It’s been well publicised that ‘brexit’ has affected UK supermarket shelves in the past 6 months. The main driving force seems to be the poorer exchange rate, which has caused amusing rows involving many well known brands being pulled from aisle shelves.
Recently, Tesco announced that it would be pulling macro beer behemoth Heineken fron the shelves. Heineken own several well known brands, such as Sol, Kingfisher, Amstel and Birra Moretti. So that’s a mighty lager shaped hole to fill.
What does this mean? Well so far, it seems it has resulted in more variety, with Tesco promising 30 or so additions from craft beer companies to most stores, including the smaller express locations. They will probably have been planning these additions of an increased craft beer range for some time, using the timing and ‘brexit’ angle for clever publicity. Certainly possible.
The feedback from beer communities has been largely positive, with most saying their local stores offer some great beer at exceptional value. Most on offer seems to be the more widely known and more established craft beer brands, with mostly American style IPAs and pale ales. There’s some dissent though, with concerns about taking business away from independent specialists.
I can’t see Tesco’s replacing a dedicated store for most dedicated beer hunters, but it’s a plus for consumers to have greater access to more independent breweries in more locations. Just watch out for some unknown macro brands masquerading as craft!
Look out for Oskar Blues, Brewdog, Flying Dog, Stone and Thornbridge. Stone IPA has been seen for £1.80, and there seems to be some 3 for £5 deals on Brewdog. I’ve taken advantage of the improved range recently with a few cheeky train beers. Luckily, there is a Tesco Express near the station, so I picked up a ‘Tart’, a sour from Thornbridge, and some Oskar Blues cans.
I’ll certainly be returning to Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues, which is both finely balanced with a hefty kick. Looks a bit like a can of coke on a train too…