While Guinness is considered by many to be the quintessential Irish stout, Heineken is looking to tackle the Diageo-owned brand head-on with its latest product launch, Island's Edge.
Aimed at consumers aged between 28-35 years-old, and unveiled to coincide with the impending reopening of indoor hospitality in Ireland, Island's Edge has been launched by Heineken Ireland following a two year development process, which involved collaboration with consumers and customers, the brewer said.
Heineken Ireland, which already brews the popular Irish stouts Murphy's and Beamish, said that the new launch is 'progressive' and 'relevant to [consumers] lives today', while also resonating with an up and coming generation of stout drinkers.
Rejuvenate The Stout Category
According to Paula Conlon, marketing manager for stouts and ciders at Heineken Ireland, the new launch will aim to "rejuvenate" the stout category.
"Island’s Edge offers a modern take on stout with a refreshing taste and a progressive attitude. The unexpected addition of tea to the stout has resulted in a smoother, creamier, more accessible stout which consumers loved in taste tests," she said.
"As the hospitality sector continues on its path to reopening and consumers make a fond return to their locals, we’re thrilled that a refreshing pint of Island’s Edge will await them.”
Island's Edge boasts an ABV of 4%, and will initially be launched in 300 Dublin pubs, ahead of a wider rollout later in the year, Heineken said.
According to Heineken Ireland head brewer PJ Tierney (pictured), the stout incorporates a tincture of another popular Irish beverage to give it its unique flavour.
"When we discovered that adding a touch of tea at just the right moment, softens the bitterness of stout making it smoother tasting, we knew we had landed on an unexpectedly refreshing pint of stout," he said.
On an international basis, Heineken reported flat beer volumes in the first quarter of its financial year. The drinks firm recently took control of India's largest brewer, United Breweries and is in talks to acquire South Africa's Distel.