Carlsberg goes all red for Liverpool FC fans

Carlsberg releases limited edition red beer brewed specially for Liverpool FC fans to celebrate legendary manager Bill Shankly’s decision to play in an all red kit.

Teams wearing red win more. That was the view of legendary Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly when he famously swapped his team’s white shorts and socks for red ones – a choice that preceded the club’s most successful ever period and has stood ever since.

To celebrate this historic move, and a relationship with Liverpool FC which spans 26 seasons, Carlsberg has worked with its brewmasters and scientists at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory in Copenhagen to go all red especially for Liverpool FC fans. That’s an all red label, bottle and brew.

Legendary Liverpool FC forward, Ian St John, played over 300 times for the club, and was part of Bill Shankly’s team that switched to all red. St John said: 

“When our boss, Bill Shankly, told us we were wearing all red – the players were 100% behind the decision and it proved to be a great move. He thought it would make us feel 7ft tall, and it really did give you the feeling of power. From then on, the all-red Liverpool kit has become iconic in world football.”

Bill Shankly was not the only person to claim that teams in red are more successful. In more recent years, researchers have shown that red sports teams are more likely to win - due to the psychological effect of wearing a colour that throughout evolution has symbolised dominance and status.

Russell Hill, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Durham University, who has conducted scientific research studies on the influence of red in sport, said:

"Research shows that the colour red has been perceived as dominant throughout evolution in sporting competition. This can give the team wearing red an advantage due to an enhanced perception of dominance among opposition, and an increased confidence among the team wearing red.”

The limited edition 4.6% ABV pilsner gets its distinctive colour from using a barley variety that is naturally red – curated by barley experts at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, famous for groundbreaking discoveries including the pH Scale and purified yeast.

Birgitte Skadhauge, Head of the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, said: 

“When we were set the challenge of brewing an all red beer for Liverpool FC fans, as part of our constant pursuit of better, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Unlike traditional red ales, the red colour of this pilsner comes from the outer-shell of the red barley variant - which has a relatively low climate-resistance and has therefore proved tricky to grow in the quantity we required for brewing. It’s taken over a year of experimentation, but we’re delighted that our team have finally been able to crack it. We brewed this special beer for Liverpool FC fans and we hope they enjoy it.”

Carlsberg’s partnership with Liverpool FC is the longest in the Premier League, spanning 26 seasons. In 2017, the Danish beer brand celebrated its 25-year anniversary by brewing a limited-edition beer with ‘red hops’, which used unique research and state-of-the-art technology to harness the fan atmosphere of 25 years of Liverpool FC matches.

The limited-edition beer - named Red Barley - will be launched at Anfield ahead of Liverpool FC’s Premier League match with Huddersfield Town on Friday 26 April before being shared with Liverpool fans across the world.


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Head of Group External Communications

Kenni Leth

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