Diageo, makers of famed stout brand Guinness, is trying to make a big splash in the jam-packed US beer market with the entry of its latest product, Guinness Black Lager.
The lager has already gone through lengthy trials in Northern Ireland and Malaysia in preparation for its big day in the US. It plans to launch on September 1st, right before the start of the NFL season.
This isn’t a gimmick craft beer move by Diageo — it plans to make a real impact. Americans lagers are dominated by Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors, and that’s exactly who Guinness will be competing against by trying to lure lager drinkers away with its wide appeal and taste.
Diageo North America’s chief marketing and innovation officer Peter McDonough explained the rationale behind the launch in an interview with Shanken News Daily back in May:
“The fact that the U.S. is only the world’s fourth-largest market for Guinness means there’s something I’m not doing right. Americans are lager drinkers, and Guinness Stout can be challenging for some people to embrace. But now it’s in a liquid profile they love. Guinness Black Lager will appeal to the tastes of American beer drinkers.”
Makes sense. But within that lies the question of the day for Diageo — will a broad range of American beer drinkers actually go for it? It’s a bit strange to think of Guinness as anything but the iconic ‘perfect pint,’ and this lager is meant to be consumed from the bottle, according to the Daily Mail.
Plus, will Guinness get enough Americans to go for something this different from the gold lagers they’re so used to from Anheuser Busch and MillerCoors? We’ll just have to wait until September to find out.