Majestic Wine put together a panel of almost 200 beer-loving shoppers and tasked them with choosing the next brew to join its range.

In autumn 2015 Majestic ran an Oktoberfest event that celebrated local beers from across the UK and its customers tasted and voted for their favourites, which were stocked only in their local store.

Out of 400 on offer across the country, eight came out on top: St Peter’s Golden Ale; Barbarian Bitter, The Parker Brewery; Fuggle Dee-Dum, Goddards Brewery; Hip Hop, Langham Brewery; Adnams Ghost Ship; Golden Fleece, Dent Brewery; Bath Ales Ginger Hare; and Twickenham Naked Ladies.

Each store has nominated one beer lover from its local customer base to join the Majestic beer team, and this panel will taste the eight beers.

The one judged to be the best will win a listing at Majestic, with the winner announced in March.
Rowan Gormley, Majestic Group chief executive, said: “I’m looking forward to hearing which one the Beer Team chooses – and tasting it of course. The beer revolution is coming and Majestic is at the forefront. We have a better selection, both craft beer and local beer, than anyone else and the best people to guide customers through the range.”

In addition to unearthing shoppers’ favourite local British beers, Majestic conducted a second vote during Oktoberfest to find out the top new-wave craft beers in the range. The winners of the vote were: 1. Lagunitas IPA (USA), 2. Flying Dog Easy IPA (USA), 3. Punk IPA (Scotland).

Craft beer is a rapidly growing category at Majestic. In the 10 weeks to January 4, craft beer sales increased by 55% to £1.1 million compared to the previous year.