Asahi’s priorities shift as it stops brewing Grolsch in the UK

Japanese drinks giant Asahi has stopped making Grolsch lager in the UK after ending a brewing contract with Molson Coors.

Grolsch Light Lager

Grolsch became part of Asahi’s beer portfolio in 2016, when former owner AB InBev agreed to sell the brand, along with Peroni and Meantime, as part of its takeover of SABMiller. SABMiller acquired Grolsch, a Dutch brewery founded in 1615, from Royal Grolsch in 2008.

Asahi ended its brewing contract with Molson Coors after Grolsch, which has been sold in the UK for 35 years, was delisted by supermarkets Tesco and Asda, reports The Grocer.

An Asahi spokesperson told the publication: “After 35 years, Asahi and Molson Coors have agreed to end the joint venture agreements for the Grolsch brand in the UK and Ireland. As a result, Grolsch is no longer available in the UK and Ireland.”

It is believed that sales of Grolsch in both the on-trade and in retail have been hit in recent years by the rise in demand for premium and ‘craft’-style beers.

While it is delisting Grolsch in the UK, Asahi also recently completed its acquisition of UK beer giant Fuller’s brewing business in a deal worth ¬£250 million.

The acquisition means that Fuller’s brands London Pride, Frontier and Cornish Orchards have joined Asahi’s premium portfolio, sitting alongside Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Asahi Super Dry, Pilsner Urquell and Meantime.

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