By James Atkinson

Expanding Asahi's tap presence in Australian pubs is a key priority for new distributor, Independent Distillers, which says the brand can only benefit from its undivided attention.

Independent Distillers recently announced it will distribute Asahi from April 2 following the Japanese company's acquisition of the distributor late last year, ending the brand's relationship with Foster's.

Andrew Amarant, the newly appointed general manager of Asahi Premium Beverages, told TheShout the draught product holds the biggest opportunity, because there are currently only 459 stockists nationally.

Amarant, who was formerly the general manager of Asia Pacific for Independent Distillers, said that while Foster's has done a "very good job" with the brand, its new custodian will be able to move quicker in response to customers' needs.

"When a Foster's person goes in their first priority is probably Carlton Draught or VB, and then they'll talk about maybe Pure Blonde and Crown Lager and maybe Cascade, and finally they'll start to talk about the international brands," he added.

"We don't have the sheer firepower of salespeople that they have, but what we do have is a small dedicated team that makes Asahi Super Dry the number one focus."

Amarant said national sales will be headed by Matt Grix, who has more than 20 years' experience at Foster's Group, where he was Victorian sales manager.

The senior sponsorship and brand management roles will be headed by Sarah Campbell, who worked at Foster's Group in many brand marketing activities, including with the Asahi brand and other imported beers.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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