J Boag & Son's new owner, San Miguel, is poised to substantially boost sales of James Boag Premium Lager by launching it into the Asian market within the next six months.

Hong Kong and Singapore will be the first markets targeted, using San
Miguel's extensive Asian distribution network and J Boag's capacity to increase production of the brand threefold.

Until now, the beer was only sold in Australia, with small quantities exported to the UK and New Zealand. However, the brand has grown fast on the back of the surge in premium beer consumption.

"There are some really great opportunities regionally from Australia to New Zealand and through Asia to Korea and Japan," J Boag chairman,
Philip Adkins told just-drinks.com.

J Boag could "greatly lengthen its shadow", by the northward push.
Boag's marketing director, Lyndon Adams, said that the company's
Launceston brewery had the capacity to increase production of James
Boag Premium Lager to 4m cases annually. It currently was selling 800,000 cases a year but a 30% growth rate meant the 1m case mark would be passed this year.

The brewery had the capacity to increase overall production by 20%.
Adkins, who held 36% of J Boag before the $A92m buy-out, said he
had been told by San Miguel that it was "business as usual" and that he was to carry on in his current role.

He said, however, that he was considering several offers from other
brewing and spirits companies to take on a chief executive role to try to accomplish similar results as he had achieved for J Boag.
Boag's strength, he said, was its "great" management team and the strength of the J Boag brands.

A San Miguel technical team is currently in Tasmania, where J Boag is
headquartered, assessing production facilities.

Its arrival coincided with the San Miguel offer for J Boag, which closes tomorrow, reaching the 94% acceptance mark, meaning compulsory
acquisition of any non-acceptances can begin.

Chris Snow