InBev is dropping one of the members of its Artois family in the UK, after less than three years on the market.

The brewer confirmed yesterday (20 February) that it will replace Artois Bock in the UK with Eiken Artois in both the on- and off-trade, starting this week.

The oak-aged beer will hit the UK off-trade in March, in a four-pack of 330ml bottles, while it will line up alongside Stella Artois and Peeterman Artois on on-trade Artois fonts from this week.

Artois Bock was launched in May 2005, and will be delisted in the on-trade from the middle of next month, with the beer departing the off-trade channel in mid-April.

The new beer carries an abv of 4.6%, compared to Bock's 6.2% abv.

"Product innovation is the key driver of the Artois family concept because InBev UK is committed to expanding consumer choice through offering a mix of brands that is regularly revised," the company said.

"InBev UK is informing stockists of the decision and will continue to work with them to ensure the range of Artois family brands they stock reflects their consumer profile and commercial needs."

The launch of Eiken Artois will be backed by point-of-sale in the off-trade, while press activity during the summer will promote the brand in both the off- and on-trade.

"The use of oak ageing - something that is relatively new for lager brewing but is well established in wine-making - brings complexity through its depth of flavours, rather than bitterness and that will attract both men and women to the brand," said InBev UK's managing director of take home retail, Steve McAllister. " The new sales impetus created by Eiken Artois will help to add value to the category and drive premiumisation going forward."