Diageo secures 10-year deal with Budweiser


WORKERS AT Diageo Ireland’s brewery in Kilkenny will be raising a glass to celebrate the news that it has just secured a new 10-year deal to brew and distribute Budweiser lager here for Anheuser-Busch InBev. This should help secure jobs at the brewery at a time when the Irish beer market is in decline.

“That’s a big step for us,” managing director John Kennedy told me yesterday. “We introduced the brand here in 1986 and with the company having new corporate owners this is . . . a sign of confidence in us.”

Time was when Budweiser was king of the lagers in Ireland with high-profile sponsorships like the Irish Derby at the Curragh. But the Celtic Tiger years saw a raft of new beers flood the market and its share slipped.

But the “core” brand (when Bud Light is stripped out) has made a comeback and “increased its share over the past 12 months” – helped by the introduction of Bud Ice Cold on tap.

Bud accounts for about 20 per cent of the Irish lager market and Diageo hopes a new advertising campaign will boost this figure.