By Clyde Mooney

Carlton & United Breweries has announced it will put the ABV of Victoria Bitter back up to 4.9 per cent, along with other marketing corrections aimed at bringing the country's number two beer brand back to its former glory.

CUB has admitted to ‘getting it wrong’ tinkering with the packaging, marketing and recipe of the iconic Victoria Bitter over recent years.

The initiative has gone so far as CUB chief executive Ari Mervis penning a letter to the drinkers of Australia acknowledging “We heard you… we’re fixing it”.

Speaking to TheShout, senior brand manager Craig Maclean said the wholesale price of VB will not change, and that reaction from the trade to the announcement had been positive and CUB will be talking to customers over coming weeks about promotional plans.

“We believe that the change to Vic Bitter represents a huge opportunity to reinvigorate the beer category and drive incremental sales through our customers,” said Maclean said.

From October, VB will return to full flavour and full strength of 4.9 per cent, which will be seen in the traditional packaging featuring ‘Victoria Bitter’ on labels and cans.

VB was brewed with an ABV of 4.9 per cent until 2007, when the  the recipe was altered and the alcohol percentage was reduced to 4.8 per cent. Two years later a further change in the brew resulted in the alcohol being reduced to 4.6 per cent.

The tagline “For a hard earned thirst” will also be revived, with a national advertising campaign starting during October.

CUB also returned to its former title of Carlton & United Breweries in July, as part of a series of market adjustments following its purchase by SABMiller.

The Shout Team

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

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