Sales and marketing director Richard Davies said take-home currently only represents 2 per cent of Brains' total business but its priorities were shifting. "The on-trade is currently declining, but luckily the take-home market is still showing some growth," Davies said.
As reported in OLN's July 27 issue, the Cardiff-based brewer has recruited Paul Harvey as take-home account manager along with a team of support staff. "You need to prove yourself within your heartland ... the multiples have realised that ale is regional and they are looking to support regional brands," Davies said.
Harvey's first priority will be to grow the distribution of Brains' packaged beers from its current South Wales heartland throughout the country.
Within Wales, Brains will focus on pushing Brains Bitter, Brains SA and SA Gold as well as launching its newest addition - continental-style Welsh beer 45 - into the off-trade in 33cl bottles.
In the second stage of Brains' growth plans it will seek more listings in England, with SA Gold the priority brand. "It's pale in colour and a hoppier ale which suits the English palate," Davies said.
Amber ale Reverend James will be repackaged in bottles. Brains Dark will be the third brand aimed at Engl and.
Davies said discussions with multiples were ongoing. "I think we might get national distribution next year but more realistically it will be summer 2008," he said. "Twelve months down the track we will have broad distribution."
Marketing plans for England are a "work in progress", he said, but Brains is more likely to look at sports sponsorship than national ad campaigns.
The Association of Welsh Independent Brewers has been set up. For more details go to awib.org.uk.