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Miller Brewing Co probes Australian market

Miller Brewing Co.'s brew is heading to Australia, marking the first entry into a market outside the U.S.

Miller Chill has done so well domestically since its release earlier this year that the company decided to export it to Australia, spokesman Julian Green said Monday.

The beer brewed with hints of lime and salt is part of the Milwaukee-based brewer's effort to promote premium brands as domestic sales of mainstream brews like Miller Genuine Draft slip.

The beer will be available in bottles in 7,500 stores in Australia starting Monday, with plans to expand that next year, Green said. It will be brewed in the U.S. and shipped to Australia.

Like Americans, Australians want to trade up to newer, more expensive beers, Green said.

"There's a very strong interest in imported beers and different styles," he said.

The timing of the launch coincides with the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The beer was launched in the U.S. this summer and ads played up its refreshing taste.

Coincidentally, Miller, which is owned by London-based SABMiller PLC, just began brewing Foster's beer on Nov. 1. Foster's is owned by Australian beverage company Foster's Group Ltd. SABMiller PLC announced this summer that Miller was entering into a 10-year partnership to brew Foster's Lager and Special Bitter brands sold in the U.S.

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