Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to scrap the largest format of its Tennent's Super Lager in the UK seems eminently sensible

The UK Government has singled out “super-strength” lager and cider as a target for some time now in its bid to tackle the country's alcohol-related problems. Beers over 7.5% are already taxed higher, after a change to the rules in 2011

The category is also the focus of attention for homeless charities and the police. The charity Thames Reach has long called for action on high-strength brands, due to their popularity among the homeless. 

And now it appears coalition ministers, as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, have managed to convince producers the category has become just too toxic, literally and figuratively. 

Critics of the drinks industry will say the company's hand has been forced. A-B InBev could also be accused of paying lip-service to the problem by keeping the 440ml format of Tennent's Super. 

But, the move is clearly an acknowledgment that, with an abv of 9%, that's just too much for a can of 500ml beer. 

The focus now moves on to A-B InBev's rival Carlsberg, which has two brands that are also affected by the pledge. So far the Danish brewer has yet to publicly commit to a change on its Skol Super Lager and Special Brew Lager - both 9%. It has said: "We will be supporting the direction of the new pledge on packaging around strong beers to understand how we can support this on our brands." 

But with A-B InBev doing its bit, it appears Carlsberg has little choice but to act. 

Expert analysis

Cider Market in West Europe to 2019: Market Guide

Cider Market in West Europe to 2019: Market Guide

Synopsis Canadean’s, "Cider Market in West Europe to 2019: Market Guide" provides a snapshot of the Cider consumption in West Europe. The quantitative data in the report provides historic and more