Greene King has ventured into super-premium beer with its Old Speckled Hen brand. The new ale, Old Crafty Hen, will sell for £2.49 for a 500ml bottle compared with £1.50 for a standard Old Speckled Hen.

It is a blend of 5X, a vintage beer that has been aged in oak vats for two years, and the Old Speckled Hen brew. “Consumers are moving into premium and super-premium in many other categories and we think there is an opportunity for ale to capitalise on this,” said Neil Jardine, Greene King take-home and export director. Jardine said he hoped the new beer would bring new consumers into the brand as well as create excitement in the category.

Old Crafty Hen has been launched exclusively into the off-trade in limited amounts but the company said it would look to expand production and move into the on-trade if it proved popular.