales director Steve Kitching said: "The PPS category is not as buoyant as it was. Boru's fundamental growth has been in the on-trade."
Kitching added that Interbrew hoped to respond to buyers' criticism about lack of innovation in the beer category with a raft of launches this year.
"The next step is beer variants and speciality beers. There are lots of great beers around the world that haven't been brought to the UK consumer yet," he said.
Initially the brewer's main focus will be on Castlemaine XXXX which is being relaunched in the next few weeks.
Kitching added: "The brand has been a bit unloved for many years, but it's a great product. The rules for standard lager have a chance to be rewritten."