Waitrose has taken on a beer created by university students as a business project.

Muddy Wellies Original Ale was created by students at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and it is now on the shelves in three braches of Waitrose in Gloucestershire (Cheltenham, Cirencester and Stroud).

Waitrose said it was attracted by both the taste and the fact the beer is a Social Enterprise, meaning 10p from every bottle sold is returned to help launch RAU students’ new business ideas.

Muddy Wellies’ story began in 2006 after students in the Entrepreneurs Society created a craft ale with a local brewer, which was then sold in the university’s campus bar in Cirencester. The beer is now brewed by Friday Beer Company and it has been available in a range of small outlets across the region in a deal with local distributor Craft Drinks Co, before it caught the eye of Waitrose buyers.

Katy Duke, Head of Enterprise at the RAU, said: “It’s been a big journey for Muddy Wellies, with each group of new students taking it a little further along. Seeing the beer taking pride of place in Waitrose a decade after students came up with the idea makes us all proud and excited about where this might go now.

“We try to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in our students as part of the teaching across all RAU courses, not just our business degrees.”

David Goddard, assistant buyer – local and regional – for Waitrose & Partners said: “Muddy Wellies is a stand-out, great tasting beer that also supports young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses, so we’re excited about launching Original Ale into thee of our shops in Gloucestershire. 

“This particular social enterprise is an ideal way for students to develop their skills and experience. The partnership with Friday Beer, with whom we have already been working with for the last year, has produced a product they can be proud of.”