Like many of our peers we have been approached by some of the UK’s leading supermarkets in recent months.
Many of the decisions we make as a business are driven by the choices we make as beer drinkers. Thus the decision to work with M&S where their refrigerated New World & Eternal have been a welcome accompaniment to many a train journey. Their Leeds train station store enjoys the greatest share of their sales by a considerable measure. Fresh, cold beer conveniently placed for your train journey: it’s a relationship we’re happy with.
After turning down approaches from two of the ‘major’ four, we found a supermarket we wanted to make an arrangement work with. Morrisons are headquartered a 30 minute drive from us. The stories of Ken Morrison stacking shelves in his local store whilst president of one of the countries most successful supermarkets are common. Whilst their reputation for sourcing and supporting local businesses as well as investing in their local community is well known.
We also believe that beer should be accessible, both in terms of convenience and price. Beer shouldn’t be for an elite or a chosen few. Beer should be accessible for people from all walks of life. As beer drinkers we believe in the option to buy good beer at an affordable price point from a convenient location (while you’re doing your weekly shop?!) which you can then supplement with more limited release beers.
Independent bottle shops and bars have been crucial to us and our growth and we remain committed to working with and developing products exclusively for them. We believe the more exposure progressive beer gets, the more everyone in our industry benefits, with craft beer in the UK currently far behind the US in terms of market share. We hope a four pack of Eternal and/or New World will be a gateway to a world of new beer styles available at independent bottle shops and bars across the country.
With the above in mind, we have decided to work with Morrisons EXCLUSIVELY on multipacks of New World & Eternal.
Considerations on our part:
- We have not compromised on our selling price.
- We will handle all production and packaging in-house. None of the volume will be subcontracted.
- We have not diluted the recipes. We’ve actually used the economies of scale from brewing at the new site to increase the amount of hops used in both New World and Eternal.
- We have not “dumbed down” the recipes or changed our approach. This beer is unpasteurised, unfiltered, unfined. Expect haze!
- We have created a whole different product category (multipack) to help ensure that our products in Morrisons do not compete with our products in independent bottle shops. This is despite being told to expect a much lower rate of sale by selling in multipacks.
- We are investing more than ever in our Patrons Projects and limited release beers creating value for all of our routes to market.
- We’re actively working with Morrisons on ensuring appropriate stock levels are ordered to ensure high product turnover and the freshest stock is available.
We are using some of the proceeds to invest in our most ambitious Patrons Project yet. Working with Nomad Clan and Tank Petrol, we’re giving a local derelict building a face lift in one of the biggest street art projects in the North of England. More on that in the coming weeks.
Like many of our peers, we take inspiration from the US scene where most supermarkets carry a formidable range of local craft beer. All of this in multipacks. Hopefully one day we’ll get refrigerated aisles too! Most importantly we feel the beer is as good as it’s ever been. Available in Morrisons stores nationwide today.