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Beers we loved this Spring
Beers we loved this Spring

Kveik, Mild, Helles and Brut. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the travel section of the Idler and were exploring potential retreats to a Scandinavian island. Thankfully not. Kievek, Mild, Helles and Brut are all in fact beer styles, and with brewers gearing up to showcase their takes on rather more challenging and on-trend styles during this year’s festival season, now is a great time to explore each. Pale ales and stouts are two a penny – the beers below are beers not to be missed.

Northern Helles by Donzonko Brewing

With every year in craft beer labeled as ‘the year of lager’, it’s important to never dismiss the classic and understated style of beer. Helles beers tend to have a sweeter and lighter edge – hell meaning ‘light’ or ‘bright’ in German. Unfortunately, it’s rare that anything actually lives up to the billing. Donzoko’s Northern Helles, however, does. Quite simply, if you don’t like this, you won’t like modern craft lagers. That’s a bold statement, I know. But Northern Helles is just about as good as it gets for a UK-based brew. Slightly malty and dark with a sweet edge, it’s a beer that flows down and one you can turn to time and time again. It’s so well executed you’d expect it to come out of Germany rather than Donzoko’s base in Hartlepool. It’s no surprise that Donzoko harbours a fixation with German brewing. The brewers label this “our version of a Bavarian Style unfiltered lager. Sweet malt, subtle floral hops and a crisp refreshing finish. Inspired by lazy days by the river Eisbach, this is our flagship beer that will change what you think about lager.” We can’t argue with any of that and, if Northern Helles is anything to go by, this really IS the year of the lager. Until next year, of course.

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Haakon by Drop Project

Kviek is certainly riding a wave in the brewing world at the moment. It’s a type of Norwegian Farmhouse Ale yeast and, when used to ferment at certain temperatures, it “provides plenty of fruity esters and tropical top notes.” That’s basically a pale ale with a bit of funk, and it’s showcased wonderfully in Haakon, a full-flavoured pale ale by the new startup brewery Drop Project. The yeast is a little more sour, more acidic and more raspy (all in a good way, you understand), which leads to a more powerful beer. You still get all the classic pale ale notes but what you tend to get at the end of the sip is an interesting bite. Normally breweries would use bittering hops to give their brews a lingering flavour, but here Kviek takes over, making for something slightly different to your average brew. One to try from a brewery worth watching as they grow.

Zero Gravity by Lost+Found

Onto Brut. This little known beer style is exactly what you think it’s going to be… although if you’re thinking of an 80’s talcum powder you’ll be  disappointed. Brut beers have risen in popularity over the last year as breweries seek out a sweet spot somewhere between a lager and a pale ale. This style bridges the two well and at the same time brings an air of sophistication to both. The name comes from brewers using champagne yeast or similar to drive the dryness of a beer down to near desert levels. 

In the case of brut IPAs, all the wort’s sugar is converted into alcohol during fermentation thanks to a special enzyme called amyloglucosidase. With no sugar left to caress the palate, the resulting beer is totally dry. This all sounds rather specialist but in Zero Gravity Lost+Found have created a brut beer that’s as drinkable as the day is long. Too dry to be a beer but not winey enough to be wine, brut styles have historically been something of a flash in the pan. New styles keep popping up though, and with summer just around the corner you’ll be sure to find some somewhere near you.

Dark Mild by BOXCAR

When you think of a pint of mild, most minds conjure up an old midlands boozer with uninspiring cheap beer piled on every table as smoke lingers in the air mid-afternoon. “What’s wrong with that?!” I hear you cry. Admittedly not much… but the point remains that mild has long been in need of a resurgence, and it’s happening! BOXCAR are one of the most up-and-coming breweries in London (which itself houses a great many up-and-coming breweries), and they’ve taken on the challenge of making an exciting mild. The result is mild, yes. But not as you know it. Dark Mild has all the classic mild flavours but dialled up a level or two. It’s slightly sweet, brown and delicious. It’s about as far from a working men’s club as you could get – but, thankfully, still not a million miles from mild’s true roots. Look out for this – and a whole raft of other experimental beers – in good beer shops near you.  

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Welcome to winter! Chilly nights and falling leaves… I kind of like it. The headline news is we are 4-6 weeks away from the first Craft Metropolis bar in SE20 London! More info to follow on the newsletter but first a quick bit of news about what’s new this month:

Our top news for beers this month is the Introduction of mega-brewery Cloudwater to our shelves. With the forthcoming bar and shop the time to update the site and the type of beers is upon us starting with one of the best! We covered most corners from a Small Pale (which just shows what a sub-3% beer can taste like without the big booze) though to a Belgian Bitter. We also made sure Lager fans had their hit as well a a brilliant DDH Pale and a classic juicy IPA. Limited as hens teeth on dodo, grab ’em quick!

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Second up we grabbed a whole load more Redchurch brews. Lots more experimentation coming out of the brewery thins month including an Apricot Pale (with Vibrant Forest no less) and an Experimental IPA. Both excellent. There’s a movement and trend towards brewing German marzen beers and we’ve added this to the roster too.

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Next up one of London’s finest and who says summer is over (other than me at the start of this newsletter)?! Pina Colada from BBNo brings back a glimmer of that summer sun in the gloom of the darkening evenings. It’s full of pineapple and coconut and is a cracking brew. Another nod to summer is also introduced in the form of a limey Mexican lager and a cracking three hop DDH Table beer. Our pick has to be the Pina but a close second is the Sour IPA. Loads of hops but still lots of pucker from the sourness. Great beer as always from BBNo.

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We have two new breweries up next (for CM) in the shape of Forest Road and Rock Leopard.

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While Forest Road are bring a top lager in Posh and a classic pale in Work Rock Leopard bring big soupy hoppy brews. The imaginatively titled Distant Cousin of a Mu Mu Cat IPA is our pick!

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Last but not least we some partizan (can you tell we love them yet?) and new cans beers from One Mile End. The 4am Juicy sold out in record time last time and is our pick from them but there’s a ton to go at from Partizan too.

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Old favourites like Raspberry and Lemon Saison return and the mega 8% Stout too. But there’s new and intriguing brews like L’Intensa and Beer? If you’re looking for flavours you’ve not had before grab a Partizan or two!

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I hope you enjoy picking and trying these brand new craft beers as much as I enjoyed hunting them out for you/me!

Cheers in beers!

Oli

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Wow August was hot! I hope you enjoyed the summer sun and are ready for a slightly more chilled September? Here’s a quick bit of news about what’s new this month in the world of craft beer online:

Our headline for this month is the return of Siren brewery with a load of their beer including staple core and specials. Ten Dollar Shake is an old favourite and its’ so good to see it in a 330ml can for more people to grab hold of. As good as that is (and it really is very very good) it’s somehow pipped by Oats on Oats which has all the oaty creaminess and all the hops too! Try both maybe? Of the core range you know what you are getting; easy drinking hoppy and fresh delicious beer. Our pick of them has to be the dry-hopped lager Santo. If you think lager is boring think again this is brilliant and choc-full of flavour.

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Second up the kings are back. We’ve not had many pales from Kernel recently so a little treat for you right from the beautiful basics up. We start with Table (always brilliant, this time with El Dorado hops) through very different pales to two IPAs and a much sought after Beiré de Saison! Our pick would be the Amarillo/ Cascade/Vic Sectret pale and the Saison but they are all worthy of anyones attention.

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Next up….we’ve been chatting to Affinity Brew for 3 years so we guessed them releasing 4 big cans for of delicious beer was as good an excuse as any to grab them and ping them on the site for you to get your chops around. A really small set-up and well worth supporting we bring you a session IPA, a sour and a saison. Our pick of the bung has to be the single hop Glass of Drink centennial IPA. Very floral and full of punch.

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OK, not a month goes by without some new Brick beer right? Yeah, sorry about that! I blame them for making amazing beers and I’ve told them as much. “You stop making great beer, I’ll stop buying it!” haha.

From the light end of zippy to the big end of dark and moody we have two sours and their easy-drinking Pils to the mega-dog that is Scroggin’. Needless to say if the suns out the grisette is our pick but as the leaves turn yellow we are reaching for the nutty dark 10% impy. Enjoy!

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Last but not least we have our first cans from Mondo. Mondo have always been well represented on these virtual shelves because of their drinkabilty and fun approach to brewing. This has continued through their new series and it looks like there will be no stopping them now. Lots of styles, plenty of experimentation and bags of flavour. The Mango Pale is probably the pick of these but they are all well rounded and well executed brews.

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I hope you enjoy picking these beers as much as I enjoyed hunting them out and trying them for you/me!

Cheers and keep smiling

Oli

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Our headline for this month is the return of Anspach and Hobday. A Bermondsey beer mile mainstay and a brewery that are really hitting the right notes with their core range as well as specials.

We took the whole range on so you can try as many as possible. The Porter is their flagship and first beer and extremely well executed. For more summer drinking the Citrus Sour and the Noble Saison are real thirst quenchers….along with a Session Porter which goes down a treat well chilled.

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Second up we have some of the best beers in London this year. BBNo – as you probably already know – are a firm fav of ours but these beers blew us away. Of the three I was expecting to love the Session IPA and like the others but the Blueberry and Lime Berliner Weiss and even more so the Triple Fruited Gose were out of this world. Highly highly recommending both of these or I will drink them all quite happily!

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Next up are a few old favourites. We have restocked on some classic core from Weird Beard. The hoppy trio of Trench, Little Things and Shadow are some of the beers that started the craft beer adventure for me. All well worth a stock up or revisit if it’s been a while. We’ve also added their new hopped pale ale Gravelands too.

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OK, an absolute treat for you next. Not only have we stocked up on one of our favourite beers from Hammerton (Crunch Peanut Butter Milk Stout) we’ve grabbed some Fudge Cake too! Wow, talk about indulgence in a glass! Fancy something lighter? We have their 440ml cans of their NEPA and Concrete Jungle. The latter is our pick of the brews – it’s criminally easy to drink.

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Last but not least we have added another brewery that’s been away from our shelves since last year in the shape of Bianca Road. They have so many summery beers brewed at the moment it was hard not to. The stand out brews for me are the LA Bloods orange zest and the new table beer Costa Mesa.

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If you are on a 2 or 3 month deal don’t miss our new Outsider brewery Wild Beer and their eclectic range. A long-time favourite of mine it’s a pleasure to welcome them to the site with their brilliant mix of experimental ingredients and well rounded core beers.

We also had loads of new stuff from Weird Beard, Redemption and Seven Sisters to name a few.

I hope you enjoy picking these beers as much as I enjoyed hunting them out and trying them for you/me!

Cheers and keep smiling in the sun!

Oli

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Brick Brewery, the craft brewer from South East London, is taking a unique approach to the Three Peaks Challenge by launching a limited-edition charity series of beers in collaboration with brewers local to the three highest mountains in the United Kingdom.

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While most event attendees make do with a map and a generous bar of Kendal Mint Cake in their rucksacks, the crafty team at Brick have taken the challenge to another level by creating the Three Peaks Beer Series in collaboration with Fallen Brewing Co. (Ben Nevis, Scotland), Hawkshead Brewery (Scafell Pike, England) and Wild Horse Brewing Co.(Snowdon, Wales).

Ian Stewart, Brick Brewery Founder, said: “We love the areas in which the challenge takes place and have long admired the work of some of the local breweries there. It was a no-brainer to team up with like-minded beer folk and concoct this series inspired by the three peaks.”

Each of the breweries has a similar ethos and shares a number of common values to Brick Brewery. They each combined their skills to create a series that reflected the cultural surroundings of the local breweries while maintaining an element of Brick’s signature South East London style. They also selected local charities to benefit from the collaboration.

Ian Stewart added: “The process has been really memorable; friendships have been made and show-stopping beers produced that both locals and fellow climbers can enjoy. Now we just have to complete the challenge itself!”

Created with curious beer fans in mind, “Starting on Heaven” Session Helles, “Scroggin’” Imperial Stout and “Summit Fever” East Coast IPA will be available to purchase in 440ml cans and on tap at each brewery from 13th July onwards. A percentage of each sale will be donated to breweries’ chosen charities, giving back to local communities.  

People taking part in the Three Peak Challenge will also be encouraged to try all three beers via a social media competition which will run in July.

In keeping to its normal style, Brick has worked with artists local to each brewery to design the can labels to further strengthen the community connections.

The breweries’ teams will all take part in the challenge starting on 12th July 2019 and the beers will be available from 13th July on Brick’s website, The Tap Room in Peckham and at each of the participating breweries – Starting from £4.00

Starting on Heaven, Session Helles – Fallen Brewing Co. x Brick Brewery – ABV 3.8%

This delicate beer is a crisp, clean and refreshing German-style Helles lager using Weyermann malt, Mandarina Bavaria and Idaho 7 hops. Mandarina Bavaria brings tangerine and citrus notes while Idaho 7 hops adds subtle tropical aromas with a sticky forest pine and earthy black tea character.

Scroggin’, Imperial Stout – Hawkshead Brewery x Brick Brewery – ABV 9.0%

Inspired by ‘scroggin’, a mixture of dried fruit, nuts and other food eaten as a snack by hikers, this beer has rich ingredients and flavours. Aromas of chocolate, nuts, raisin, pecans and peanuts can be tasted with the addition of lactose for a decadent and creamy mouthfeel that complements its high ABV.

Summit Fever, East Coast IPA – Wild Horse Brewing Co. x Brick Brewery – ABV 6.6%

A bold, hop-forward East Coast IPA using Azacca and Nelson Sauvin hops. Staying true to the typical yeast profiles of the New England style, Summit Fever combines North and South hemisphere hops giving it heavy stone fruit, melon and white grape aromas and has a soft and fluffy mouthfeel coming from additional oats.

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When stocks are sold Beavertown will no longer feature on our site.

Of the scores of fantastic breweries in London they were in a very small minority of about three that were a pain to deal with. Actually, we didn’t deal with Beavertown per se. Since we started operating three years ago they have refused to add us to their direct distribution list as “demand was too high to take us on” while they concentrated on brokering deals with supermarkets. Helping the little guy eh? Of course they have no obligation to help anyone but we towed the line because they sell lots of beer and they were part of my own craft beer education, certainly in London at least. The writing was on the wall.

Bye bye Beavertown. London giants sell to Heineken. A letter to anyone who will listen.
The crux of it is Beavertown have never been a brewery that have been part of the fabric of what we are building here yet heroes like Pressure Drop, Kew, Five Points, Weird Beard and countless others have (like an Oscar speech I’m afraid I don’t have time to mention you all but it’s a lot). While I asked awkward questions in the early days to these guys like “do you deliver?” and “can I order just four cases?” Beavertown asked us to go through expensive and crazy distribution routes instead – London beer from north to south via Manchester ? Yes, as insane as it was frustrating.
I’m sure to this day Beavertown don’t even know we exist but that’s not the point. This all sounds a little bitter but I’m simply adding context to a one-sided break up. The ramblings are that of a jilted lover moaning to their best friend – I’m sad and mad and shocked. I love Beavertown and always have. From the beer to the artwork and everything in between they are awesome at making beer. I can just about forgive them the rest but you can see that we probably saw this coming based on their track record.

Bye bye Beavertown. London giants sell to Heineken. A letter to anyone who will listen.

The craft discussion is a long trodden and much argued point but from where we stand we believe that the essence of craft beer is it’s independent roots. Heineken don’t care about the trends, love, attention and craftsmanship that most London brewers do. They see a slice of the market. End of. Sure we all want to build successful businesses but we don’t believe in the ethics and direction of the Big Beer giants. That’s not why most brewers get into brewing great beer, at least I think not and sincerely hope not. I’ve met too many people in London affiliated with craft beer breweries to think otherwise. It’s about creating something unique, special and with soul not banging out units. All macro breweries want, in my humble opinion, is to take over something that is standing on their toes. It might be with a mouse-like pressure but stand on their toes they are are. We would rather concentrate our time, money, effort and focus on people who have their heart in craft beer. I’d say good luck to Beavertown but I wouldn’t mean it. Again I hope there not too much bitterness in that statement, it’s not intended, I just think they had an amazing opportunity to expand under their own steam and think this is bad news for great beer. They could have kept the core and the credibility of their business alive without this dirty Heineken cash but they they clearly think they need it. You can’t take over the world without shaking hands with the devil and their new fiery partner now has a vice-like grip.

So long and thanks for some groundbreaking beer

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Beer of the month: The Experiment Requires That You Continue by Pressure Drop Brewing and Verdant

Great beer. Even better breweries. This is my favourite beer in the last month to land on the site not because of how drinkable it is or how fantastically packed with flavour it is but more about where it’s come from and the two breweries that combined to make it.

On the one hand we have Verdant. The Kernow outfit that have been making massive (Cornish surfer style) waves with their incredible hop soups and modern beer.

On the other we have Pressure Drop. An expanding north London set up who have come into their own in the last two year and are now firmly chasing down some of the best in the capital.

For my personal tastes these two releasing this beer and coming together is almost the perfect partnership – and that’s why it’s my beer of the month.

Craft Beer of the Month – The Experiment Requires That You Continue by Pressure Drop / Verdant

Falmouth is hardly the brewing capital of the UK, it’s hardly anything to think of it in terms of beer so when new brewery Verdant started to get rave reviews on social media outside of their home county the people of the UK pricked up their beery ears and started to seek out these new hop-forward beers. Hens teeth does not come close. Selling out in seconds and always in demand this brewery have dominated craft beer drinkers “must-try” up and down the UK and remains so years on. Their widespread appeal and demand is more quaint the more you look at their background. Falmouth is more maritime than monster IPAs but that’s exactly what Verdant started to do and have not deviated from since. From nowhere in 2014 to one of the most sought after beers in tap rooms and beer delivery boxes up and down the land the breweries main players Adam and James have created exactly what they set out to do. “we had decided that hoppy beers were what we wanted to be drinking. Think juicy, hoppy, unfiltered hazy beers and always vegan!”

Craft Beer of the Month – The Experiment Requires That You Continue by Pressure Drop / Verdant

Since then the beers have flowed thick and fast – sometimes way too fast for them to keep up with demand – but when you see Verdant on the label you always know you’re going to get high-hop, high flavour, high craftsmanship in that can or bottle of beer. So when the chance to take them onto the site came along I jumped at it when they announced their partnership with Pressure Drop.

Pressure Drop have not enjoyed quite the meteoric rise that the west country boys have managed but that’s not to say their output is any less impressive. Their beginnings are just as humble as the aforementioned Falmouth warehouse. 2013 saw a shed and a few friends give birth to an idea that is now very impressive Pressure Drop brewery. Armed with a very solid and very suppable core range (Pale Fire, Bosko and Street Porter etc) the unit are now one of the main players in north London after expanding into new premises in Tottenham.

Craft Beer of the Month – The Experiment Requires That You Continue by Pressure Drop / Verdant

Their beers, core and otherwise, are always very well rounded and smooth and have a somewhat playful edge to them. From the slightly 70s wallpaper style artwork to the zesty and punch tasting notes of Wallbanger Wit and Cast Iron Billy you know you’re onto a good thing with a Pressure Drop beer. What most excited me however about this beer collab was that Pressure Drop have recently been nailing the hop-forward beer like there’s no tomorrow. Stepping up a level from the go-to Bosko IPA is Domino Topple. You can go up a gear again to Alligator Tugboat and them mellow off again with the recent Parachute DDH. The main thing here is this brewery know exactly what to do with hops and when it comes to making a moody, cloudy hop-swamp of a beer then you’d be happy to let them take charge. Add into the mix the earlier protagonists and their affiliation with modern hop flavours and you have a marriage made in heaven. Two hop-forward, knowledgeable breweries coming together to brew something they both clearly have a passion for and are exemplary at doing. The result is a wonderful blend of two great minds and one great beer. A hazy New England style IPA – I think deserves to be dropped in every Craft Metropolis box this month.

Craft Beer of the Month – The Experiment Requires That You Continue by Pressure Drop / Verdant

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What a month of brilliant beer!

In case you missed it we added a load of new beers this month – here’s a selection of the best sellers in July

This month’s best selling craft beers – July

I’m not sure if it’s the belting weather but this has been the biggest seller of the month so far. A brilliant collab between our very own Weird Beard and Port Street Brew house in (Manchester) and Lervig (Norway). Frog is not too heavy on the fruit and the gooseberry is subtle and slightly bitter. Behind that there is a solid classic modern pale ale flavour with a tart tang and a smooth an somewhat creamy finish. Classic summer suppin’. We are down to our last case of this so grab your while you can.

This month’s best selling craft beers – July

I can’t lie the other beers shifting in rapid fashion in July have also been Weird Beard-tinged. Little Things has made a return and has been a solid favourite while Cardinal and Darkside have been steady Centennial has been lapped up by you. One of our personal beers of the year – super strong and with the front flavours of melting Refreshers it’s great to have it back!
This month’s best selling craft beers – July

Another newbie filling the boxes has been this untraditional offering from Walthamstow. It’s the only beer they do but it’s sooooo good. So so easy to drink this is a must-try for lager fans and beer fans in general. “Clean and crisp “is an often over used term but this is exactly that. But it has a grassy freshness that really lifts it and marks out out as a brilliant beer for this weather. Again another top notch beer for sinking in the sun.

This month’s best selling craft beers – July

Last but not least are the Bianca Road range. A really interesting set of beers here and doing well. There’s a definite modern edge to them but they are very understated and hold lots of nods to classic styles. They’re not quite punch-you-in-the-chops out there in terms of tasting notes but seem more than happy to sit there and deliver strong and perfectly balanced styles. One to watch out for.

Cheers for buying beer, listening to our rambles and being awesome in general.

Oli
Founder, Craft Metropolis

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Craft Beer has always prided itself on being a fight against mass-produced breweries that have traded quality for quantity. However as craft beer has gained popularity, once independent micro-breweries are growing into international multi-million pound businesses. Brands like BrewDog are now setting their sights on reaching the same heights as the very brewers they once fought against – even though they may not admit it. What’s more is those very same mass-produced multi-national breweries have now clocked on to the craft beer market, and are starting to brew craft beer of their own, or how they market as “craft beer” anyway. So is BrewDog now sacrificing quality to take a seat with the big dogs?

BrewDog started brewing in the UK back when craft beer was seen as a small obscure trend that would at best turn into a quirky niche. They used shock tactics, a ballsy carefree approach and smashed through all expectations, managing not only to become the biggest producers of craft beer in the UK but also managed to bring craft beer into the mainstream. You could argue that they were perhaps what Nirvana was to the Grunge movement, they brought the movement to the masses, whilst being shunned by the movement itself for being too mainstream.

BrewDog remains very popular amongst the general public however writers of craft beer such as, Jack Peat have been highly critical. In the London Economic Jack wrote a pretty damning article about Brew Dog where he criticised the brewery for capitalising the words “craft” and “punk” against the very ethos they represent, citing an incident where they forced to change its name for using the word “punk” in its name as they owned the trademark to the word.

It’s not the first time that BrewDog has made a questionable legal dispute with an article in Beer Today discussing how a small independent craft beer bar by the name of The Wolf fell into conflict with brewery over the use of its brand Lone Wolf. Jack goes on to point out the irony that whilst BrewDog shaped and defined what British craft beer is, it now destroying the very meaning of what “craft” is and is instead joining the multinationals of whom they set up to fight against.

However whilst many craft beer enthusiasts continue to criticise BrewDog, BrewDog themselves continue to maintain a fight against the multi-national breweries that acquire small independent breweries. On their website’s blog they wrote an article about the sale of Camden Town Brewery to AB InBev arguing that this would result in a drastic reduction in the taste and quality of the beer, maintaining a strong stance towards the independence of craft beer which Renegade Brewery applauded.

Despite BrewDog’s impressive growth they remain an independent brewery that is philosophically devoted to craft beer and although their taste may be viewed by some as more generic and now mainstream without them the beer scene in th eUK and the flavour of the beer we love wouldn’t be what it is today. They found a way of selling craft beer to the mass market and everyone copied to some extent. But now as a larger company themselves they need to be more honest as to where they are and where they are going. No more faux-punk. To truly take their brand to the next level it’s not about sales (they will come) but they need to seize the power they have created and remain an important ally against the multi-nationals that have little interest in craft beer other than the lucrative profits it delivers. BrewDog’s ethos will continue to be questioned as they adapt to being a larger brewery that once prided itself on being small, but their commitment to good quality beer will never end.

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In this month’s craft beer news roundup we discuss the latest news and trends within the craft beer industry. It appears craft beer is starting to hit the mainstream as supermarkets continue to grow their inventory and range of craft beer. Imported craft beers are starting to make an impact on the British craft beer industry with several breweries launching in the UK. With breweries constantly popping up and demand for craft beer at an all-time high the UK continues to see a growth in the craft beer market.

Supermarkets add to their beer range

Supermarkets are starting to really catch on to the craft beer movement with the beer shelves increasingly being covered with craft beer. ASDA has now added 100 craft beers, to their shelves it has been reported that craft beer will take over 10% of the beer space that is currently being covered by larger beer brands. Asda’s ale and craft beer buyer Hywel Evans stated that “With the craft beer movement gaining speed, we hope these changes will help Asda become a real destination for craft beer drinkers – both those familiar with the products and those just entering the category.” This trend has also caught on to ASDA’s competitors with Co-Op, Waitrose and Tesco all increasing their stockings of craft beers. Tesco and Waitrose have seen booming craft beer sales, with Waitrose reporting sales up 33% year-on-year and Tesco seeing annual growth of 40%.

Imported Craft Beer Continue to hit the UK Market

More international craft beer breweries are setting their sights on the UK market as UK importer, with Morgenrot adding Spanish craft brewery Cerveses La Pirata to their range of craft beer. Commercial director John Critchley stated;’ “After witnessing first-hand consumer feedback to the beers at Craft Beer Rising, we knew instantly that they had a place in this competitive UK craft beer market and we look forward to unleashing them on the rest of the country.”

The trend of UK importers partnering with international breweries can also be found in the United States and Chile, with Californian Stone Brewing and Chilean Rothhammer both launching in the UK. Stone Brewing UK’s importing partner James Clay expressed his delight of their newly found partnership, proclaiming Stone Brewing’s IPAs as modern classics. Stone Brewing executive chairman Greg Coch expressed his excitement about launching in the UK stating that, “craft beer continues to grow in Europe and as the UK has an established craft beer market”. Stone Brewing is importing its beer to the UK via its brewery in Berlin however Rothammer’s  import partner Trilogy Beverage Brands has partnered with Petainer to transport its beer from Chile to the UK using PET packaging which allows it transfer alcohol around the world for a fraction of the cost of the more commonly used kegs.

The UK Craft Beer Market Continues to Grow

The British Craft Beer Market is in full swing; new breweries are opening every month in the UK, UK breweries in general are pushing forward with massive expansion plans and larger breweries are retaining their position by launching their own craft beers. A recent article in Business of Drinks, argued that the market for “Great Beer” and “Craft Beer”, is starting to see real growth where dramatic increases in sales are being achieved throughout the UK. And it appears the UK is not unique in this manner with Russia and Brazil particularly witnessing large growth. What’s interesting is that whilst craft beer is continuing to grow in popularity, alcohol consumption continues to decrease which seems to point to the argument that consumers are opting for a quality over quantity approach to alcohol.

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