The British owners of "lost" beer brand Hofmeister are targeting expansion across the UK as they tap nostalgia for the classic lager.
After buying the name and branding from Heineken at the end of 2015, chief executives Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers told City A.M. that they plan to see the newly-revived Hofmeister stocked as many as 3,000 bars and pubs across the country by next year, up from the current total of 170.
This comes after Hofmeister won the Best Lager in the World award at this year's International Wine and Spirits Competition, one year to the day after relaunching in the UK. It was the first lager to receive five stars in the competition.
Hofmeister was one of the biggest-selling beers in the UK during the 1980s, made iconic by its distinctive George the bear mascot and adverts.
Longhurst and Chambers bought the intellectual property rights to the dormant brand from Heineken in 2015, and kickstarted production of a new recipe for the lager at a family-run brewery in Bavaria.
The new Hofmeister's latest trial run takes it to a City of London watering hole, the Golden Fleece at Queen Street where Longhurst and Chambers hope it will prove successful enough to be put in more pubs owned by the Metropolitan Pub Company. It is already the top-selling lager at another City haunt: the Piano Works in Farringdon.
"We're very pleased with where we have managed to get to so far," said co-founder Spencer Chambers. "But we want to do this in a sustainable way."