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Heineken launches Cruzcampo lager on draught into the UK

Heineken has revealed plans to launch its Spanish lager brand Cruzcampo on draught into pubs and bars across the UK.

The launch, which takes place this week seeing the popular lager brand rolling out across the UK on-trade, is being supported by a multi-million-pound marketing campaign across TV and social media.

The 4.4% ABV lager, which is brewed in the UK, will be available exclusively on draught at “an accessible price point”.

Speaking exclusively to the drinks business, Cruzcampo senior brand manager Christopher Buckwell, said: “A team of brewers from our Cruzcampo facility in Seville worked very closely with our Heineken UK brewing team over the course of many months to ensure the beer produced was aligned to our Cruzcampo brand in Spain. It will be brewed in Manchester.”

Additonally discussing the launch, beer writer Roger Protz shared via Twitter that Cruzcampo will be brewed at Heineken’s “Royal Brewery” in Manchester, essentially making the beer a British beer, but simply using its Spanish branding.

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Upon querying as to whether the recipe would stay the same as the one available in Seville, or be adapted, Buckwell told db that the “version” of Cruzcampo that will roll out across the UK has been made “with a UK audience in mind” and explained: “Spain offers variations of Cruzcampo. We have worked closely with our Spanish colleagues to ensure we are creating an authentic, refreshing version of Cruzcampo lager made with a UK audience in mind.”

Buckwell stated: “Cruzcampo will be available exclusively to the UK on-trade on draught initially and it will be available in the off trade from the autumn,” and hinted that the reason behind this decision was because Heineken believes pubs and bars are “the best place for consumers to taste their first experience of Cruzcampo” prior to it hitting the shelves of supermarkets and off licences.

Despite Heineken staying vague on where exactly will it be available across the on-trade, it has revealed that it has “already seen a great response from publicans for Cruzcampo” and has “already had hundreds of outlets sign up as stockists” and hopes to see “more outlets coming on board over the summer months”.

Matt Saltzstein, Heineken UK beer brand unit director said: “The launch of Cruzcampo will see Heineken UK continue its commitment to support the on-trade, helping operators meet consumer needs. Holidaymakers returning from Spain, particularly from the Cruzcampo home of Seville, have been calling for the brand to be brought to the UK and even reached out on social media asking for it to be launched here. As the number one draught beer in Spain, Cruzcampo will serve customers the ‘Spirit of Sevilla’ by bringing friends and family together for some relaxing quality time.”

Saltzstein added: “Mainstream lager has the highest number of drinkers across all beer categories, accounting for one in every three pints. While some consumers may have to make their money work harder, they still want to discover new brands that feel special. Offering a premium quality experience but at an accessible price point on the bar is critical to meeting these demands. Cruzcampo is an affordable trade up option for lager drinkers who enjoy discovering new experiences.”

As well as what Heineken has admitted is a “significant” marketing spend, the brand is set to be supported in pubs and bars with new fonts, glassware and PoS” as well as the chance for people to enter prize promotion activity.

Heineken has been contacted regarding its UK launch of Cruzcampo, however the drinks giant has stayed silent on its exact fiscal investment and has only revealed that the beer will be supported by “a major multi million pound marketing campaign” to help drive awareness.

Which lager brands Cruzcampo will rival is yet to be seen, but, as Heineken has just offloaded its Kronenbourg 1664 brand’s UK rights to Carlsberg this week too, this could be a strategic move for the drinks giant or simply a way of retaining its brewing capacity for its UK brewery.

Buckwell added: “We know that consumers are looking for discovery and new brands but are also mindful of the cost of living,” and explained: “A mainstream lager brand, such as Cruzcampo, offers a premium experience at a more accessible price point to help drive sales in outlet.”

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