Brewers are turning to extra cold ale in a bid to boost sales in the stagnant sector this summer.
Coors Brewers is to put its Caffrey's brand into thermochromatic cans, which turn blue when the ale is at the optimum temperature.
"Caffrey's is the first ale to launch this technology," said Ian Lewis, brand manager. "It was always developed to be the original cold ale, served at the same drinking temperature as lager. We are sure it will be a big hit with drinkers."
The brewer will be running a Chill Until Blue campaign to support the launch, which will include in-store activity and PoS
The new cans will sport a more modern look. "We have moved to a more contemporary design that will attract a new generation of ale drinkers," Lewis said.
Marston's is also promoting colder ale in a strategy to push sales through the summer. It is running a new off-trade promotion for its Hobgoblin ale, which it acquired as part of the Refresh portfolio last month. The 23-week promotion runs across the 500ml bottle and 8-pack formats and offers the chance to win mini-fridges full of the beer, with one being given away each week.
"Most British cask ales are best served at 12C to 14C as this allows the beer's flavours to show themselves to the best effect," said head brewer Jeremy Moss. "But Hobgoblin is special in that its blend of caramel, chocolate and pale malts give it a very special body and make it a beer for all seasons."
The extra cold serve has been successful in lager, where much innovation has centred on lower-temperature lagers. Technologically advanced cans have also recently been a focus for lager brewers, with S&N launching Foster's with in-can Scuba and Kronenbourg 1664 with Dynamo Système two months ago.
Other brewers, however, have looked further afield to revive flagging ale sales. Fuller's was inspired by cider last year, running an ale-over-ice promotion for Organic Honey Dew beer.