Diageo brings an Irish ale, Smithwick’s, to Korea

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Diageo brings an Irish ale, Smithwick’s, to Korea


Diageo Korea, the county’s leading whiskey importer, released Irish red ale beer Smithwick’s to tap local consumers who are increasingly developing a taste for imported premium beers. The company, which already distributes Guinness Irish stout in Korea, said Smithwick’s is available in 43 countries and Korea is the first Asian nation to receive the beer.

“Guinness saw a 30 percent increase in sales this year compared to last,” Diageo Korea CEO Kim Jong-woo said Friday. “Imported beers make up less than five percent of the entire Korean beer market but we estimate that will quickly grow to 10 percent as more customers are looking for a variety of premium beers. Smithwick’s will target customers who enjoy lagers.”

Currently, 98 percent of the beer in Korea is lager and Kim said there’s room for ale to grow. Smithwick’s has a history of more than 300 years, making it about half a century older than Guinness, but the beer has a lower alcohol content of 3.8 percent compared to the stout’s 4.3 percent. The beer is available on draft, in 300 milliliter (one fluid ounce) can and 440 milliliter bottle.
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