In efforts to break into the U.S. beer market, Guinness has launched a new dark lager called Guinness Black Lager.

The 4.5 percent strength brew gets its hue from the roasted barley added to it. The drinks giant says it’s new beer combines the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character and flavor of Guinness.

Doug Campbell, brand director at Guinness, said: “The US beer market is evolving and we believe this is the right time to introduce a lager to meet consumers' needs.”

“Guinness Black Lager will appeal to a range of drinkers; those who want a refreshing tasting beer with real character, and our loyal Guinness consumers, who want a variety of unique experiences and a refreshing taste profile for certain occasions.”

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Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, told the AP that Americans spent $101 billion on beer last year.  Owned by global drinks giant Diageo, Guinness is the third-largest imported beer in the U.S. but is still dwarfed by such as giants Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. In 2010

Guinness held 1.3 percent of the market place in the U.S. and shipped over 2.5 million barrels in 2010 according to Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS, Inc.

Master brewer at Guinness, Fergal Murray told the Associated Press it can even be enjoyed on the rocks.

“It is a Guinness lager and it’s going to be positioned against other lagers in the marketplace,” Murray offered.

“The days of room temperature pints are long gone,’’ Murray added.

Guinness Dark Lager will be fully launched on September 1.