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8th July 2022

Kirin Ichiban launches on innovative draught solution in the UK

The No.1 beer in Japan will be made available on the pioneering Draughtmaster for the first time, providing an enticing new opportunity for restaurants and the On Trade.

For the first time in the UK, premium Japanese beer Kirin Ichiban will be available on Draughtmaster – an innovative draught beer solution developed by Carlsberg Group.

Draughtmaster offers a range of benefits to the On Trade to make serving beer easier, more efficient and provide better returns. Beer is delivered fresh for six times longer than in steel kegs, providing unrivalled quality for over a month after tapping. The revolutionary use of compressed air means there is no need for an added CO2 cylinder, with beer dispensed through to a built-in air compressor.

Outlets also benefit from Draughtmaster’s semi-automatic cleaning system, with lines only needing cleaning every four weeks – 75% less than for typical steel keg lines. The PET kegs used in the modular Draughtmaster system are compact, stackable and 43% lighter than metal kegs, making them simpler to store and move. When finished, the PET kegs can be disposed of and won’t require collecting.

Together, these innovations add up to less waste, more time, and better returns for On Trade businesses.

Respecting the beer’s heritage and contemporary appeal, Kirin Ichiban uses only the finest malt and hops and is still made using the Japanese first press brewing process, also known as the ichiban shibori method. This process sees only the first press of the grain used to ensure a premium quality and refined, smooth taste. This traditional process has been central to the brand’s success, with Kirin Ichiban now available in more than 90% of authentic Japanese restaurants in the UK.

To coincide with launch of Kirin Ichiban on Draughtmaster, the brand has completely overhauled its On Trade presence and iconography, integrating an iconic symbol of Japanese life – the cherry blossom – into its new design. The overhaul includes a new-look font, T Bar, tap handle and an entire suite of premium Point of Sale (POS) including mobile bars, an essential to the modern On Trade.

As part of the Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) World Beer portfolio, Kirin joins an excellent range of drinks available through Draughtmaster, including San Miguel, Brooklyn, Poretti and Somersby Cider.

Dharmesh Rana, Director of Marketing for World Beer at CMBC, said: “These are exciting times for the Kirin Ichiban brand in the UK. As consumers love for all things Japanese continues to grow, Kirin brings a different side of Japanese culture to them, one that is based on balance, harmony, craftmanship and quality natural ingredients.

“That’s what we have tried to deliver through the brand overhaul and new POS – combine that with the exceptional quality delivered through the Draughtmaster system and you have a winning formula. We can offer customers premium Japanese beer while taking away the stress of changing kegs or CO2 and saving them money at the same time. The system is fantastically compact and doesn’t require a cellar, making it perfect for small, premium food-led venues looking to offer their customers high-quality draught beer.”

Kirin Ichiban will be available in 20L Draughtmaster from Friday 1st July. It is also offered in 30L or 50L steel keg, as well as 24 x 330ml and 12 x 500ml bottle. To learn more about getting started with Draughtmaster, contact the team here.


Notes to Editors

About Kirin Ichiban

Crafted with the finest ingredients for freshness and pure enjoyment, Kirin Ichiban represents a rich culture of meticulousness. We choose every ingredient and carry out every step of the process with awareness true to Japanese craftsmanship. Unlike other beers, we use only the first press of the wort to brew beer to its purest state for the best flavour.

The Japan Brewery Company, established in 1885, first began brewing Kirin beer in 1888. The market welcomed Kirin, recognising the beer’s authentic German brewmasters who used only the finest German ingredients. In 1907, the Japan Brewery Company changed its name to Kirin Brewery, continuing their high standards in securing the best malt and hops and investing in facilities.

This emphasis on quality led to Kirin ranking in the top tier of Japanese beers. The launch of Kirin Ichiban in 1990, with its unique first press wart process, generated record sales and soon became one of the company’s most successful products. Today, Kirin Ichiban holds a special spot in the hearts of millions of beer lovers in Japan—and around the world.

About Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company is one of the newest, historic brewers in the UK. Formed out of a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s PLC, who are both shareholders, the brewer combines over 300 years of shared values, history and heritage in UK brewing.

The brewer provides its customers and consumers with an unrivalled portfolio of lagers, ales and craft beer brands from the very best of two master brewing teams, plus those under license from valued partners. These include lagers such as Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt and Poretti; premium cask and packaged ales, including Hobgoblin, Marston’s Pedigree, Tetley’s, Wainwright and 61 Deep; brands under license including San Miguel, Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin; a broad selection of alcohol-free beers; plus distribution of the Brooklyn Brewery craft portfolio.

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company also owns and operates a brewery and distribution network across the UK, including the Carlsberg brewery in Northampton; Marston’s in Burton upon Trent; Banks’s in Wolverhampton; Wychwood in Witney, Oxfordshire; Jennings in Cockermouth, Cumbria; Ringwood in Hampshire; and Eagle in Bedford; plus a National Distribution Centre in Northampton and 15 UK-wide distribution depots.

Press release from Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

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