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28th January 2013


– Customers and Brewers come together to find Britain’s finest ales.

Today sees the launch of the third annual Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt, which aims to bring new and interesting beers from all around the U.K. to the shopping aisles for Sainsbury’s customers.  With four regional and two national listings at stake, Britain’s brewers will be putting forward their finest beers.

As in previous years, Sainsbury’s customers will help choose the winners as the beers progress through a number of competition stages.

The search will begin with four Regional Beer Hunts and at each event, Sainsbury’s customers will have the chance to sample all of the beers entered in their region and pick their favourites. Winning at this stage leads to an immediate regional listing or a place in the three week long in-store round which is held in around 300 Sainsbury’s stores nationally in September.

The top selling three beers from each region during September will be part of the Grand Final in London and here two of those 12 finalists will be selected for a six-month national listing.

Jack Rutherford, Sainsbury’s Beer Buyer, says ‘Once more we are putting the main emphasis on the role of our customers in selecting the winners at every stage. Last year we had hundreds of customers at our regional events and sold over three hundred thousand bottles of beer during the in- store final. The regional and national winners are selling extremely well in our stores and we are delighted to see these specialist ales being so well received. This is a great way to bring new and interesting beers to our customers and we are confident that 2013 will show the same steady growth in breweries and beers being entered that we have seen in previous years.’


For more information, hi res images of the 2012 Competition and details of the dedicated website contact Richard Morrice on 01904 428450 /


Notes to editors

*  Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt is now in its third year. Each year sees an increase in the numbers of beers and brewers who enter – there were 138 beers from 50 brewers in 2012. Brewers can choose to compete for a regional listing, in up to 40 stores in their region, or for a national listing in over 300 stores. They may if they wish enter some beers regionally and others nationally.

** Bateman’s Mocha was the overall winner and is now selling well in 350 stores nationally. Manchester Star Ale from JW Lees is very popular in 100 stores

*** There will be four Regional Beer Hunts this year in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the North, West and East. Over 200 Sainsbury’s customers will attend each event

**** 20 beers will compete nationally in 300 stores over three weeks in September for a place in the Grand Final in London. 12 will go forward based on rate of sale in store

***** A winner and runner up will be selected by a prestigious panel of judges assisted by Sainsbury’s customers and team members in London on the 4th October

****** People Energies organise the event for Sainsbury’s and are on hand to help brewers as they plan for each stage of the competition