Hot on the heels of the addition of the Austrian beer Zipfer to its portfolio, Scottish Courage has announced its acquisition of the UK rights to the Italian Peroni beers. It will be selling Nastro Azzurro and Gran Riserva in the off-trade from the middle of this month. Peroni was distributed in the UK by International Wine Services which was bought by Scottish and Newcastle subsidiary Waverley Vintners 18 months ago. Nastro Azzurro is the UK's leading Italian beer. In the last two years volumes have been growing at 35%, easily outpacing the sector's 10% growth. Marketing director Brian Sharp said he expected growth to continue at that rate. "The beers are a welcome addition to complement our existing portfolio of major international and domestic brands and aid us in our objective of having a beer for every occasion," he said. "The brand is relatively underdeveloped in terms of distribution and it is being supported above and below the line." Nastro Azzurro (5.2% abv) has been sold in the UK since 1965. It was joined in 1999 by Gran Riserva (6.6% abv). This year Nastro Azzurro is being backed in the UK by Peroni with a £1m promotional campaign featuring advertisements in style magazines and a poster campaign. {{DRINKS }}