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Coors UK launches below freezing beer

By Chris Mercer , 26-Jun-2006

A new lager served at below freezing temperature, developed by beer firm Coors, looks to target an emerging trend for colder beer on the troublesome UK beer market.

Coors, a subsidiary of international brewer Molson Coors, said its new Sub Zero beer used a patented pouring process enabling it to be served at -2.5°C in bars and pubs.

If successful, the launch will add more evidence that Britons have begun to shrug off their stereotype as warm beer lovers; providing new growth opportunities in a difficult UK beer market.

"We have listened to consumers and their requests for colder and colder beer," said Stuart Renshaw, head of international marketing for Coors Brewers.

The company said it had spent more than £10m over eight years developing the pouring mechanism for Sub Zero. It has taken out more than 50 patents on the one-minute, fully automated process.

The crux of the technology is the formation of soft frozen lager crystals in the top of the beer glass, as the lager is poured. These crystals melt away in the drinker's mouth, while helping to keep the beer colder for longer, according to Coors.

The brewer said various prototypes tested in bars since 2000 have been a success with consumers.

The idea of super-chilled beer has already worked well for Coors' rival Scottish & Newcastle (S&N).

S&N said its new Super Chilled cold beer technology helped its Foster's lager brand to a 10 per cent sales rise in Britain during its 2005 financial year.

The achievement indicates that colder beer may develop as an important weapon against Britain's shrinking beer market.

Ale brewer Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries said in May the sector has recoiled another two per cent over the last year, as the rising popularity of wine continued unabated.

"Coors Sub Zero brings together traditional brewing excellence and 21st Century dispense technology to deliver a unique drinking sensation,"said Coors' marketing head Renshaw.

Molson Coors also recently launched its Sub Zero beer in Canada.

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