Waitrose cheers surge in Scottish craft beer sales

SALES of Scottish craft beer at Waitrose have more than doubled in just three months.

Annika Meiklejohn of Tweedbank's Tempest, one of Waitrose's newest beer suppliers. Picture: Kimberley Powell

The retailer said the growth of Scottish products in its drinks range has outstripped the rest of the UK for the first time, with sales growing six times faster than comparable selections of premium bottled ales south of the Border.

In May, Waitrose more than doubled its range of Scottish ales, beers and lagers to more than 90 after bringing on board a number of new brewers, including Stirlingshire’s Fallen and Borders-based Tempest. Fallen said sales of its unfiltered beer have jumped 35 per cent in recent week at the chain, the first major multiple to stock its range.

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Tempest, based in Tweedbank, saw its sales rise 17 per cent between July and August, and co-founder Annika Meiklejohn said: “Working with Waitrose has been a great venture for our brewery in making our beers more visible and widely available across Scotland.

“We have a shared dedication to quality and a genuine enthusiasm for unique, interesting produce, so our experience with the team has been hugely positive and we look forward to a continued partnership in the future.”

Meanwhile, sales of Williams Bros’ Caesar Augustus lager/IPA hybrid, brewed in Alloa, have soared by 46 per cent over the past three months, cementing its position as the best-selling beer in Waitrose’s Scottish range.

Aviemore’s Cairngorm brewery, which has been supplying the grocer since it opened its first Scottish stores ten years ago, has enjoyed a 30 per cent increase, while Jarl from Argyll’s Fyne Ales has emerged as the best seller of all the new beers added in May, growing by 10 per cent a month.