Guinness launches craft-style lager into the UK

Hop House 13, the latest innovation from Guinness, is being launched in the UK market.

The new lager was launched in Ireland in February and already accounts for 2.8% of lager sales in Ireland. It reached one-third of potential stockists within six months.

It is available from some Greene King and Stonegate outlets in the on-trade and through wholesale channels in the off-trade.

Hop House 13 was developed by The Brewers’ Project, Guinness’s new craft brewing team established last September at its St James Gate headquarters in Dublin.

Hop House 13 is a double-hopped lager made with Irish barley and aromatic hops from both Australia and the US. It is named after an early 20th-century hop store at St. James’s Gate where hops are still stored today.

The new lager is the fourth release from The Brewers Project. Previous releases include Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter, the number one and two new products within Premium Bottled Ale category for the past 52 weeks.

Guinness brewer, Peter Simpson who led the development of Hop House 13 said: “I personally enjoy more flavoursome beers, so I wanted to make a lager with lots of character and flavour. After some months of exploring different recipes and collaborating with other brewers at St. James’s Gate, we created Hop House 13.”

Nick Curtis-Davis, head of innovation for Guinness, said: “There is huge curiosity, interest and demand for new beers among drinkers nowadays and our brewers are excited to be playing their part in this beer renaissance.

“We believe Hop House 13 will appeal to premium lager drinkers who are looking for beer with more taste and more character but without compromising on the refreshing taste that lager offers.

“Hop House 13 embodies our passion for brewing, quality and innovation; values that have been at the heart of the Guinness story for over 250 years. The new lager is set to inspire consumers to broaden their beer repertoires and ultimately drive incremental sales into the category.”

Global sales of Guinness’s eponymous iconic stout fell 4% in the second half of 2014, driven down not least by tumbling sales in the UK.

Guinness hopes that its Brewers Project can tap into the trend towards craft and bottled beers and add around £58 million of sales across the off- and on-trade.

Hop House 13 will have an RRSP of £1.79 for a 330ml bottle in the off-trade.

In the on-trade, where it will be available both in bottle format and on draught, Hop House 13 will have an RRSP of £4.50 for a pint and £3.80 for a bottle.

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