Craft beer specialist Real Ale Ltd has helped M&S develop a new international range and expand its regional can line-up. It has also helped with the creation of a Christmas gift pack of own-label canned beers.
The latest introductions mean that the M&S international range now includes brands from revered breweries from the USA, Denmark and Norway, including: Mikkeller, Ska Brewing, Sixpoint Brewery, Bear Republic, Amundsen Bryggeri, Aegir, and Hardywood.
And it has supported M&S for the launch of its branded six-can multi-packs: Laid Back, American Pale Ale and Double Hopped Citra IPA.
Real Ale collaborated with Euroboozer to source four brands from Denmark-based Mikkeller, which will initially be sold exclusively through M&S.
Zeph King, managing director of Real Ale, said: “The new international range of beers represents the crème de la crème in the sector. We are incredibly proud to be working with an innovative retailer that is adventurous and willing to offer its customers amazing quality beers that are not usually found on the high street.
“For example, the new M&S canned Christmas gift pack includes a range of flavours and styles from some smaller, less well-known brands, as well as popular British regional breweries.
“This illustrates M&S’ commitment to give its customers access to unusual, often hard-to-source, products at an affordable price. It also represents a fantastic commercial boost for the smaller breweries that have been selected.”
Michael Wallis, beer buyer for M&S, said: “Our own-label 330ml canned range, launched earlier this year, has proved extremely popular with our customers. The introduction of our various style and Christmas pack is a natural extension.
“The development of our international range from such cutting-edge breweries will complement our diverse British branded and own-label line-ups, offering our customers the finest range of beers that can easily be purchased from their local high street.”
For the past 11 years, Real Ale has been an official supplier agent to M&S helping the multi-national retailer source products from smaller craft and regional producers nationally and internationally. Real Ale’s technical team works closely with individual craft producers advising on ingredients, tasting notes production, as well as new product selection.
The Real Ale team recently accompanied M&S to the USA to research off-trade trends and visit a selection of breweries. The company ensures that all breweries are operating to M&S standards for food safety, hygiene and quality, and have robust due diligence systems in place. Real Ale supplies more than 200 branded and own-label products to the retailer.