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23/03/2010

Lighter Guinness Bid Revived

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Diageo's Guinness is today launching a 'black' lager as the company attempts to combat falling sales.

The 'new' drink, named Guinness Black Lager, is aimed at a younger market and will come in 330ml bottles for sale at selected pubs and off-licences, priced similarly to other premium lagers.

It hopes to open up new streams of revenue with the creation of the lager, which is being trialled only in Northern Ireland, supported by a new advertising and marketing campaign.

In 1979, it rolled out a low-calorie product called Guinness Light and used the advertising tagline "they said it couldn't be done" which turned out to be true as it couldn't - Guinness Light flopped and had to be withdrawn.

Guinness previously oversaw the demise of one other novel product, Breo which also struggled in the market place.

However, John Kennedy, Diageo Ireland's Managing Director, said today that the new beer has a unique taste and is an "evolution in lager making".

The Head of Diageo Northern Ireland, Michael McCann told the licensed trade journal, Morning Advertiser: "Guinness Black Lager, like all lagers, is characterised by its refreshing taste.

"The addition of Guinness expertise, roasted barley and a late hopping imparts a taste that is unique among lagers," he said.

"It offers consumers a 'refreshing lager' taste in comparison to the distinctive flavour of the traditional dry stout parent brand, as it is brewed like a lager but is made black by malting the barley for longer."

(BMcC/GK)