Zubr Dark Beer, the 4.1% abv dark sister brand of the recently launched Zubr Premium, has been brewed in Pfierov in the Czech Republic since 1870. It will go up against Czech beers Budvar Dark and Krusovice Dark, both of which were launched into the UK off-trade earlier this year.
The beer, which will be launched in 500ml bottles by Grayrose Trading - a London-based importer of Czech beers and wines - is characterised by a brown-black colour with thick compact foam and a medium intensity of bitterness.
Described as having an aroma of roasted malt with a bittersweet flavour, the beer will be promoted in the UK - as part of the Zubr brand portfolio - through a billboard and a TV campaign on Sky Sports and MTV, followed by consumer advertising throughout the summer months. In-store sampling will also take place in various cash & carry outlets.
Zubr Dark is already exported to other European countries, particularly in Scandinavia, and won second prize in the Dark Draft Beer category at the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival in 2003. Exports account for 12% of Zubr's total volume. Director Nicholas Humes said: "Grayrose Trading has specialised in importing Czech beers for some time but it is the Zubr range that appeals to the younger, newer breed of well-travelled consumers who are more influenced by taste and quality than ever before.
"The decision to import Zubr Dark beer into the range has been directly influenced by the current trend for dark beers in the UK."
Humes said the company was seeing monthly increases for container imports of Zubr in the UK and that imports had more than doubled over the past six months to meet the growing demand for the beer.