SABMiller, the brewing group, is considering restricting sales of Peroni in the UK to ensure the top-selling beer doesn't suffer the fate of rival Stella Artois.
Speaking ahead of a trading statement this week, Alan Clark, SABMiller Europe's managing director, said restricting distribution of the Italian premium label was one way to maintain the brand.
Sales of Stella have slumped badly in the UK this year, as the lustre of the "reassuringly expensive" beer has faded. In contrast, sales of Peroni surged by 20 per cent in the first half of 2008.
The news comes in a busy week for the drinks and leisure industry, with SABMiller, Britvic, Whitbread and Regent Inns, troubled owner of Australian bar chain Walkabout, all reporting numbers to the market.
Last month Regent, which also runs the Old Orleans and Bar Risa brands, said it was looking to sell off leaseholds on five of its Walkabout premises including two in London.