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18th June 2020

The Indie Beer Retailers Grafting Through Thick and Thin To Keep Beer Flowing

Indie Graft beer collaboration with Donzoko Brewing and over 40 independent UK beer shops celebrates their sector in the beer landscape with a big collective cheers!

Join in the cheers, Sat 18th July: Indie Graft, support your local beer shop

Independent beer shops have ridden the rollercoaster of the pandemic, continuing to operate within Government guidance on the sector through this hugely challenging time. Managing to traverse this situation has been tough emotionally, economically and physically for many in the sector. Though the driving passion to keep their customers smiling has always been the ultimate goal and shown the indie beer shop sector as a vital link and valuable connection between brewery and customer within their communities.

The sector has a high number of owner-operators and that has meant no story is the same as individual businesses have had to plan differently. Overall it’s been a mixed outcome for the sector with some beer shops choosing to close for health and personal safety reasons, some pivoting business models to completely online sales, others maximising on multi-sales channel selling through online/off sales/growler fills/home deliveries and others running forced reduced hours due to operating within shared spaces such as markets and food halls. Creating significant stress and anxiety within the sector. You can read more on a number of retailers’ individual stories via off-trade publication Drinks Retailing’s series ‘Beer Shops Under Lockdown‘ online.

The stress has rippled throughout the beer sector and affected everyone on many levels. One brewery in particular who chimed with the struggles was Donzoko, who, being an owner-operator and small brewery located within a business enterprise park has been unable to access grant support and has faced similar challenges to keep his business operating.

To champion the indie beer shop sector and highlight the vibrancy they bring to the high street, their communities, to the local economy and support they give to breweries this beer collaboration was suggested by Sheffield based beer shop Hop Hideout’s owner Jules Gray to a group of like-minded retailers; with a resounding yes. The collaborative beer is a riff on one of Donzoko’s core beers and is aptly named Indie Graft.

The twist on Graft sees dry-hopping with Nelson Sauvin variety which has a white grape and gooseberry like quality boosting the profile achieved from the fermentation with Beaujolais wine yeast and kicking the abv up to 4.7%. This vinous version of Donzoko’s hoppy Belgian inspired pale, Graft, will be available exclusively through independent beer retailers from early July 2020.

On Saturday 18th July, 7.30pm, the group welcomes everyone to raise a beer and a collective cheer to their local community and beer shop. Purchase Indie Graft as locally as you can and join in the free online tasting with Donzoko Brewing, Hop Hideout and indie beer shop friends.

Find out more: ; use our hashtag on socals to join in #IndieGraft and search your local beer shop here

Reece Hugill (Donzoko Brewing),

“Not accessing any grant support and having all our revenue streams cut, really hit hard. But seeing people turn to their small independent shops and producers is really good to see. This beer is a celebration of that, sticking together and grafting to keep people in good beer.”

Jules Gray (Hop Hideout),

“This beer collab not only celebrates the hard-working people and businesses in the sector, but is also an exciting exploration of beer and wine hybridisation, showcasing the experimentation within the industry plus the thirst from our customers for that too. Having kept people in good beer, acted as community hubs and grafted through the Covid-19 pandemic this Indie Graft beer will provide a much needed toast to all the hardwork pushing through those gruelling moments.”

Jen Ferguson (Hop, Burns and Black),

“We’re all in this together, working hard to ensure a healthy craft beer scene on the other side and we’re so grateful to breweries for keeping the beer flowing in these challenging times.”

Full list of independent beer retailers:
Bath Road Beers (Cheltenham)

Beercosm (Bristol)

Beer Moth (Manchester)

Beer No Evil (Worthing)

Beer Ritz (Leeds)

Beer Shop HQ (St Albans and Hitchin)

Bier Huis (Ossett)

Bison Beer (Brighton)

Block & Bottle (Newcastle)

Bottles & Books (Bristol)

Bottle & Jug Dept (Worthing)

Bottle Monkey (Isle of Man)

Brew Cavern (Nottingham)

Caps & Taps (London)

Coffee & Beer (Bristol)

Craft Beer Bottle Shop (Perth)

Craft & Berry (Sheffield)

craftndraft (London)

Craft Tooting (London)

Favourite Beers (Cheltenham)

Ghost Whale (London)

Hop, Burns & Black (London)

Hop Hideout (Sheffield)

Hops and Crafts (Exeter)

Hopsters (Ipswich & Chelmsford)

Hoptimism (online only)

indiebeer (London)

Independent Spirit of Bath (Bath)

Kraft Werks (Nottingham)

Micro Beers (London)

NORD Bottle Shop (Whitley Bay)

Pop’n’Hops (Cardiff)

Raynville Superstore (Leeds)

Shume Bottle Emporium (St Neots, Cambridgeshire)

Stirchley Wines & Spirits (Birmingham)

Suds & Soda (Derby)

The Beer Cave (Edinburgh)

The Beer Emporium

The Beer Hive (Edinburgh)

The Beer Musketeer (Portsmouth)

The Crafty Beer Shop (Barnstaple, North Devon)

Thirsty Cambridge (Cambridge)

Two Brews (Colchester)

Vessel Beer Shop (Plymouth)

Water into Beer (London)

We Brought Beer (London)

Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)


Notes to Editor:

Donzoko brewing are based in the North East and are inspired by the rich beer heritage from the UK, Germany and across Europe

Hop Hideout is an award-winning independent beer shop set-up in 2013 by Jules Gray. She also runs Sheffield Beer Week and Sheffield’s craft beer festival Indie Beer Feast.

For interviews and further details please email jointly: Reece Hugill and Jules Gray