Southern brewer delists McEwan’s from portfolio

Scottish Courage lager brand Mc-Ewan’s is about to be dropped from the pub estate of Bedford-based brewer Charles Wells.

Charles Wells, Britain’s sixth biggest brewer and the largest privately-owned brewery, is in talks with Scottish Courage to replace McEwan’s in its pubs with Foster’s, the key standard lager brand for the South.

Charles Wells marketing director Nigel McNally says: “It has to be in our interests to secure a brand in our portfolio that is growing in the South, and supported by advertising in our area.”

The regional brewer has pubs in the six counties north of London, with the majority in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and East Anglia.

A Scottish Courage spokesman confirms Scottish & Newcastle negotiated an agreement to distribute McEwan’s through Charles Wells in 1994, before the takeover, when it was still trying to push the lager into the South.

He reveals the new campaign for McEwan’s Lager, to be unveiled later this year through CDP, will only be shown in the North and Scotland.

Charles Wells has recently embarked on a strategy to promote itself as one of the UK’s leading ale and lager producers, rather than just a regional brewer. It aims to make its Bombardier beer the UK’s top-selling regional line.

It has launched new products, such as the Manchester United lager brand Red Tribe (named after the football team’s fan club) and pub dispensers which illuminate the beer as it is being poured into the glass.

The brewer is also UK distributor for Japanese lager Kirin and Jamaican lager Red Stripe.

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