Stoke-on-Trent-based wholesaler Beer Direct has been acquired by James Clay, with the new ownership coming into effect today.

The integration of the two businesses will increase the availability of some of the world’s greatest beers through James Clay’s extensive portfolio. The Beer Direct range will remain in place initially, before being expanded to introduce James Clay’s wider offering. Prices to customers will be aligned to ensure they share the benefits of the deal.

Martin Johnson, who founded Beer Direct in 1991 with Brain Pettit, and who is the company’s managing director, will remain in a consultancy role to ensure a smooth transition.

James Clay said: ‘We’ve worked closely with Beer Direct for over 25 years as an independent business who share our philosophies and values. Martin shares our ambition of connecting customers with the world’s greatest beers, and we’re honoured he trusts us to ensure the business thrives for decades to come.


Quality beer


“We respect the excellent work of our other distribution partners in the area, and remain committed to working alongside them to develop quality beer in the region. We thank Martin for his tireless dedication to great beer, and wish him the very best in a richly deserved retirement.”

Martin said: ‘We’re confident that James Clay is the best company to take Beer Direct forward, and feel certain this transition will benefit pubs, bars, and bottle shops in the region.

“We want to thank all of our customers for their loyalty over the past 27 years, and reassure them that James Clay’s commitment to quality beer puts them in safe hands for the future.”

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