A full-bodied dark lager is set to be added to the Asahi Super Dry range of Japanese beers in the UK alongside other innovations for the brand.
Super Dry Black, at 5.5% ABV, uses the same yeast as the original Super Dry but achieves a deeper, darker appearance and flavour through the addition of roasted malt.
Despite its stout-like appearance, it maintains the dry, crisp, refreshing flavour of the 5% ABV Asahi Super Dry, which is derived from using rice, but with a deeper sweet nuttiness and rich, smooth flavour.
Imported by Kent brewer Shepherd Neame, it will be available from December in 334ml bottles.
UK brand manager Samantha Catford said: “Super Dry Black offers a real point of difference in the UK. It will appeal to beer drinkers who appreciate a continental dark lager style: soft and elegant, with a rich, mildly-vanilla, nutty-sweet palate, and a dry, rounded finish that is never harsh or acrid.
“The challenge for UK consumers, who are accustomed to full-bodied dark ales, will be to discover its surprisingly light, refreshing taste.”
Asahi Super Dry Black’s rich, malty flavour is recommended for drinking with a ramen dish or a spicy Japanese beef curry.
Asahi has also introduced a 660ml bottle for original Super Dry in the on-trade after the success of an exclusive listing with restaurant group Wagamama.
“While our existing iconic 330ml bottle has always been a crowd-pleaser, we have seized the opportunity to upsize and maximise our chances in the fast-growing sharing bottle market with the 660ml format,” Samantha explained.
“For consumers, this size of bottle represents best value for money when you are out celebrating in a crowd and also makes the perfect accompaniment to a meal. We see this format as being a key driver in helping to achieve our volume aspirations for the brand.”
Another innovation from Asahi is its new portable bar-top dispenser, which has a built-in cooler to chill and dispense beer from standard 30- and 50-litre kegs. It features a new tap that pours a creamy head.
“The Asahi bar-top dispenser offers an alternative to bars which lack cellars or space,” Samantha said. “Its portability is also great for beer gardens, events and festivals, delivering a perfect pint of Asahi wherever you are.”