Asahi readies European production for Super Dry - report

Asahi is to start producing its Super Dry beer brand in Europe, the brewer's president has told reporters.

Super Dry will begin production at Asahi's Padua factory in the north of Italy, one of the brewing assets it acquired from SABMiller last year, Akiyoshi Koji told Bloomberg in an interview last week. The company will start selling Super Dry in Italy and the UK from January, Koji said.

"I tried the beer there before production began, and the taste was the same as in Japan," Koji said in Tokyo.

Asahi's takeover of SAB's former beer assets, including Grolsch, Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Pilsner Urquell, has enabled it to expand in Europe. The brewer last year set up a European headquarters, Asahi Europe, with units in the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The expansion looks set to continue, with Koji telling Reuters reporters that Asahi is ready to follow the US$11bn it has spent on acquisitions in the past year with billions of dollars" more.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Koji said Asahi wants to double sales of Super Dry outside of Japan, China and the US to 11m cases in the next five years. He also said Peroni and Pilsner Urquell will launch in Japan next year.