Cult beer makes its mark for Waitrose
Waitrose has reported that Beavertown’s craft beers are flying off its shelves after it became the first supermarket to list the London brewer.
It represents a coup for buyer Sarah Hammond, as Beavertown previously only enjoyed a cult following in the on-trade and independents.
She told DRN: “Beavertown is really protective of its brand and rightly so. It wants to make sure the beer is consistently brilliant.
“It was very keen to supply Waitrose, but wanted some reassurance that we would look after the products on shelves. They are already flying, doing phenomenally well.
“Beavertown is very reassured with us, as a premium supermarket, that we recognise how important its brand value is and we help it to maintain it. Gamma Ray has the highest rate of sale, but Neck Oil Session IPA is not far behind.”
Hammond also secured an exclusive listing of Wild Beer, another sought after craft producer among the grocers.
“We are seen as an incredible place to shop for drinks,” said Hammond. “Our spirits and wine ranges are phenomenal. It sets you apart and gives you that point of difference.
“I see us as an independent bottle shop, but for the masses. From the branch partners and the buying team there’s real passion.
“With wine and spirits, people pay a massive spectrum for the different products within the range.
“I would really like to get to a point where beer is treated the same way, being expected to pay more for a great beer.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, but it is starting to happen and the likes of Beavertown have been important in that.”
A range review has seen Waitrose bring in 95 new beers and 20 new ciders, with highlights including brews from Allendale, Anchorage and Fourpure, Fuller’s London Pride Unfiltered and a trio of Peroni Gran Riserva beers that champion malts, along with some intriguing ciders.
“So far they are all doing really well, helped by the sunny weather,” said Hammond. “Craft beer is doing really well for everyone. We put a lot in last year and this year we have really amplified it.”
Tottenham-based Beavertown has teamed up with Tottenham Hotspur to create the world’s first microbrewery and taproom in a football stadium.
Spurs are moving into a shiny new stadium ahead of the 2018/19 season and fans will be able to enjoy a range of trendy craft beers brewed on site, including a special Spurs beer created “in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur and its fans”.
Beavertown founder Logan Plant said: “The ability to brew on site and serve our beer just metres from where it is brewed is super-exciting. The ambition the club has for its new stadium is mind-blowing and we are thrilled to play a part in helping it deliver its vision of an unparalleled stadium experience.”