Bath Ales, has announced its best year for grocery sales driven largely by the rising popularity of its flagship ale, Gem, in the South West. Supermarket sales reached £3.5m – a 14 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
The sales data, collected by consumer research group, Nielsen, placed Bath Ales in third position in a recent list of the top 20 craft beer producers in the UK. According to The Grocer, the industry magazine that published the data, the brewer met Nielsen’s definition for craft beer thanks to its focus on quality and provenance.
A reflection of how highly regarded Gem is in its heartland, the majority of supermarkets that stock Gem and other Bath Ales beers, are based in the South West.
Overall bottled beer sales across all retail channels, are increasing for Bath Ales – by 17 per cent in the calendar year for 2015 with Gem being the strongest performing brand.
Karin Ashwell, marketing director at Bath Ales, said: “It’s great to see Bath Ales ranking so highly in Nielsen’s top 20 craft beer list. Whilst the definition for craft beer can be debated, our commitment to producing high quality, great-tasting beer is unquestionable.
“We attribute our success in supermarkets to the fantastic consumer loyalty enjoyed by Gem and our other brands. With Gem being in such high demand with customers, we find supermarkets want to stock more to meet shoppers’ needs.
“We’ve also been able to grow sales in supermarkets through filling gaps for retailers who didn’t previously stock Bath Ales and adding other Bath Ales brands to their range.
“Gem has always maintained great distribution and, given the strong consumer appeal and high level of recognition, it has a really good rate of sale. We have found interest and sales in our beers has grown as people understand more about our focus on quality and see the awards and recognition we enjoy.”
Gem’s rate of sale has been supported by consistent industry recognition including twice being a medal winner at the prestigious International Beer Challenge; Gold medal winner and overall category champion (Best ale up to 5% vol) in 2014 and silver medal winner in 2015.
Bath Ales was acquired by fellow West Country brewer, St Austell Brewery Company Limited, on 1st July. The deal, which was completed for an undisclosed amount, includes: The Bath Ales brewery, situated between Bath and Bristol, its portfolio of beer brands and its 11-strong pub estate. As part of the acquisition St. Austell Brewery has committed to a long-term significant investment in the Bath Ales brands, pub estate, people and brewing facilities.
The acquisition also extends to Beerd, the more experimental micro-brewery owned by Bath Ales which produces innovative and distinctive beers. It combines British brewing techniques with global trends to create a different style of beer from extreme-hopped IPAs to Hefeweizens.
The Bath Ales core range spans from lighter pale ales to dark stouts. It also produces limited edition seasonal ales available on draught across its venues and occasionally in bottle or micro cask too. The current seasonal ale, Summer’s Hare, is available now in Bath Ales’ venues and other pubs whilst stocks last.
About Bath Ales:
Established in 1995, Bath Ales brewery is based between Bath and Bristol and uses traditional brewing techniques combined with cutting-edge technology.
The business currently produces just over 20,000 brewer’s barrels annually and has had its own bottling plant since 2007. Bath Ales also has an on-site brewery shop.
Bath Ales operates 11 sites across the South West – The Hop Pole, The Salamander, The Swan, The Wellington, Colston Street Bar & Kitchen, three Beerd venues; Beerd Bristol, Beerd Colston and Beerd Oxford, plus three Graze Bar & Chophouse sites in Bath, Bristol and Cirencester. The flagship Graze in Bath also features a fully-functioning microbrewery.
The Bath Ales core range of beers includes Gem, Barnsey, Dark Side, Wild Hare, Special Pale Ale and Ginger Hare.
Bath Ales was acquired by St. Austell Brewery on 1st July 2016. The acquisition includes Bath Ales portfolio of beer brands, the Beerd microbrewery and its 11-strong pub estate. The deal will see a long-term significant investment in the Bath Ales brands, pub estate, people and brewing facilities.