Grolsch returns to tap into UK's 4% abv premium lager segment

Grolsch Premium Pilsner is returning to the UK market this Autumn.

The 4% abv beer, which is brewed back at its historic home in Enschede, The Netherlands, now has a new look to highlight the “exceptional heritage and quality” of this original Dutch pilsner.

The brand will be available in stores and online from the end of October in 33cl crown cap bottles, 44cl (from March 2022) and 50cl cans and the iconic 45cl sewing-top bottle, as well as a range of multipack formats.

Grolsch is back as a 4% abv beer, instead of its previous 5% abv version. The lower abv reportedly “answers the call from UK consumers, retailers and publicans alike for a product that delivers great refreshment at a slightly lower abv”. The brewer said it has managed to do this while still retaining its distinctive depth of flavour, which is achieved via its ‘double-brew’ process (a double-decoction mash, using two hop varieties blended with two types of Dutch malt.

Tim Clay, Managing Director at Asahi UK, said: “Grolsch Premium Pilsner is back with a fresh brand identity and a brilliant, revitalised liquid, brewed at its iconic home in East Netherlands. The brand-new packaging and in-store activations we’ve tailored for Grolsch’s return are just as exciting - highly distinctive and full of character. We’re delighted with the response and take-up from customers to date.

“This is a fantastic new proposition for the UK & Ireland market, building on Asahi UK’s comprehensive suite of premium beer and cider brands. It comes at an important time, with a growing consumer preference for a range of ABV beers that also offer high quality and strong provenance. Grolsch Pilsner ticks all those boxes, providing great refreshment to suit any occasion, and with an excellent depth of flavour.”

Marc Janssen, second generation Master Brewer at the Royal Grolsch brewery in The Netherlands, said: “We believe we have perfected a refreshing, full-bodied 4% pilsner for UK beer lovers, brewed with passion and precision to provide extra depth of flavour. Our double brew process here at Grolsch might take a little longer and cost more to do than some, but we believe it’s worth it – we like to say ‘double brewed for double the flavour’!”

The return of Grolsch Premium Pilsner is supported by a multi-million-pound campaign from launch across 2021, including advertising, POS materials, and other promotional activity.

The revamped brand has been tailored specifically for the UK market and it is expected the beer will tap into growth in the premium lager category, which is currently worth £5.1 billion and growing at 3.4%, according to Clay. Within the 4% abv beer segment of premium beer the growth is around 10%.

He said: “Within three years we think this will be within the top ten premium lager brands within the UK. But most importantly is we are bringing a great consumer proposition to the UK. It is a refreshing and easy drinking lager but with a distinctive difference.

“We know that premium lager accounts for 43% of all beer and also that 36% of drinkers are starting to moderate their alcohol intake. Alongside this, 20% of drinkers say they “would love to try a new alcoholic drink”.

“With Grolsch we have great liquid, we are clear about our target consumers, we have great brand identity, supported by advertising and investment.”

Grolsch Pilsner is part of Asahi UK’s portfolio of beers.

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