Like so many foreigners before it, Ireland’s most famous beer brand is hoping that an all-American look will make it more popular in the U.S.
Guinness will debut a Blonde American lager in September, according to Businessweek.
The new product is a response to the increasing popularity of imports, as well as craft beers, in the U.S. While those segments are trending up, the former mainstays of the American beer market—notably light beers made by large domestic brands such as Bud Light—are headed in the opposite direction.
Brewed in the U.S. with yeasts from Ireland, Blonde American will be a much lighter color than traditional Guinness, but will still have the distinct flavor of a craft beer.
A similarly bittersweet yet mainstream appeal is one of the hallmarks of the Irish brewing giant’s “Made of More” campaign, in spots ranging from this Fourth of July’s “Empty Chair” to last year’s “Wheelchair.”
Yet a preview of the new beer’s packaging reveals the near-monochromatic branding typical of the major corporate brewers in the U.S. such as Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co. The fastest-growing craft beers, like those made by Lagunitas and Brooklyn Brewery, have markedly more colorful and often whimsical brand identities by contrast.
Maybe it’s time for the Guinness penguin to come back.