BELLA BIRRA! Launching the new Birra Moretti beer with some delicious pizza from Orto in Bedford Street are (l-r) United Wines Brand Manager David Greenlees and Orto co-owner Ashley French.

A REFRESHING new Italian beer with ‘a hint of sea salt’ has reached Northern Ireland’s shores, courtesy of leading lager brand Birra Moretti and Craigavon-based drinks distributor United Wines. 

Sale di Mare, which translates as ‘salt of the sea’, is the newest member of the Birra Moretti ‘famiglia’ and promises to refresh the local lager market with an authentic taste of the Italian coast.

Harvested from Sicily, Sale di Mare (pronounced ‘sah-lay dee mah-ray’) is a naturally unfiltered, medium-bodied premium lager (4.8% ABV), brewed with Italian passion and the finest quality ingredients.

Slightly hazy in colour, its extra hop aromas give a fuller taste than Birra Moretti L’Autentica, with herbal aromas of citrus and pine.

With sea salt commonly used in food to enrich flavours, Sale di Mare isn’t just great as a stand-alone beer, but also paired with food, its taste profile perfectly complementing some of Italy’s finest coast-inspired dishes.

United Wines Brand Manager David Greenlees believes the new lager will tempt ‘curious’ drinkers and encourage more people to discover beer this summer.

We are absolutely thrilled to introduce Sale di Mare to the Northern Ireland market,” said David.

“With its crisp refreshing taste and very cool Italian coast vibe, it’s a perfect beer for the summer, so let’s hope we get some well-deserved sunshine over the next few months!

 “If not, just close your eyes, take a sip and imagine you’re basking in the Sicilian sun,” he laughed.

“Research shows that 37%** of consumers like trying new drinks brands, and we’re sure that the Northern Ireland public will be very curious to try this interesting new beer from the popular Birra Moretti brand.” 

Italian beers account for almost two thirds* of all lager sales in the UK, with Birra Moretti the biggest brand, having surpassed over £1bn of retail sales in the last year.

The company has developed Sale di Mare in response to the rising demand for Continental style lagers.

With a strong 22% value growth* in the UK over the past year, Continental lager is the largest sub-category in packaged lager – worth over £330M* and stocked in over 70%* of all On-Trade outlets.

Lager is the second most traded-up category** with one fifth of consumers likely to trade up, and over half of consumers willing to pay more for better quality,” continued United Wines’ David Greenlees.

The launch of Sale di Mare in Northern Ireland gives local outlets a great opportunity to build on their premium continental lager offering with a huge market-leading brand.”

Sale di Mare is now available from United Wines in 330ml and 660ml bottles.

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Founded in 1985, United Wines, a subsidiary of Heineken Ireland, is now one of the biggest drinks distributors on the island of Ireland.

Operating from an 80,000 square foot warehouse in Craigavon, with 55 staff on its books, United Wines distributes an extensive portfolio of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks to more than 1,000 bars, restaurants, hotels, off licenses, cash & carries, regional wholesalers and national multiples throughout the country.

* Source – CGA MAT P9 2023, OPUS 2023

** Source – OPUS 2023

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