THE Co-op is increasing the number of supplies from smaller breweries, with the prospect of seeing them tap into sales of around five million pints.
The retail giant is extending a programme of buying local beer following a pilot scheme in Yorkshire and is set to complete a UK-wide roll out in the coming weeks.
Almost 200 smaller suppliers will benefit from the move, which is in line with the Co-op’s policy of backing British products.
Fierce Brewery of Dyce, Aberdeen, which won Breakthrough Brewery of the Year at this year’s Scottish Beer Awards, will supply Co-op’s stores with three of its ales, Easy Shift, Day Shift and Moose Mousse.
Louise Grant, of Fierce Brewery, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Co-op. Its support for local producers fits well with our ethos of sourcing locally – such as a local chocolatier providing ingredients for our Moose Mousse chocolate stout.”
Hucknall-based Lincoln Green Brewing Co will supply the community retailer’s food stores in Nottinghamshire with its ales.
Co-founder Anthony Hughes said: “This represents the brewery’s largest order to date, and working with the Co-op with its history, values and community is a great fit with our approach to business.”
The move is also a landmark deal for Derby’s Dancing Duck brewery, representing its largest order to date. The award-winning brewery employs eight people, and will supply the Co-op with three of its ales: Ay Up, 22 and Dark Drake – a beer that has previously won the accolade of Champion Stout of Britain.
Wales’ Boss Brewing has a deal to supply around 100 Co-op stores with canned ale coming ahead of a New Year move to a new brewery site.
The brewery’s £250,000 conversion of the old Landore cinema in Swansea breathes new life into the listed building with the creation of a brewery and tap room bar with canning and bottling facility.
Sarah John, co-founder of Boss Brewing, said: “Working with the Co-op has played a big part in our business development, opening up new markets for us and creating brand awareness in communities across Wales.”
Simon Dryell, head of local sourcing at the Co-op, said: “The innovation, passion and quality going into these products is what makes them special. Our customers tell us that food provenance really matters to them. Quality, trust, convenience and value are key for consumers.”
Jake Woods, Co-op Beer Buyer, said: “Locally produced ale is an exciting category.
“We see significant potential for continued sustainable growth, and we are delighted to support and champion these beers which are brewed with pride and passion to deliver consistently great quality and taste.”
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