Asda toasts £850k deal to stock 25 beers from 13 Scottish craft breweries, including Isle of Arran, Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and Kelburn

Francesca Washtell
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Popularity Of Craft Beers Continues To Grow
Asda signed the listings deal with 13 brewers to sell 25 separate beers (Source: Getty)

The unstoppable cultural phenomenon that is craft beer has just ratcheted up even more mainstream support.

Supermarket giant Asda has agreed a listings deal with 13 breweries to put 25 new craft beers on its shelves in Scotland, in a deal worth more than £850,000.

An industry source told City A.M. that if sales in Scotland are robust and the demand is strong, the distribution deal could be rolled out across the rest of the UK.

As a result of the deal, Asda will become the largest single retailer of craft beers and ales in Scotland, where there are more than 100 craft breweries, stocking a total of 75 Scottish beers, ales and ciders at its 61 stores, the company said in a statement.

Read more: Try not to panic: Craft beer prices have been threatened by hop shortages

Brian O’Shea, Asda’s regional buying manager for Scotland, said: "The craft beer culture continues to grow, and it’s clear customers are trading up to more premium beers, particularly ones which come from local brands.

"The new lines we have launched are all premium quality and will give customers a new more local choice, with a variety of flavours to suit every palate and occasion."

Asda will work with Isle of Arran, Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and Kelburn breweries, while the supermarket has also joined forces with wholesaler Craft Beer Clan to recruit the nine additional craft beer lines from: Deeside Brewery, Eden Mill Brewery, Jaw Brewery, Knops Brewery, Lerwick Brewery, Stewart Brewing, Loch Lomond Brewing, Wooha Brewing and WEST Brewery.

"Scottish provenance and taste is important, but what makes our lager and ales stand out from the rest is that we put a modern twist on traditional brewing by using scientific knowledge of microbiology to create modern hop strains, alongside state-of-the-art equipment," Heather McDonald, head brewster and owner of WooHa Brewing Company, said.

Read more: London toasts boom in craft beer start-ups

Snapped up

Despite the appeal of craft beer companies as independent, upstart brewers, in reality there has been a recent slew of takeovers from drinks giants.

In December, the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev bought the London craft beer producer Camden Town Brewery, while SABMiller snapped up fellow London craft brewer Meantime in May last year.

Last week, AB InBev also gulped down JD Wetherspoon's craft beer favourite - US-based Devils Backbone Brewing.

To protect against the move to merge and acquire popular craft beer producers, Scottish craft heavyweight BrewDog last week voted to change its constitution to specifically protect itself against a buyout by a "monolithic purveyor of industrial beer".

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