Interbrew UK is to spend £11m on supporting Castlemaine XXXX in 2004, a 22% increase on last year's budget. The move follows a successful year for the brand in 2003, when XXXX sold 154m pints to become the fastest growing brand in England and Wales.

As part of the support package, Interbrew will launch a new bar countermount for the brand, in a move to re-establish XXXX as a credible, mainstream standard lager.

In a statement, Colin Pedrick, managing director of on-trade sales at Interbrew UK, said:
"The brand has had a fantastic first year in our portfolio - easily exceeding our sales and distribution targets. This strong performance provides us with a platform on which to develop the brand during 2004, with the new countermount a key part of this."

The countermount should be in all on-trade sites by the end of July.