Drinks supplier Global Brands is aiming to extend its share of the burgeoning spirit-beer market with the launch of a new bourbon-flavoured beer.

The UK-based company is rolling out Buddy, a 5.1% ABV beer targeting the male 18-24-year-old market with the strapline: “Make your own rules.”

Marketing director Simon Green said tequila-flavoured beer is enjoying growth of 109% (GBL ex-factory sales 52 w/e 31 December 2012 ) and that the spirit-beer category was set for “phenomenal growth” in 2013.

“Traditional lager is struggling but spirit beers are experiencing over +90% growth (BBPA UK quarterly beer barometer 52 w/e 15 September 2012 [off-trade] and CGA MAT Mar 2012) in both the on- and off-trade channels because consumer tastes have evolved. Further innovation is key to future growth in this area, and we’re confident that Buddy’s carries enough consumer appeal to cement Spirit Beers as one of the trade’s most exciting and profitable categories,” he said.

The beer, which is brewed in Michigan under licence, has already secured listings (rrp: £5.20 for 4x 330ml bottles) and will be rolling out from 25 March.

Global Brands already produces a tequila-flavoured beer, Amigos, as well as an energy drink, Kick, and pre-mixed drinks such as VK, Reef and Hooch.

The spirit-beer market has been dominated by market leader Desperados, which saw sales grow 44.4% last year (Nielsen off-trade 52 weeks w/e 15 September). SHS drinks launched two premium spirit-based beers in January in a bid to build the “underdeveloped” market, with bourbon-flavoured Dead Crow, and rum and lime-flavoured Cuvana.