Bourbon-flavoured beer joins spirit beer growth

Buddy's Bourbon Flavored BeerInvestment in the spirit-flavoured beer category in the UK continues to grow with the launch of Buddy’s Bourbon Flavored Beer by Global Brands.

Also containing hints of real honey, the beer balances the honey and sugar with the bourbon flavour and soft tones of oak. At 5.1 per cent ABV, Buddy’s is set to appeal to men aged 18 to 24.

Marketing refers to the fictional Prohibition-era character of JW Buddy, “possibly the most popular man in Michigan in the early 20th century”, who developed the beer recipe at Buddy’s Brewhouse in Michigan.

The label design honours “Buddy’s disrespect for convention” and this is embodied in the crown which bears the strap line, “Make Your Own Rules”.

The launch follows Global Brands’ own success with its tequila-flavoured beer Amigos, which is currently seeing sales growth of 109 per cent. The spirit-flavoured beer category is led by Heineken’s tequila-flavoured Desperados and has been boosted by launches such as bourbon-flavoured Dead Crow and rum-flavoured Cuvana by SHS Drinks.

Global Brands marketing director Simon Green said: “Traditional lager is struggling but spirit beers are experiencing over 90 per cent growth in both the on- and off-trade channels because consumer tastes have evolved. Further innovation is key to future growth in this area, and we’re confident that Buddy’s carries enough consumer appeal to cement spirit beers as one of the trade’s most exciting and profitable categories.

“Today’s consumers are engaging with brands which look different, taste different and have a story to tell. Buddy’s Bourbon Flavored Beer marks one of our most exciting brand launches to date because the liquid, the look and the legend come together to create something genuinely unique.”

The customer support package for Buddy’s includes Buddy’s Brewhouse Barrels, JW Buddy-style hats, hessian sacks and even coat hooks. Consumers can explore the “legend” of Buddy and learn more about the brand at Buddy’s Brewhouse website at

“We’ve secured several high-profile listings for Buddy’s pre-launch and the feedback on the liquid and branding has been overwhelmingly positive, so we can’t wait to see Buddy’s Bourbon Flavored Beer come to life in-outlet with the help of the Prohibition-era American-themed point-of-sale.”

Global Brands is focusing on a tighter core range and increasing investment in new products after ending distribution of Four Roses bourbon, Sobieski vodka, Ypióca cachaça and Opal liqueurs. Its other brands include Kick Energy, Jungfrau herbal liqueur and ready-to-drink Hooch, Hooper’s and Reef.

Previous NRB 50 recognises north's top names in hospitality
Next Benugo to re-open historic house as club