(Dublin, IRELAND) – Guinness gets ready to test a brand-new product, Guinness Black Lager, in the U.S. this fall.
Thought that they only made Stouts, did you? Think again. As mentioned last week, Guinness is looking to make a play as a craft beer maker with all the success that small U.S. brewers are enjoying. A large part of that strategy involves messing with a formula that has worked for many years. Guinness has always been known for its Stout but is poised to release, for the first time, a Guinness-branded beer of a different style here in the U.S. The brewery currently sells Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Irish Red in the States without Guinness branding.
A Guinness representative recently said that the brewery was planning on test-marketing this beer (presumably here in America) in September. It is currently only available in Northern Ireland and Malaysia.
Though Guinness parent company, Diageo PLC, enjoyed double digit increases in sales in Q1, the Guinness division has been sagging. Business Week notes, “European Guinness volumes fell 3 percent in the second half of 2009.” This could be the beginning of a sea change for the Guinness brand, one that might right the course.
Not all analysts are buying the decision though according to The Times Online. Bloomberg points out that Guinness is presenting this as a premium product with prices two-thirds above the price of a normal lager pint.
The brew won’t fool seasoned craft beer drinkers but expect Guinness Black Lager to generate some media attention when it gets here.