Tennent Caledonian yesterday launched its first new ale in more than a decade and said it was part of a drive that aims to see all of its products containing 100% Scottish barley by 2012.

Steve Annand, commercial managing director for Tennent’s, which has its brewery in Glasgow’s east end, described the new Caledonia Best product as the “perfect Scottish pint” and said it was the result of a near £1 million investment by the group.

He also said it was the first new ale produced by the brewery – which is now owned by Dublin-based C&C – since Tennent’s Velvet was launched in the mid-1990s.

Mr Annand said: “Everyone knows Tennent’s is synonymous with lager and the traditional Scottish pint – but in the 19th century Tennent’s was the world’s largest exporter of ales – and we exported as far afield as North America and Australia.

“In bringing a new product to market, it was important to look at our heritage in terms of brewing ales, but this is really about the future.”

He also said that it was hoped that “eventually” Caledonia Best would be exported to markets around the world.

The company said that 30% of Tennent Caledonian’s current production uses Scottish barley, but the aim is that by the end of next year, all of the entire range will use 100% Scottish barley.

Meanwhile, Mr Annand said that over the next six months, 5p from every pint sold will be used to create a seed fund to help sustain Scottish brewing and farming.

“Beer is enjoying a real renaissance now, and this new product has complete trace-ability,” he said.

“We have made important, new partnerships with Scottish barley farmers, and all the barley for Caledonia Best is grown on Scottish soil under Scottish skies to create a product that Scotland can be proud of, a badge of honour.”

The company revealed that it plans to roll out the 100% Scottish barley promise to the full Tennent Caledonian range in the coming years.

Asked if there was any concern over potential consumer confusion between the new product and rival beers’ similar branding, such as Belhaven Best and Caledonian 80/-, Mr Annand said: “Consumers are intelligent enough to know where their products come from.

“We’ve got Wellpark brewery on the branding, so people know it is part of the Tennent’s range.”

He added: “We are extremely pleased and proud to be launching a superb new best for Scotland – Caledonia Best.”