Guinness tests micro beer brands

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DUBLIN -- Guinness Ireland is to test in 20 Dublin pubs four new craft beers pitched squarely at the growing micro- brewing sector. The trial period will begin November 1. Guinness is spending $1m on the test launch.

"We intend to test them for a few months and then review whether an opportunity to commercially market these new beers exists," says Tony Brophy, head of new product development at Guinness Ireland.

The new brands, which will be known as St James's Gate Beers, will be sold on draft and are aimed at male drinkers, aged 28-40. "If the beers prove a success, we will roll them out very gradually. These beers are not a new Carlsberg or Guinness," says Brophy.

The four test beers will include a wheat beer, a pilsner, a dark lager, and a strong red ale. "The new beers are stronger than most of the current range of major brewery products available in Ireland, and will cost between $3 and $ 3.50 per pint," Brophy says.

Guinness Ireland also plans to introduce other brews and seasonal beers, if the initial trial proves popular.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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