Scottish Courage is understood to be preparing to launch a premium McEwan’s beer in Scotland to target younger drinkers.
The brewing giant is believed to have earmarked £2m for the launch, likely to include a TV campaign.
It is thought the company is keen to revitalise the brand, which has suffered declining sales and an ageing customer-base since its Eighties heyday.
Scottish Courage has spent little on advertising McEwan’s lager since a £10m relaunch in 1997.
The ale brand McEwan’s Export has also received minimal support in recent years.
The new product is described by one source as a “cross between a beer and a lager”. It could be aimed at the nitro-keg, or “smoothflow”, market.
Another source says it will be called McEwan’s Blue, although this has not been confirmed.
One buyer says: “It looks like Scottish Courage will be attacking the Boddingtons draught ale and Caffrey’s market.”
A three-way pitch for the business is believed to have been held between roster agencies TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, Faulds Advertising and CDP. TBWA is thought to have won.
The drink is expected to launch early next year. Scottish Courage declined to comment.