Real Ale teams up with Buxton brewery for 10th anniversary beer

Twickenham independent Real Ale is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching an own-label beer and plans to create a broad own-label range in future.

The specialist store, which has won Independent Beer Retailer of the Year at the Off Licence News Drinks Retailing Awards for three years running, has teamed up with Buxton brewery.

They have created an easy- drinking 4.2% pale ale influenced by the hoppy American styles the team at Real Ale likes to drink.

Owner Nick Dolan told OLN: “When choosing something to put our name to we wanted to educate the customer, but not be overly sophisticated or snobby about it.

“We will get this brewed as our first beer by May and then have a range of beers. We are talking to brewers we do a lot of business with to come up with a recipe together.

“We are big fans of Buxton. We hope to collaborate with lots of brewers and work with different ones that do different styles well and create a range. We will initially have three to four beers in our line-up.”

The store is planning to grow its beer offering across the board, along with building up its wine and specialist spirits section.

Dolan said: “We are improving the number of rare and quirky

beers we have, getting smaller amounts more often, to reward the beer geeks in our customer base with more unusual and hard-to-find stuff and keeping that changing on a more regular basis.”

Dolan wanted to thank customers, past and present staff and brewers for helping the

store reach its 10-year milestone. “I am really grateful to

everybody who has helped us on the journey,” he said.

“We have been lucky. The craft and real ale movement and trend towards drinking good beer came to the forefront of people’s minds.

“We have been in the right place at the right time. It’s a little bit of luck and a little bit of judgement.”

Dolan is pleased to see Oddbins opening a specialist beer store and does not see it as a threat, rather as an indication that beer is becoming more popular.

When asked if he would recommend setting up a specialist beer shop, he said: “I would, but it’s hard work. In 10 years we have had to fight to establish ourselves.

“When I first opened the shop, friends told me it wouldn’t work. There were no other beer shops out there and beer wasn’t in the national consciousness like now.

“If I was opening a beer shop now I would feel more confident. Good beer is more readily available in pubs and supermarkets now. They have a much better range and beer has penetrated the public’s consciousness. It’s more accessible and wanted.

“You need to get the right offering, the balance between up-and-coming breweries and established ones, with some foreign beer but mainly supporting British breweries.”

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