Asahi Breweries is to begin brewing Asahi Super Dry in the UK. The Japanese brewer said yesterday (21 July) that it will consign production of the beer for the UK market to Shepherd Neame. Previously, Asahi sold its Super Dry beer in Europe through a Czech-based brewer to which it had outsourced local production since 2000.

The UK is Asahi's biggest market in Europe, the company said. Last year, total European sales for Asahi hit 550,000 cases, of which 250,000 cases were sold in the UK alone.

The brewer is targeting annual European sales of 1m cases by 2008. Overseas beer sales, including in China, the US and Europe, still only make up less than 1% of Asahi's total sales.