Interbrew has pledged to throw its weight into making ale more popular, starting with the first marketing support for its Bass brand in eight years.

The brand will be the subject of an outdoor poster campaign kicking off in December as part of a £3m spend.

Details of the executions in London and the south east and representing Interbrew’s first major push for Bass since it acquired it via its takeover of Bass Brewers, are under wraps.

Steve Cahillane, the brewer’s new regional president for the UK and Ireland, said he also intended to ramp up the
marketing effort behind Boddingtons next year to demonstrate Interbrew is “committed” to the struggling ale sector. Cahillane said: “Ale is an important part of the portfolio to us. Just because we have a winning brand with Stella Artois doesn’t mean all our eggs go into that basket.”

A leading beer buyer at a major multiple said: “Interbrew has had a lot of flak for apparently deserting ale in favour of the more lucrative lager market.

“But investing behind Bass will help silence some of the critics.”

The Campaign for Real Ale saluted the decision. Head of campaigns Mike Benner said: “It’s good news that Interbrew is finally putting some money behind its key ale brands.”

Interbrew will face competition from rival brewer Carlsberg-Tetley which is rolling out Tetley’s Imperial Cask into the take-home market.

<Rosie Davenport