Greene King is expanding its Old Speckled Hen premium beer range with a lighter brew designed to tap into consumer interest in golden ale.

At 4.1% abv, Old Golden Hen rolling out to stores now (rsp: £1.99/500ml) is lighter than 5.2% abv stablemate Old Speckled Hen. The beer has been brewed using pale malts and Tasmanian galaxy hops to create "a light golden colour, subtle tropical fruit notes and a smooth finish" that Greene King claimed would appeal particularly to premium lager drinkers looking for more taste.

Golden ales currently account for 9% of the bottled ale category by value and are outperforming other variants [Nielsen 52w/e 11 June 2011].

The Old Speckled Hen portfolio, which also includes 6.5% abv vintage ale Old Crafty Hen, will be supported by a new sponsorship deal with blokey TV channel Dave.