The Co-operative has added locally-produced ales from 50 local micro breweries to its range after making a commitment to double the number of its small local suppliers UK-wide.
The group is celebrating locally-produced ales in its convenience stores in communities across the UK and will coincide with the Co-op setting a five-point charter to further support and celebrate local small-scale suppliers.
Simon Dryell, ranging manager for the Co-op, said: “The innovation, quality and passion that goes into making these prized local products is why we are delighted to give them pride of place in our stores. We know that food provenance really matters to our customers and we are committed to investing in the UK economy and providing new opportunities to showcase and celebrate great British food.”
Richard Dennett, senior buyer for beers, ciders and spirits at the Co-op, added: “It is an exciting and dynamic category, we are seeing a shift in taste towards real ale, local beers and craft ale and there is potential for further explosive growth. And if the market for craft ales, which we launched in October, grows like it is in the US it could account for anything up to 20% of category sales in the next few years.”
One supplier is The Boss micro brewery in Llansamlet, Swansea, which will now supply around 80 Co-op food stores across Wales with an estimated 60,000 pints of ale in a year.
Sarah John, co-founder of the Boss Brewery, said: “It is a huge opportunity to build awareness of our brand, this can really help to take our business to the next level.”
First established in April 2015 after originally brewing beer at home, it now employs 10 people and will supply three of its ales; Boss Brave; Blaze and Bare.
The Glamorgan Brewery Co is another micro brewery that will supply Co-op stores. Richard Anstee, Director of Glamorgan Brewery Co, said: “Glamorgan Brewing Co is on an exciting journey, we stand by our core principals of using the finest water and ingredients and cutting no corners to make the perfect pint. We are constantly asked where our ales can be bought and this has come at the perfect time to support our business development and build further awareness of our brand.”