Carling, Worthington headed to U.S.?

Coors may import brands to acquired from Interbrew

June 24, 2002 - Coors Brewing may soon begin importing two British brands it bought when it acquired the Bass brewing interest from Belgium's Interbrew, according to reports in British newspapers.


"We are interested in presenting specialty brands in the U.S.," Coors president and chief executive officer Leo Kiely said. "Obviously it wasn't the prime reason for the deal, but we think there is something there, and our brand people have that under consideration as we speak."

Kiely said plans to import Carling -- Britain's top-selling lager with 19% of the market -- were in the early stages, but preparations to re-introduce Worthington in the United States were farther along.

"The provenance of Worthington's is an authentic British ale," he said. "We have plans for that." Worthington White Shield is considered a British classic. After the Worthington brewery closed, Bass acquired the brand and production moved to various breweries. Coors bought the Worthington name along with Bass.

Worthington White Shield won best bottled conditioned beer at the Great British Beer Festival as recently as 2000. It was briefly available in parts of the United States.

Coors is also expected to introduce Coors Light brand in the United Kingdom. It is being tested in Ireland and Scotland and could be rolled out nationally if consumers show interest.

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