Budweiser Budvar is behind plans to create a new trade association of “genuine” imported beer companies, in a bid to raise consumer awareness about the category.
John Harley, chief executive of Budweiser Budvar UK, is in discussions with companies including Tiger Beer and Bitburger about joining forces to drive the category forward and campaign about brewed-at-source issues.
He said consumers had a right to know many beers marketed as foreign were in fact brewed under licence in the UK.
“There’s huge interest at the moment in true imported lagers,” he said.
“I think the consumer is starting to realise brewed-at-source beers carry the history and stamp of authenticity you just cannot get from Bedford or South Wales. We hope to put together a group of different brands to find out how we can push this category forward.”
Harley said the first priority of an association would be to get imported beers recognised as a separate category in the beer sector, as well as commission research about growth and market share in the UK.
“Because we don’t have the same budgets as the big boys we don’t have the same share of voice,” he continued.
“The aim is to talk to buyers and have more of a level playing field for the decisions that they make.”
Ron Curteis, market development manager at Tiger UK, said: “We fully support and are currently working towards the initiative to create a super premium category of imported, authentically brewed beers.”