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18th April 2017

Real Ale Supports M&S Craft Beer Expansion into Ireland and Northern Ireland

For the past ten years, Real Ale, the specialist craft beer retailer based in Twickenham, has been an official supplier agent to M&S.  Real Ale helps the multi-national retailer source a range of beer from smaller craft and regional brewers nationally and has been instrumental in its latest expansion of its craft beer ranges through Ireland and Northern Ireland.  The company has also worked with M&S to introduce two additional own-label beer products in cans.

All the craft beers sold through M&S, be it M&S own-label or Brewery-branded,  are different in style, taste, appearance and aroma.  Beer sold in cans is becoming more popular and the two new own-label products reflect this. Cornwall based, Harbour Brewing Company’s 330 ml lager is made from one hundred per cent European hops.  It is now available, in addition to its American Pale Ale in cans. In addition, M&S Citra IPA will now be sold in 500 ml cans, as well as bottles, brewed by Peterborough based, Oakham Ales.

Real Ale is also working with M&S on expanding its regional branded range throughout its stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Craft beer brands that will be carried in Ireland include Metalman and in Northern Ireland Whitewater Brewery.

Real Ale’s technical team works closely with the individual craft brewers on the choice of hops, selection of malts and production of tasting notes, as well as beer brands to pitch to M&S.  The Real Ale team also ensures that all breweries are operating to M&S standards for food safety, hygiene and quality, and have robust systems of due diligence in place, which protects M&S brand integrity.

Zeph King, Managing Director, Real Ales said:

“It’s fantastic to work with a major multiple that puts quality and new product development at the heart of its business and wants the best selection within their beer range as the same time as supporting local craft brewers.  The boost it gives smaller brewers to have their brands sold through M&S is brilliant and enables M&S customers to enjoy an unusual and excellent selection of products.”

Michael Wallis, Beer Buyer for M&S says: “Our mission is to become not only the best craft beer retailer on the high street, but to also offer more innovative local beers from smaller breweries, with the convenience of buying them from your local M&S store.”

M&S has been recognised by industry for its range being named ‘Multi-national Beer Retailer of the Year’ on two occasions, in recognition of its excellent craft beer ranges sourced from small independent breweries.   Real Ale supplies over 200 branded and own label products to M&S and has been key in the introduction of M&S’ craft cans range.

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For further press information additional images or to arrange an interview with Zeph King of Real Ale please contact:

Gill Shaffer

Mint Communications

Mobile: 00 44 (0) 7958 989124 or (00(0)1799 218353