Bass Imported Ale

AB InBev is looking to revitalise its ailing Bass brand with a fresh take on the historic ale.

The brewing giant has unveiled a new 5.1% abv ‘imported pale ale’ under the Bass brand, which will roll out into the off-trade from December in 355ml bottles - Bass’ flagship ‘Trademark No. 1’ ale is 4.4% and sold in 500ml bottles and cans.

The brew - which is already sold by AB InBev abroad - is billed as being “clear and coppery in colour with a creamy, off-white head” and “dry with tasting notes of malt, caramel and light pine hops”.

A spokeswoman for AB InBev said it “can’t wait to reintroduce shoppers to this historic brand, whose name lives on as a hallmark of great-tasting beer” and that it hoped it would “invigorate the premium ale category”.

It comes as supermarket value sales of Bass’ core brew have taken a significant knock over the past year, falling 14.9% to £3.8m [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018].

Indeed, many traditional PBAs have suffered at the hands of trendier, smaller-format craft beers. Waitrose, for instance, culled its PBA range in April to make way for 100-odd craft brands, and Asda took an axe to some 50 PBAs in its August range update.

AB InBev’s north Europe president Jason Warner told The Grocer there was “an opportunity” for ale brands to rethink themselves and tap the craft trend.