Free flowing facts about Lager

July 1st, 2016 | Posted in: Features,Spirits

Lager comes from the German word ‘lagern’ meaning ‘to store’.

Lager was first brewed in Scotland in 1884 by Hugh Tennent, at Tennent’s Breweries in Glasgow’s Duke Street. A year later, the first bottles of Tennent’s Lager came off the production line.

This autumn, Menabrea is launching ‘Brewspoke’ in Edinburgh, Manchester and London, which will give men the chance to own a beautiful fitted suit by inviting them to bring old suits to top tailors to have them trimmed and made to fit like new.

Tennent’s Lager was the official beer supplier to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1892, showing it had an early adoption of being involved in entertainment sponsorship.

In olden times, lager was known as a woman’s drink. Tenenit – the Egyptian god of beer – is female, as is the Zulu beer goddess, Mbaba Mwana Waresa.

Italian lager brand Menabrea has teamed up with an Italian ice cream maker, La Gelatiera, to create a beer-infused ice cream. The resulting “Grown up Gelato” tastes of ambrata lager and hints of Sorrento lemon and real ginger. It was launched by the brand using a bicycle-mounted freezer full of the ice cream which made an appearance in Glasgow which resulted in hundreds of free tubs being handed out.

Lager was discovered by brewers when they started the fermentation process in winter. They found that the ale yeast didn’t ferment well in the cold, so it found a different variant to hybridize with.

Heineken used the word ‘refreshment’ in its ads in 1974, which combined with unusually hot summers in 1975 and 1976, was the game-changer for the industry. Suddenly lager started selling.

Tsingtao, is distributed in the UK by Halewood, and is heavily involved in Super bike sponsorship with its continued support for the Hampshire MV Agusta motorcycle racing team, which will see it compete in the MCE British Superbike Championship until the end of 2016. And you can win tickets to a round of the British Superbike Championships. Check online at

This summer Birra Moretti is sponsoring the Summer Nights festival in Glasgow in August at the Kelvingrove Band Stand. Acts appearing include Van Morrison, Idlewild, C Duncan, Primal Scream and Super Furry Animals.

Coors Light is the fastest growing lager brand in the Top 10 in Scotland. The brand has seen sales rise 35%. And an agreement with the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Dundee with Norther Services will see the brand become the official lager of more than 100,000 students.

Tennent’s are unveiling new founts this summer at T in the Park, which will be rolled out to pubs and clubs throughout Scotland thereafter. It’s the first major fount redesign in 8 years and they will feature iconic artwork from the brand’s 130 years of brewing history. The first founts highlight the Tennent’s Lovelies, the two pint glasses, ‘ThirsTy’ slogan, the animated pint, the alphabeT and an art deco image of the brewery. More designs will be released so they can be tailored to suit the style and audience of Scotland’s licensed trade.

Brahma is Brazil’s oldest beer, this light lager is brewed in Rio and consumed in vast quantities.

Tsingtao Beer also sponsors the Dragon Ping Pong events, unearthing talent from across the UK, and every now and again finding a new Dragon Master.

From end of February 2014 to the end of February 2015 beer volume in Scotland declined by 2%. The on-trade was down 4%. The downturn was partly caused by the introduction of new drink-drive legislation and last year’s poor summer. However since February sales have picked up again.

Menabrea held a ‘Maestro Classe’ at the Raven in Glasgow recently. Luthiers, people who make stringed instruments, came to the pub to talk about their profession, and the event was oversubscribed.

Tennent’s is in 8 out of 10 pubs in Scotland and it accounts for almost 2 in every 3 pints of lager sold in the country. The company has 90 Trucks, which make 5,000+ deliveries a week.

Carling, the UK’s biggest selling lager, became Scotland’s number two by volume last year after growing by 22% in 2014. The brand, which is Scotland’s fastest growing standard lager, revealed it will be the official beer partner of Dundee United Football Club for the next two seasons. The new partnership, which also includes advertising space and full hospitality experiences for Carling guests,  will continue to mark the next chapter in Carling’s long-standing support for Scottish and UK football.

Lager ads from the 70s are still referenced today, such as “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label” and “Australians wouldn’t give a Castlemaine XXXX for anything else”.

Lager only accounted for 1% of the beer sales market in 1961.

The rise of lager in the 1890s came from consumers wanting American and German lagers, so British brewers struggled to export its ‘beer’.

Carling is now the  sponsor of the Premier League which will mean tickets and ‘money can’t buy’ prizes for the Scottish on-trade. Says Scottish boss Hugo Mills, “Most Scots back a premier league club, so this news should help drive footfall.”

Heineken forked out £28 million to have James Bond’s iconic vodka martini replaced with a Heineken in Skyfall.

According to Marketing Director of Tennent’s Paul Condron, “The latest market data from CGA highlights that in the last 12 weeks, draught lager in Scotland is declining at -3.2% However, we’re pleased to say our flagship brand Tennent’s Lager retains its position as Scotland’s favourite and has grown by 0.3% at a time when the top 10 other brands in the draught lager category have seen a decline.”

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DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.

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