Waitrose doubled the selection of craft beers and ales available at its seven stores in Scotland this week, adding 49 new variants from local breweries.
Looking to capitalise on the growing popularity of craft beers, the supermarket has increased the number of Scottish breweries it works with from 13 to 21. It also extended the selection of beers and ales from some of its existing suppliers, such as Fyne Ales, bringing the total number of Scottish beers, ales and lagers available to over 90.
Twelve of the new beers are exclusive to Waitrose, including three from Fallen Brewing in Stirlingshire; the Blonde and Wolf Dark bottles from Lossiemouth-based Windswept Brewing; signature bottle Seggie Mill from Eden Mill brewery in St Andrews and the Black Cork from Knops Beer Company in East Lothian. A gluten free option from Black Isle Brewery is also exclusive to Waitrose.
Oliver O’Mara, local and regional buyer for Waitrose, said: “This is the biggest regional beer hunt Waitrose has ever undertaken, which gives you an idea of how seriously we are taking the craft beer movement in Scotland.
“The Scottish brewing scene is at the forefront of innovation in the UK, such as the Goldfinch by Black Isle, a gluten free and organic beer which is now available in all our Scottish branches.”
Kate Prall, beer buyer for Waitrose added: “We now have one of the biggest selections of craft beer and ales, which I think will make Waitrose a real destination for lovers of these drinks.
“We sampled around 140 beers and I was really impressed with the quality; we were quite spoilt for choice. Scottish craft beers can really hold their own against the UK national ranges. It’s clear that the brewers are passionate and have a real love for their craft, which makes for great tasting beer.”
Waitrose’s move follows a similar initiative announced by Asda last month who agreed deals with 13 Scottish breweries to supply their products to its stores across Scotland. The total value of the contracts signed was £850k with the 13 breweries supplying 25 new lines to Asda. The new deal meant that Asda stores across Scotland now stock over 75 Scottish beers, ales and ciders with the supermarket saying it was aiming to lead the way in supporting the Scottish brewing industry as the demand for craft beer continues to rise.