James Brindley, Jeff Potter and Amy Darvill – Credit: Jeremy Potter

Hahn has launched a new chapter in its brewing history with the launch of Hahn Ultra Crisp, a beer five years in the making and one which is full-strength, gluten free, preservative free, lower carb and 99 per cent sugar free.

Amy Darvill, Lion’s Brand Director for Classic and Contemporary beers told TheShout that as nutritional and lifestyle choices increasingly influence consumer choices, Lion wanted to create a beer that would meet these demands.

“If you look at what has happened in other categories outside of alcohol you see the need to adapt to consumers’ demand for products that meet particular nutritional requirements or lifestyle requirements. The need also for great tasting gluten free products is overwhelmingly there and that’s why we’ve been working for so long to find a way to create this product,” Darvill said.

She added that part of Lion’s focus during the development phase of Hahn Ultra Crisp was on making a beer that would meet that ‘great tasting’ demand.

“It’s one of the reasons why it has taken us so long to develop this product,” Darvill told TheShout. “Anything we produce, particularly under the Hahn trademark has to be great tasting. Current gluten free offerings are made with different types of grains which means the taste of them can be quite heavy and certainly not in line with the clean, crisp and refreshing taste that consumers want today, which is why we turned to rice.

“So we are really confident that not only are we covering off the gluten free requirement, but we’ve got something that is great tasting and stands up to any other beer in the market.”

In explaining that process, Jeff Potter Lion’s Brewing Research and Development Director, said: “There are some beers out there which use rice as part of the grain mix to balance the flavour, but we are the first in Australia to create a beer that is brewed entirely with rice, instead of grains like wheat or barley. The challenge for us was to work out how to make Hahn Ultra Crisp taste great without using the traditional grains which usually produce the flavours of beer as we know it.

“Once we figured that out, it was a matter of creating the perfect combination with aromatic hops and a specially chosen yeast, and the result is a crisp, dry beer with light citrus aromas and a clean finish that holds its own when it comes to flavour,” Potter said.

The brew has been a collaboration between Lion’s technical brewers and the team at the Kirin Brewery in Japan and has been worked on for over five years. Part of that work has been about creating a beer that is more than just a gluten free beer for Coeliacs, as Darvill explained.

“The way we have designed this product we see it being as suitable for the everyday beer drinker as it is for those who technically need to only consume gluten free products. Similarly with the packaging, it’s come from a major brand in Hahn and with the way it looks and with the pricing it has it is very much designed for the mass market.”

Hahn Ultra Crisp is available from 18 February from leading retailers around the country with an RRP of $17 for 330ml six-pack and $47 for 330ml 24-case, plus CDS if applicable. It will be available in bottle at on-premise venues and Darvill told TheShout that Lion does plan to introduce the beer into venues on tap in the future.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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