Regional ales get thumbs up from supermarkets

05 October, 2007

Marks & Spencer has launched a four-strong range of bottle-conditioned British beers.


ales are: Norfolk Bitter,

by Woodforde's Broadland Brewery in Woodbastwick; Buckinghamshire Ale,

by the Vale Brewery in Haddenham; Yorkshire Bitter , by the Cropton Brewery in Cropton;

and Organic Scottish Ale

by the Black Isle Brewery in the Highlands.

The range is in 50cl bottles retailing at £2.49, or three for £6 from Oct 8 to Nov 4.

M&S beer specialist Sue Daniels said: "We have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to source these four regional beers and we are delighted with the results.

"We feel that each of the beers captures the real essence of its birthplace."

The Campaign for Real Ale has praised

the move. "Camra is delighted that M&S is the first national retailer to recognise bottle-conditioned beers as a separate category," said senior marketing manager Georgina Rudman. "This type of bottled product offers the consumer the next best thing to drinking a quality pint of real ale in a pub."

Waitrose is also celebrating local brews in its British Beer Showcase, which runs from Oct 10 to Nov 20. There will be tastings and promotions on a range of British beers, including Waitrose exclusives William Wilberforce Freedom Ale, Thomas Hardy's Ale, Fuller's Vintage Ale and St Peter's IPA.

Beer buyer Steve Wallace said: "We trade with

more than 100 British brewers and have over 70 British bottled ales in our national range, with a further 230 which are supplied locally.

"There are some fantastic British ales available and this is backed up by the tremendous resurgence in this country in demand for premium bottled ales."

He added: "The aim of the showcase is to encourage consumers to try and buy different ales."

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