Carlsberg’s UK venture has acquired the local rights to the Kronenbourg beer brand, previously held by Heineken.

Kronenbourg has been owned by Carlsberg since 2008 after the Danish brewer teamed up with Heineken to buy UK-based Scottish and Newcastle.

Following that deal, Heineken had the licence to brew and distribute Kronenbourg in the UK from its Manchester brewery.

That licence will transfer to Carlsberg Group’s UK venture Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) on 1 June.

“Supporting brands and innovating in the premium category is a key pillar of our strategy and adding Kronenbourg 1664 to our enviable portfolio is an incredible opportunity to achieve this,” Paul Davies, the CEO of CMBC, said.

“Kronenbourg 1664 is an excellent beer with a distinctive provenance, that is growing in both volume and value with strong brand awareness amongst consumers.”

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By GlobalData

The brewing and packaging of Kronenbourg will still be handled by Heineken under contract before moving to CMBC in 2024.

CMBC is a venture between UK brewer Marston’s and Carlsberg, in which the Danish group owns a majority share.

Heineken has negotiated a three-year commercial arrangement that will keep the Kronenbourg brand in stock in the UK on-premise sites it operates under its Star Pubs & Bars group.

“We’ve been a strong custodian of Kronenbourg in the UK over the last fourteen years, maintaining product quality and investing in its marketing and distribution as part of our portfolio,” said Boudewijn Haarsma, MD of Heineken’s UK arm.

“During this time, we have also been investing behind our premium brands, such as Birra Moretti, and taking ownership of super-premium beers Beavertown and Brixton. We’ve also exciting plans in the UK for our Spanish lager Cruzcampo.”

Heineken launched Cruzcampo this month in the UK on-trade.

At the start of the year, CMBC announced it would increase the wholesale prices for its packaged and draught products in the UK. Draught products prices were slated to rise by a minimum of 11%, with packaged products rising by 6%.