Speaking in Dublin at the launch of its Molson Canadian lager, Mr Molson said: "We're currently number three behind Diageo and Heineken. Within five to six years we'd like to be number two in the market. That's a pretty tall ambition, but it's good to have tall ambitions."
Molson Coors, whose brands include Coors Light and Carling, has spent €25 million over the past four years establishing a foothold here. It has built a market share of 11 per cent and acquired the Franciscan micro-brewery in Cork and its portfolio of craft beers. This still puts it a distant third to Guinness-owner Diageo and Dutch lager giant Heineken.
Molson Coors expects to produce 100,000 hectolitres of beer at its Cork brewery following a substantial investment in facilities this year. This will include the launch of a new “community beer”.
Molson Canadian will be available in 300 pubs and off licences by the end of this month. It is being launched as a premium lager in draught, bottles and cans, supported by an advertising campaign worth a "few million euro", according to Niall Phelan, who heads the Molson Coors operation here.