Tags: guinness blonde | north america | sales | beer

Guinness Blonde: New, Lighter Offering Hopes to Boost North American Sales

Image: Guinness Blonde: New, Lighter Offering Hopes to Boost North American Sales
A pint of Guinness beer. (Luke MacGregor/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 07:45 AM

Guinness Blonde American Lager, a lightened up version of the popular dark Irish beer, will hit the markets in September in the company's latest attempt to boost lagging U.S. beer sales and extend its appeal beyond the East Coast.

According to Businessweek, the move to brighten up the beer comes in the shadow of some dark statistics about Guinness in North America — a 6 percent decline in sales over the past year ending in June, along with a two percent decrease the year before that.

Guinness reportedly tried to switch up its beer after a sales dip in 1988 but the Guinness Gold fell flat everywhere but a few pockets along the eastern seaboard.

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"It was outstanding from a taste standpoint and had a strong group of loyalists, but was sort of diverting the focus from the huge opportunities with Guinness," the beer company said in 1993 to Brandweek. The lighter beer was then discontinued in 1994.

"Lager is by far the most popular type of beer in America, and introducing a blonde variety might help Guinness regain some of the $100 billion U.S. beer market," Slate.com reported. "Data estimates from Beer Marketer's Insights show that Guinness' U.S. market share has decreased steadily since 2006.

"As of 2013, it ranked ninth in a list of major brewers and importers in the U.S., dwarfed by Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors and trailing Pabst, Boston Beer, and Yuengling," Slate noted.

Guinness's new Americanized blonde stout will be produced in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, by City Brewing with yeast shipped to the brewery from Ireland, according to Businessweek. Guinness officials said there are plans to make the blonde beer a permanent addition to its lineup.

Julia Herz, of the Brewers Association's craft beer program, told Slate.com that Guinness' ability to get its beer into the public will give the new lager a chance to be successful.

"If you're a large brewer you can drop a brand based on your established distribution network in a way that is very powerful and populate the supply chain very quickly," she said.

Ad Age reported last week that Guinness Blonde will get a boost from a national television campaign. It said a print ad in Playboy magazine already announced the arrival of the new beer.

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Guinness Blonde American Lager, a lightened up version of the popular dark Irish beer, will hit the markets in September in the company's latest attempt to boost lagging U.S. beer sales and extend its appeal beyond the East Coast.
guinness blonde, north america, sales, beer
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2014-45-07
Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 07:45 AM
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