Effective Jan. 1, 2017, White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA will embark on a new era of business for its emerging global Heineken brands with the creation of Five Points Trading Co., a new venture aimed at incubating a range of popular global beers in the United States, the company says. With the development of Five Points Trading Co., Heineken USA will be bringing its emerging premium brands back in-house, while utilizing the resources and expertise of the company’s established distribution network, it says.
Named in reference to the five points of Heineken’s iconic red star and America’s first melting-pot neighborhood in lower Manhattan, Five Points Trading Co. will embody the same energy, cultural diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of the historic neighborhood, the company says. The brands that will be represented by Five Points are established in the U.S market and currently are imported and sold by other importing companies whose contracts will expire at the end of 2016, it adds.
Five Points Trading Co. will be led by General Manager Charles (Chas) Littlefield, who, along with his team, will manage the new brands separately from Heineken USA’s current portfolio, the company says.
“Like its neighborhood namesake, Five Points Trading Co. will provide a nexus for new thoughts, perspectives and cultural exploration, while tapping into the legacy and import expertise of Heineken USA,” Littlefield said in a statement. “This portfolio of exceptional beers provides new opportunities to connect with millennial beer drinkers as they become more global and more adventurous with their taste. We are excited for the transition and are already hard at work developing our 2017 go-to-market strategy.”
Five Points Trading Co. will assume U.S. importer of record with responsibility for the following brands.
- Red Stripe: A pale lager, Red Stripe first brewed in Jamaica according to a recipe developed in 1938. Production of Red Stripe was moved from Jamaica to the United States and United Kingdom in 2012, but now has returned to Jamaica under the leadership of Heineken USA and Five Points Trading Co.
- Tiger: Introduced in 1932 as Singapore’s first locally brewed beer, Tiger quickly gained favor among Allied troops stationed in the Pacific during WWII, the company says. Brewed completely by the sun utilizing solar panels, Tiger is made with only the finest ingredients and brewed by a precise process that lasts more than 500 hours, it adds. The full-bodied beer has won more than 40 international awards and accolades.
- Birra Moretti: First introduced for sale in 1860, Birra Moretti is a premium quality, award-winning Italian beer made in the traditional way utilizing a production process that has remained unchanged since 1859. The best raw materials, along with a special blend of high-quality hops, give Birra Moretti its unique taste and fragrance, and enhance its perfectly balanced bitter taste, the company says.
- Affligem: This Belgian abbey beer was first brewed by monks in an abbey in Affligem, Belgium in the 11th century as a means to raise money, avoid drinking contaminated water and provide nutrition, according to the company. All Affligem beers undergo a double fermentation and production process that remains close to the brand’s roots. The second fermentation occurs in the bottle to impart more flavor as the beer rests for 14 days, it adds. While owned by Heineken today, the monks continue to oversee all aspects of brand production and packaging.
- Murphy’s Stout: Brewed in Cork, Ireland, and renowned for “keeping it real,” Murphy’s Stout is an authentic Irish Stout introduced by the Murphy brothers in 1856. Considered to be smoother and less bitter than its chief competitor, Murphy’s Stout flavor is evocative of caramel and malt and contains no carbonation largely due to the can’s nitrogen gas-containing widget that creates the draft-flow effect and distinctive head when opened, the company says.
- Prestige: Brewed in the first and only Haitian brewery, Prestige is an American-style lager that is brewed using state-of-the-art technology and natural hops, two-row malt, quality yeast and pure water.
- Sagres: Introduced in 1934 at the Portuguese World Exhibition, Sagres is a 100 percent natural lager-style beer that delivers refreshing brightness, medium body, dry character and a bitter taste, it says. Its light golden color and distinct taste celebrate the pleasures of Portugal.
- Mort Subite: A traditional Belgian lambic beer, Mort Subite is brewed with the highest levels of craftsmanship and slowly matured in oak barrels in which delicious fresh cherries are added, the company says.
Littlefield added: “Keeping the Five Point and Heineken USA portfolios separate will allow our current marketing and sales organization to maintain focus on our four core brands — Heineken, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow — while enabling Five Points to direct its energy and resources to developing the potential of those new to the company acquisitions. We are grateful to our current wholesaler partners, whose enthusiasm and dedication to cultivating these brands, to date, has been integral to their success.”