UK high-street wine merchant, Oddbins, has extended its own-brand range of craft beers, capitalising on the category’s increasing popularity in a bid to “leverage the growing strength of its brand.”
The retailer, which last month announced plans to triple its number of stores from 35 to more than 100 stores, will this week launch Oddbins No.2 – a pale ale brewed in partnership with the Oxfordshire-based Compass Brewery.
Oddbins No 2 is brewed using pale malt, lager malt, Vienna malt, wheat and smoked malt and is described as a “cross between an ale and a lager” with “biscuit notes with a refreshing character” by its makers.
The extension of its branded range follows a trial last year of Oddbins No 1, a festive real ale, with further Oddbins branded beers set to be launched later this year.
Ayo Akintola, managing director of Oddbins, said: “The success of Oddbins No 1, made by the East London Brewery, demonstrated that we can leverage the brand at a product level.
“In launching No 1 we have successfully introduced craft ale to a new consumer group that had previously opted for big brand beers. Sales of other East London Brewery beers in Oddbins stores have risen 35 per cent since December as a direct result of consumers being introduced to ELB with Oddbins No 1.
“Oddbins No 2 is a collaboration with an innovative brewer in Oxfordshire and we are working with a number of other independent craft beer producers to introduce further Oddbins branded ales later this year.”
UK craft beers currently make up 47% of all Oddbins’ beer sales with the company stocking 293 craft beers across its stores.
Mr Akintola added: “Consumers are increasingly looking for locally made, independent beers that are full of flavour and character and Oddbins is proud to be a major supporter of craft ale producers in the UK. It is becoming a golden age for the industry and beer-lovers have never before enjoyed such a choice.
“Oddbins is playing a key role in introducing consumers to the wonderful world of craft beers.”
As part of the release of Oddbins No 2, the UK merchant has launched a search for an official “customer Beer Taster” to assist in choosing which UK craft ales to stock.
The role is unpaid, but the successful entrant will receive monthly deliveries of craft ales in exchange for tasting feedback.
To nominate yourself or a friend tweet @oddbins using the hashtag #OddbinsBeer with your reasons why you, or they, would be suitable for the role.