By James Atkinson
Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) today launched an updated version of Crown Lager the brewer says features better quality ingredients, improved brewing specifications and more contemporary packaging.
Crown Lager general manager of marketing, Richard Oppy told TheShout the overhaul aims to make good on Crown's claim to being 'Australia's finest' beer.
He said Crown Lager's brewmaster will now hand select the best Pride of Ringwood hops each harvest, as well as barley from the country's top three barley farmers.
"We can now trace it from their fields all the way to the Crown Lager beer," Oppy said.
"That's obviously going to cost us more money and cause our supply chain grief, but if we are truly going to be Australia's finest beer we're going to have to go to these sorts of lengths."
While cane sugar is commonly used in the production of mainstream beers, Oppy confirmed there will be no such adjuncts used in the new Crown Lager. "It will be brewed with 100 per cent Australian malt."
Crown Lager will also apply more rigour around the brewing process itself, with a much tighter alpha acid specification.
"With a tighter specification, it just means you are going to get a more consistent bitterness, which gives you an even smoother beer," he said.
But Oppy said the changes are not in response to any decline in sales of Crown Lager.
"Over the last 12 months, Crown Lager's actually been in 10 per cent growth, so it's not like the brand's broken, it's really looking at the long-term to make sure it's sustainable," he said.
"The loyal Crown Lager drinkers will love it because it's still going to have the Crown Lager taste, but it's going to be even smoother and creamier than even before."
CUB will absorb the increased production costs.
Oppy said the packaging has been refreshed so it looks more contemporary and premium, and a multimillion dollar marketing campaign will focus on Crown Lager's new emphasis on premium quality ingredients.
The updated beer will also be rolled out on draught to the nearly 300 venues that already have Crown Lager on tap.