Five new independent beer shops have opened across the country this summer as the thriving sector continues to gather pace.

Cheltenham, Chester, Leicester, York and Worthing will all benefit from new stores offering craft brews.

Tom Flint spoke to DRN about why he opened the Bottle & Jug Dept in Worthing, West Sussex. He said: “There is a really good beer scene emerging in Worthing, with a couple of good pubs, but nowhere to buy it to drink at home. I don’t want the shop to be exclusively for beer heads. I also want it stock some interesting things as there’s no point doing what the supermarkets do. Brewers are really pushing the boundaries of beer now and there’s a lot of great stuff out there.”

Bottle & Jug stocks organic, natural and biodynamic wine, as well as wine from local English producers. It has up to 80 beers at any one time in its chiller cabinets and the stock will constantly rotate. It also has take-out wine, beer and cider on dispense to refill bottles. 

“Sour beers have been selling well and this has been the biggest surprise for me,” said Flint. “We sell a lot of session-strength beers, such as IPAs, but we also get some beer fans in looking for new things. We have customers in who are keen to learn more about beer.”

In Acomb, York, husband and wife team Mike and Lois Reid (pictured) opened Hop & Glory in June. The shop stocks 300 beers, including local brews and those from high-profile craft brewers, such as Magic Rock and Northern Monk. There are also offerings from the US, Belgium, France, Spain and Scandinavia. There will be a number of whiskies and gins, with new stock rotating frequently. 

Cheltenham’s Bath Road Beers opened its doors this month. Owners Andrew and Will Coates have worked as consultants with emerging gin and beer producers and decided to open the shop in response to the growing interest in craft beer. 

The store stocks more than 300 beers, along with 80 ciders, wines and spirits. It also has four keg lines on site, which will be rotated. The duo said they hope to expand the range of beers to 450 and establish a drink-in section in the store.

Will Coates said: “There are so many cool beer places and breweries opening. People are really interested in beer again and are ready to step outside of their normal drinking habits.”

Carl and Kelly Ball have opened a bottle shop and tap room in Chester, following the success of their first store at Helsby train station. The duo launched an online beer business in 2012 after seeing the potential of craft beer from strong sales in the convenience store they used to run in Northwich. 

In Leicester the duo behind the St Martin’s Square pop-up tap house, Matt Baker and Alice Hubbard, are opening the Two-Tailed Lion Free House & Bottle Shop, featuring local beers, including exclusives from Leicester’s Framework Brewery, alongside beers from Cloudwater, Buxton, Verdant and others. 

Already this year independent chains We Brough Beer and Beer Boutique announced plans to open more shops after merging to form Two Heads Beer.