Real Ale helps M&S to diversify its craft beer range

London retailer Real Ale has helped Marks & Spencer overhaul its own-label beer range in time for the key Christmas trading period.

The craft beer specialist, which has stores in Twickenham and Little Venice, has a supply deal whereby it sources hundreds of SKUs for M&S outlets.

It has extended the retailer’s regional own-label and branded can line-up as well as introducing Christmas gift packs.

The latest introductions mean that M&S’ international range now includes brands from revered breweries from the USA, Denmark and Norway including: Mikkeller, Ska Brewing, Six Points Brewery, Bear Republic, Amundsen Bryggeri, Aegir and Hardywood.

Real Ale collaborated with Mikkeller’s exclusive UK agent, Euroboozer, to source four brands from the Danish brewer, which will initially be sold exclusively through M&S.

It has also extended the M&S’ regional brands from smaller breweries such as Moor Beer, Brick Brewery and North Brewing, while it has also launched six-can multipacks of some popular lines.

The new Twelve Beers of Christmas pack of 33cl cans features brews from the likes of Arbor, Harbour, Hogs Back and Wimbledon.

Zeph King, managing director at Real Ale, said: “The new international range of beers represents the crème de la crème in the sector. We are incredibly proud to be working with an innovative retailer that is adventurous and willing to offer its customers amazing quality beers that are not usually found on the high street.

“For example, the new M&S’ canned Christmas gift pack includes a range of flavours and styles from some smaller, less well-known brands, as well as popular British regional breweries.

“This illustrates M&S’ commitment to give its customers access to unusual, often hard-to-source, products at an affordable price.  It also represents a fantastic commercial boost for the smaller breweries that have been selected.” 

For the past 11 years, Real Ale has been an official supplier to M&S, helping it source beers from craft and regional producers nationally and internationally.

The team recently accompanied M&S to the USA to research off-trade trends and visit a selection of breweries.

Michael Wallis, beer buyer for M&S, added: “Our own-label 33cl canned range, launched earlier this year, has proved extremely popular with our customers.

“The introduction of our various styles and Christmas pack is a natural extension. The development of our international range from such cutting-edge breweries will complement our diverse British branded and own-label line-ups, offering our customers the finest range of beers that can easily be purchased from their local high street.”

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