Waitrose Expands Speciality Beer Range by a Third


Sales of speciality beer at Waitrose have risen by 33% in the last year, and the supermarket is responding to customer demand by introducing 25 new beers to its already extensive range. Increasing its beer selection from 70 to 95 beers on May 1st, Waitrose is particularly investing in smaller breweries, including some beers which have never had a national listing before.

"The diverse range will now include tea infused-beer, 750ml wild yeast beer with a wax cap, punchy ABVs and more styles of beer than ever before."

Cans will also be more prevalent in the range, with 12 new additions, as the trend for 330ml cans of beer is growing at a faster rate than their bottled counterpart.

New additions include Toast Ale, a beer brewed using fresh surplus bread from bakeries that would otherwise be wasted, and beers from Redchurch Brewery, an experimental brewery based in Bethnal Green. As well as championing homegrown beers, the range will include beers from New Zealand and three new cans from AND UNION in Bavaria, Germany. The trio of father, son and his long time business partner work with four small breweries to produce excellent craft beers with stylishly minimalistic packaging. Other breweries new to Waitrose on a national scale include Wild Beer, Five Points and Alchemy.

Sarah Hammond, Waitrose Beer and Cider Buyer says: “We are thrilled to be introducing so many new speciality beers to Waitrose customers which definitely deserve to be on a national stage. To me, the craft beer movement is all about the re-discovery of old styles, giving them a modern twist and pushing the boundaries. We’ve seen some amazing innovation in the last year - it’s an exciting time for beer and cider drinkers.”

Highlights from the range include the following, which are exclusive to Waitrose as a multiple retailer:
Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Earl Grey IPA £2.39/330ml (209 branches)
Based in New Zealand, Yeastie Boys' Gunnamatta utilises judicious amounts of Earl Grey Blue Flower tea to generate an intoxicating floral and citrus aroma with the quenching dry finish of an ice tea. A truly unique new world India Pale Ale with a decidedly old world twist.

Wild Beer Ninkasi 9.0% £7.50/750ml (209 branches)
A celebration beer in every right, refermented with Champagne yeast on top of an elegant farmhouse Saison. Brewed with 10% local apple juice it also has a sense of place in the Somerset countryside.

Toast Pale Ale £2.29/330ml (209 branches)
Made with surplus fresh loaves from bakeries and the heel ends of loaves not used by sandwich makers, Toast's Pale Ale has a smooth finish and a hint of caramel and citrus. Toast was launched in January 2016 by Tristram Stuart, an award-winning author and campaigner on the environmental and social impacts of food waste. All profits go to charity.

AND UNION Unfiltered Lager £2.19/330ml (209 branches)
Exclusive to Waitrose
Unfiltered Lager (with aromas of fresh hay and lemon rind), Steph Weiss (a traditional unfiltered Bavarian Weiss) and Sunday Easy Pale Ale (a gently spiced pale ale with grapefruit and tangerine on the palate) are the three new additions from AND UNION in Bavaria. Started in 2007, AND UNION work hand-in-hand with different brewmasters from small, regional Bavarian family-run breweries.

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