In case you hadn't noticed craft beer is taking over the world. What started off as a hipster trend in the likes of Portland, San Francisco and New York has quickly swept across the Atlantic. Dublin bars like Headline 57, Blackbird and P.Macs are suddenly the coolest spots in town as consumers shift their habits towards craft beers.
This is a very worrying trend for the big brands that have owned the market for years. They are dealing with it in their own ways like MillerCoors having Blue Moon and even the local Dublin beer Five Lamps being 95% owned by C and C despite it being very much marketed as a small local craft beer. The reality was that these big breweries weren't going to sit to one side and let a whole load of smaller guys steal the market. Now we are about to see the big daddy of them all try to fight back...
Guinness Fight Back
Guinness has long been seen as the "go to" drink for the Irish but even their market share is coming under threat now as well. They've made the beer as "extra cold" as they can to appeal to a younger market and even introduced medium strength and a whole host of other failed spin off products over the last few years. Anybody remember Breo?
It was only a matter of time before they launched a craft beer of their own and they are going with a couple of stouts. Guinness Dublin Porter and Guinness West Indies Porter (presumably a nod to how popular their bottles are in the Caribbean and Africa) will hit shops in the UK and Ireland on the 1st October.
We are looking forward to seeing just how popular these drinks are with consumers. Will they reach beyond Guinness's traditional customers and break new ground or are consumers too cynical of big brands these days and looking for something smaller that is actually "craft"?. One thing is for sure that with Diageo's marketing budget and distribution behind them they'll be given a serious push.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you're a craft beer lover check out our piece on the best pubs in Dublin to drink craft beer.