Asda has revealed ambitious plans to become the UK’s leading craft beer retailer after bolstering its range with more than 100 brews from across the world.

The retailer has axed a lot of duplication in mainstream lager to make room for the new beers, which include several exclusives.

The idea is to broaden customer choice while cutting out drinks that do a similar job, and coincides with a huge revamp of its wine aisles – where the SKU count has been reduced – and a broadening of craft spirits, particularly gin, rye and tequila.

Asda BWS category manager Drew Tiffin told OLN: “I am confident we now have an all-singing, all-dancing, market-leading range of beer. We have increased the amount of space for craft beer.

“In some stores it now has three whole bays dedicated to it and that doesn’t come from thin air. Duplication can be removed. Within standard lager, different formats, different pack sizes and different brands, where customers were doing a lot of switching from one to the other.

“We can then bring choice into the craft beer category. Our supply partners have really worked with us on that. We asked them to embrace it and they did. We will have a lot more from traditional craft suppliers than mainstream suppliers.”

The new range goes in on May 24 and includes Cutloose Pilsner, BAD Co’s Pale Aura and Schrodinger’s Cat, a hop-forward bitter from Hull-based Atom Brewery. The new selection of American beers, includes Stone IPA and Harpoon IPA.

Hywel Evans, Asda’s ale and craft beer buyer, said: “With the craft beer movement gaining speed, we hope these changes will help Asda become a real destination for craft beer drinkers – both those familiar with the products and those just entering the category. Recent Mintel research shows that over 40 per cent of consumers want to try craft beer over any other variety, so we want to build the most credible range out of the major retailers through adding over 100 new lines including regional beers.”