Marston's is hoping to capture cask ale fans in the off-trade by developing a new "fresh beer" category.

The brewer, which makes Marston's Pedigree, Bank's and Hobgoblin beers, is also hoping to move into super-premium ales, which could retail for as much as £20 a bottle, and has ambitious plans to move beyond ale into cider and spirits.

"It is impossible to recreate a cask ale at home but we are committed to making a similar idea work in the off-trade," said take-home sales director James Coyle. "It amazes me how you can get fresh smoothies and yoghurts on shelf but not beers.

"It's a big opportunity to expand the market for ale in take-home if we can get it right."

He confirmed the brewer was also working on a £5 beer in a bid to drive value in the category.

"There is evidence to suggest that if the proposition is right and the quality good enough, people are happy to pay the price. Look at Deus, which is made with Champagne yeast and sells for £20 to £30 a bottle," he said.

New ciders were also in the pipeline, inspired by the success of Green Goblin Oak Aged Cider, a brand the brewer inherited when it bought Refresh last month.

"We are also looking to replicate some of the success Refresh has had with its organic and Fairtrade beers in the cider category," Coyle told The Grocer.

The trend among US breweries to set up distilleries to run alongside their existing business was another inspiration for the company.

"Diversifying into different drinks categories is key for our future growth," Coyle said. "We are all repertoire drinkers, and the future of the business is to become known as Marston's Drinks Company, not just as a brewer."

Marston's acquisition of Ryland Thompson, which owned Refresh, doubled its presence in the off-trade and the combined business is now the second-largest player in premium-bottled ales behind S&N.