Diageo Renames U.S. Beer Division Amidst Renewed Category Focus

Diageo announced today that it is changing the name of its U.S. beer division from Diageo-Guinness USA to Diageo Beer Company USA.

Following several months of strategy work to help better position Diageo’s U.S. beer business for the future, it was decided that the group’s name should “convey Diageo’s brewing credentials and commitment to the broad category of premium beer,” the company said in a press release.

For the past few years, the team has focused on investing in Guinness and Smirnoff Ice, the two largest brands that currently make up the majority of the DGUSA business. Moving forward, Diageo Beer Company USA will be increasing investment in the Smithwick’s and Harp brands. The division also “has a deep innovation pipeline for beer and flavored malt beverages,” the company said.

As part of the renewed focus on its total U.S. beer portfolio, the company announced several collaborations and new products. These include:

  • Partnering with Steve Grasse to create a planned new-to-world crafted hard soda line called Quaker City Malting Co.
  • Launching a new Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer line.
  • Planning a collaboration with New York City celebrities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, hosts of New York’s number one rated radio sports show, to create a new, limited release Smithwick’s variant, to support a charitable partner.

“Diageo Beer Company USA will be a forward-thinking premium beer company, rooted in our brewing heritage and focused on brands, customers and consumers,” said Tom Day, President, Diageo Beer Company USA. “While Guinness will of course continue to play an essential role in our beer portfolio, the new Diageo Beer Company USA name will help highlight the contributions and potential of our other great brands like Smirnoff Ice, Smithwick’s and Harp.”

“This change truly represents a culture and mindset shift for Diageo’s U.S. beer business,” he added. “More and more, American beer drinkers are interested in experimenting with new styles and brands. That’s evident with the continued proliferation of craft beers and traditional flavored malt beverages, as well as the rise of hard sodas, spiked seltzers and ciders.”

More details about each of the new products will be available in the coming months, the company said. The name change will take effect within the coming weeks.

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