Lion-brewed Guinness gets quality nod
By James Atkinson
Lion's brewing prowess has received the nod of approval from the Guinness master brewer as the Australian company bids to expand the Irish brand's reach in this market.
In Australia recently, Guinness master brewer Fergal Murray told TheShout that while Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is produced at 49 different brewing facilities globally, there are only four breweries in the world that make the Guinness Draught variant.
He said Lion – which took over the Australian brewing, marketing and distribution contract for Guinness last year – is second only to the Dublin headquarters in production volumes for Guinness Draught.
"They've taken the on board the opportunity of doing it only six months ago and have started doing an extraordinary job," Murray said of Lion.
"Our technical scores show that they've been doing an even better job than the previous brewing facility, so as far as I'm concerned everything's exactly on track." [continues below]
Murray acknowledged there have been significant changes in the Australian beer market since he last visited the country.
"The craft industry for beer has been fantastic in general because it means people have choice. They can look then for different styles and different taste profiles," he said.
"We would hope that people would experiment – taste something that's local, enjoy that, and then maybe observe what a great looking pint of Guinness does as well."
Murray's visit came as Lion brand director Ben Slocombe told TheShout that Guinness has increased its sales volume in line with the general growth of premium and imported beer in this market.
While St Patrick's Day is Guinness's "hero occasion", Slocombe said further marketing activity for the brand will be based around Arthur Guinness Day, a global celebration of the brand's founder, in September.
"Also, we have the Guinness Draught in a can with the 'Guinness widget' that creates the famous surge when poured into a glass at home. We think this pack format is going to play an increasingly important role for those Guinness adorers out there that cannot always get to their local for a pint from the tap," he said.
Slocombe said Guinness is a great 'winter warmer' style of beer and perfect for enjoying indoors as the cooler season sets in.
"Think lamb shanks, roasts, pies… hearty meals. Unlike other beer, Guinness consumption actually goes up in winter," he said.