Lidl "ale assault" will rival supermarket beer offers in latest price war after "claret offensive" success

Lynsey Barber
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Alex James is fronting Lidl's new beer promotion (Source: Lidl)

Lidl's is embarking on an "ale assault" with a new beer range to rival the big four supermarkets after the success of last year's "claret offensive".

The discounter has now switched its attention from wine to beer, and will launch more than 60 new brews onto its shelves from Monday, many priced more cheaply than rivals such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

"We have refined the current selection by going out and trying every single beer on the market and have handpicked a selection of regional ales that will showcase some of the best craft ales available in the UK, and will reflect the regions that they’re being stocked in,” said Lidl buying manager Ben Hulme.

Read more: London's craft beer mapped

The range will include bitters, stouts, ciders, IPAs, porters and other craft brews which have become increasingly popular across the country. Many will be locally sourced with prices starting from as little as £1.17 for Old Speckled Hen.

In London, local beers will include Hog's Back Gardener's Tipple and Portobello Star Ale, while bottles of Hobgoblin Strong Dark Ale and Bornem Abbey Blonde Beer will be on the shelves nationally.

A campaign promoting the beers will be fronted by the former Blur bassist and cheese aficionado Alex James.

“As a lifelong fan of good quality beer I am very happy to be supporting Lidl UK with the launch of its brewery concept. The beer category is so vast and the demand for craft ales has increased by a huge amount in the past few years. Nowadays there are so many beer aficionados and great local breweries around the UK so it is tremendous to see a supermarket like Lidl supporting them,” said James.

Last year Lidl launched a "claret offensive" with a range of premium wines to tempt middle-class customers from their usual supermarket. Wine and spirit sales have rocketed more than 40 per cent year-on-year.

Waitrose launched its latest salvo in the supermarkets' ongoing price wars with a "pick your own offer" concept letting customers choose the items on which they get a discount.

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