Canadian brewer Molson Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Independent Liquor, to introduce Carling lager in New Zealand and Australia.

The lager will be brewed and marketed by Independent Liquor and will be available by the end of October in the markets.

"This announcement is another demonstration of Molson's international strategy and the plan to build on the strength of the company's brand assets in new markets abroad," explained Peter Amirault, Senior Vice-president innovation and business development.

"We wanted to expand efforts behind the Carling brand and this marks a first step in that direction. Independent Liquor's impressive business performance with the launch of A Marca Bravara in New Zealand and Australia last July made it a partner of choice to introduce the Carling brand. Independent Liquor's distribution network efficiency and strong brewing capabilities will be a significant factor in the future success of the Carling brand in these markets."

Brand ownership of Carling is divided geographically amongst a number of brewers and the brand's combined volume across all of its markets makes it one of the 20 largest brands in the world.

Molson owns the rights to the Carling brand in more than 85 countries.

Roger Smith, Australasian Sales Director of Independent Liquor said "We are excited to bring a new premium international brand to the Australia and New Zealand marketplaces. We believe its clean taste, premium packaging and reputation will be embraced by consumers in Australia and New Zealand."