Foster's loses Asahi as brewer finds new home

The Japanese brewer of the imported beer mounts a fresh push into the Australian market.

The Japanese brewer of the imported beer mounts a fresh push into the Australian market.

FOSTER'S has lost the rights to Asahi as the Japanese brewer of the popular imported beer mounts a fresh push into the Australian market. From April 2, Asahi Group Tokyo will import and market its flagship Asahi Super Dry through a new premium beverages division at its local subsidiary, Independent Distillers.

Asahi's move is part of fallout from last year's takeover of Foster's by brewer SABMiller, which has already seen the Australian brewer lose Stella Artois to Lion Nathan. In response, Foster's has stepped up Australian promotion of its international beer roster, led by Italian pale lager Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

An Independent Distillers spokesman said the Asahi play would push the company into the top six alcohol companies in Australia and increase sales from about $300 million a year to about $400 million.

The push is to be spearheaded by two former Foster's executives, Andrew Amarant and Matt Grix.

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