Britain’s largest online beer retailer is ramping up its wholesale arm and has launched a new website targeting bars, restaurants and retailers. 

Beer Hawk’s B2B arm is a small portion of the business but it is growing, and its new website could accelerate that. 

Russ Clarke, recently brought in from Brewdog to spearhead that side of the business, told DRN: “We have just relaunched our trade website with a whole host of trade offerings. You can pick and mix your own beers, which is good for bars and restaurants that want to ease their cashflow situation. It’s great if somebody wants to try something new for their customers.

“There is no minimum order, which makes it as flexible as humanly possible. You might think it would mean small orders, but we find people are ordering more than on our standard offering. They are just keen to get a lot of little amounts. 

“We have next-day delivery if people order before midday. We also have beer guru staff that can provide advice on range.”

Wholesale clients can choose from a range of over 800 beers, and Clarke said it follows a similar ethos to the retail site. 

“We are all about putting better beer in more people’s hands,” he said. “The B2C side has been doing it at home and B2B is getting venues that haven’t taken craft beer before to try it. 

“We can interest Italian restaurants that have been selling Peroni with Italian craft beers, for example.”

Clarke said craft beer represents 7% of total UK beer sales, compared to 25% in the US, but he believes the UK can eventually catch up. 

“In the US you have a big space and some pretty tough country and state laws that can make craft beer distribution a tricky proposition,” he said. “It’s easier to get craft beer around the UK.”

Beer Hawk is owned by AB-Inbev, but Clarke said it maintains independence from the world’s largest brewer. 

“It is there as a guide,” he said. “It very much supports us with anything we are up to, but we do the job we want to do. It has never been a clash of views. Beer Hawk has an awesome family feel and that has not changed at all.”