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9th September 2015

M&S named Retailer of the Year at International Beer Challenge 2015


For the second year running Marks & Spencer has been named Retailer of the Year at the International Beer Challenge, by a panel of expert beer judges who also awarded the retailer’s own-label beers an outstanding 27 medals

  • Already well-known for its innovative, award-winning wines, which have repeatedly won M&S the Supermarket of the Year Award at the ‘Oscars of the wine world’ (International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards), the retailer is now receiving recognition for its innovation in the beer aisles
  • The news follows the retailer’s announcement of a +41% increase in its beer sales on last year, and it seems that the growth has been fuelled by the original single hop variety beers and pale ales that have joined the retailer’s range this year
  • M&S beers with ‘hop’ in the title are proving a hit with both expert judges and customers; silver medals were awarded to the new 9 Hop Kent Pale Ale and Single Variety British Hop Jester IPA, which are exceeding the retailer’s sales forecasts by +50% and +30%respectively, as well as the Nottinghamshire Single Variety British Hop Cascade Pale Ale, which has seen a sales increase of +35%on last year
  • Jenny Rea, M&S Product Developer for Beers, commented, “We are really delighted with the IBC results, and it has also been particularly rewarding to see our customers getting to grips with the exciting new hops now on offer. Hops are to beer as grape varieties are to wine, and as our customers learn more about their distinct flavour profiles they are seeking out new varieties to taste. The names are certainly intriguing – Fuggles, Goldings, Pilgrim, Sovereign, Progress, Cascade and Jester, to name a handful – but now the question is whether you can tell your Fuggles from your Jester?”
  • The new wave of hops being introduced to bring innovative flavours to the UK world of beer has seen varieties travelling from overseas, as well as a new surge in UK bred and grown varieties. In 1998 there were 13 commercially-grown British hop varieties, today there are 27.
  • M&S was also awarded a gold medal for its Mosaic Pale Ale: a single variety hop beer made from the US Mosaic variety, which was only created in 2012 and offers intense mango, peach, lemon and lime flavours
  • A bronze medal went to the retailer’s best-selling beer, the Single Hop Variety Citra IPA, another pale ale that puts the focus on a single hop. Citra was developed and patented in the US and was used in the UK for the first time in 2009. Its distinctive, refreshing citrus aroma has proved hugely popular ever since, with sales at +35% on last year.
  • Jenny Rea added: “It’s been a year of discovery and we’ve left no hop unturned. Exciting beers were once the preserve of edgy pubs, but we’ve made innovative bottles available on the high street and our customers are clearly pleasantly surprised by what they’re discovering in the M&S beer aisles!  This is just the beginning, as we have seven more beers due to hit the shelves in October. Watch this space!”



The IBC award-winning M&S beers are:


Mosaic Pale Ale Gold £2.40 for 500ml
Southwold 2.7% Silver £1.50 for 500ml
Bottle Conditioned Yorkshire Best Bitter Silver £2.40 for 500ml
Cornish IPA Silver £2.40 for 500ml
NEW Single Variety British Hop Jester IPA Silver £2.40 for 500ml
NEW Lowland Glen Amber Silver £1.85 for 330ml
NEW Ash Brook Red Lager Silver £1.85 for 330ml
NEW 9 Hop Kent Pale Ale Silver £2.40 for 500ml
Nottinghamshire Single Variety British Hop Cascade Pale Ale Silver £2.40 for 500ml
Greenwich Black IPA Silver £2.40 for 500ml
Southwold Summer Beer Silver £2.20 for 500ml
Belgian Wheat Beer Silver £2.40 for 500ml
NEW Battersea Rye Bronze £1.85 for 330ml
NEW Warwickshire Amber Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
NEW Island Hopper Pale Ale Bronze £1.85 for 330ml
NEW Bottle Conditioned Cotswold Pale Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
NEW Cambridgeshire Styrian Goldings Amber Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Irish Stout Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
London Porter Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Gluten Free Belgium Premium Pilsner Bronze £2.00 for 330ml
Gluten free Belgian Golden Ale Bronze £2.00 for 330ml
Citra IPA Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Bottle Conditioned Norfolk Bitter Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Cambridgeshire Golden Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Bottle Conditioned Cornish Red Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Welsh Golden Ale Bronze £2.40 for 500ml
Southwold Blonde Ale Bronze £2.20 for 500ml





Kate Beveridge

Account Director
T: 020 8682 9020


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