On a holy mission

Nigel McNally, MD of Kestrel brand owner Brookfield Drinks.

BEER industry executive Nigel McNally had a dream to breath new life into once well-known drinks brands.

He put together an offer and bought the Kestrel beer brand from his then employer. Since then his firm has also bought the Diamond cider brand.
But it’s Kestrel that has seen most work to date.
A brewing contract was put in place with Tennent’s, which sees the historic brewer use historic techniques including the “holy brewing” method (fermentation takes at least a week and so always incudes a Sunday).
The branding has been entirely redesigned. The range has been extended to include a 4% lager and a 5% lager. And there are plans in the pipeline for a 2.8% brew and an alcohol-free beer.
The holy brewing method looks appropriate because McNally sees himself on a mission. He wants Britain’s brewers to develop a high-quality, distinctly British lager-making culture.
“The craft beer trend has exploded and shows no sign of slowing down,” he said.
But it isn’t all about hugely hopped IPAs,” he argues.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking out brands that demonstrate true provenance and traceability of ingredients like Kestrel Premium Lager.
“Retailers should capitalise on this ever-growing trend by offering a dedicated space for British lagers on shelf.”
Kestrel had been given excellent support by independent and symbol stores and by wholesalers,” he said.
It has committed to a year long advertising campaign on Comedy Central and MTV which is said to be paying dividends.
And it’s now gained its first supermarket listing. Kestrel 5% Premium Lager is now on sale in 330ml bottle- and 500ml can four-packs in Asda stores across Scotland.