15th July, 2014 by Lauren Eads
AB InBev UK has signed a deal with Greene King, one of the UK’s leading pub retailers and brewers, to distribute its US craft beer brand Goose Island.
The deal will give Greene King exclusive rights to distribute the Goose Island’s portfolio, which includes Goose Island Indian Pale Ale, Goose Island Honkers Ale and 312 Urban Wheat, to the on and off-trade in England and Wales.
Iain Newell, on-trade and route to market director for AB InBev UK, said: “We are delighted to announce this agreement with Greene King. We are looking forward to working with them to develop Goose Island in the UK and tap into the strong growth in the craft beer market.
“The Goose Island brand has excellent potential to perform well in this category due to its great taste, range and heritage. We look forward to this new partnership building on all the good work James Clay has put in to establishing Goose Island’s presence in the UK.”
Goose Island, a US craft beer company founded in 1988 in Chicago, has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years with sales increasing by 62% in the US last year.
This latest deal will see Greene King push Goose Island into the UK market making it available in keg to the UK’s on-trade for the first time, as oppose to its traditional bottles.
Chris Houlton, managing director for Greene King Brewing & Brands, said: “It is an exciting time for beer as the craft market continues to grow, and we know that more than half of all beer drinkers say they are keen to see more of these products. We launched our own craft brewery last November and adding an original US craft beer now will complement our successful portfolio.
“Goose Island is a leader in the craft of brewing and we are looking forward to offering its range to our customers.”
Greene King will begin distribution of Goose Island from October.
Goose Island is currently imported by James Clay, who in partnership with Greene King, will continue to supply certain specialist on-trade customers.