01 December 2023

AB-InBev launches Via Roma lager and locally brewed Leffe in UK

United Kingdom | What do punters see in all those Mediterranean lagers? Thanks to their popularity, AB-InBev is expanding its UK beer portfolio with the release of a new 4.5 percent ABV Italian-style lager, Via Roma, exclusively at the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

Like Madri (Molson Coors), Via Roma is brewed in the UK, further muddying the water between a brand’s positioning and its actual provenance.

Per the website just-drinks.com, the beer carries a “subtle hint of Italian orange”, as it was “inspired by the eternal city of Rome”. It beats me how anyone can associate Rome with orange groves, but so what.

Leffe brewed in the UK

Earlier this year, some commentators on Reddit remarked that AB-InBev had quietly lowered the ABV of its Leffe beer from 6.6 percent to 6 percent, without reducing the price. The brewer put the recipe change down to the UK’s “consumer palate”.

Previously, Leffe was brewed by AB-InBev in Belgium for the UK market. As of this year, all Leffe sold in the UK comes from the group’s Samlesbury brewery.

It comes as recent changes in the UK tax regime mean lower-strength beers are taxed less than their stronger peers.

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