Heineken has moved into craft beer with its new beer brand Maltsmiths Brewing, launched this month in the UK on-trade.
The two-strong range currently includes a Bavarian-style Pilsner and American-style IPA. Both are 4.6% ABV and available in 330ml cans and bottles, and on draught.
Sam Fielding, who heads up the new beer team at Heineken, said the project aimed to encourage an “untapped market” of millions of beer drinkers yet to discover more flavoursome craft beers.
He said, “The fact is, 75% of beer drinking consumers have never tried what is commonly referred to as ‘craft beer’.
“This is about getting curious beer drinkers into the category and expanding their repertoire with more flavoursome beers – which will be a springboard for them to discover beers from the 1,500 breweries in the UK.
“This is about supporting our customers and growing the category for the entire industry. We can have a positive impact on this sector of the market.”
Maltsmiths Pilsner is “crisp and clean with pine and citrus notes and an earthy hoppy character” while Maltsmiths IPA has “a caramel base with overlying hop notes of citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruits and pine”.
The beers were developed by Heineken’s first two ‘Maltsmiths’, Alex Brandon-Davies and Sarah Bartels using cutting-edge equipment at the award-winning Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh.
Brandon-Davies says, “I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to work on this project. We wanted to brew beers that would appeal to the beer-curious but for whatever reason, have yet to experiment.
“Using citrus-flavoured hops – namely Centennial, Chinook and Columbus hops – we’re hoping that drinkers will love the fuller flavours and it will be their first step into experimenting with beers from the hundreds of other breweries in the UK.”
Both products are priced £4.70 per pint in the on-trade.