New wholesaler champions best of British

A London-based drinks wholesaler will target “phenomenal” growth in the UK’s events industry with a specialist focus on British produce when it begins trading in the new year.

jubileeThe British Alcohol Retailer aims to supply venues with a range of British ales, wines and spirits, building on the “revived patriotism” that has been generated by recent celebrations such as the Olympics, Jubilee and royal wedding,

BAR director Poppy Clarkson suggested that her venture would support a logical progression of UK consumers’ growing interest in high quality, domestically produced goods.

“We have been credibly sourcing food locally for well over a decade now while at the same time becoming know globally as a gastronomic capital,” she explained, adding: “from a drinks perspective, that change is on the cusp of happening,”

In addition to highlighting recent successes for English wine in international tastings, Clarkson observed: “There has been a real ale revolution with divine craft beers drawing in new types of customers all the time and being perfectly aligned to pair with food. Similarly in the spirits industry, she noted: “The trend for pot still and flavour differentiating artisan spirits has swept the capital.”

Acknowledging the pressures currently facing the UK’s drinks wholesalers, which this year alone saw the collapse of WaverleyTBS and Bibendum forced to make three directors redundant, Clarkson nevertheless emphasised the opportunities within the high quality events sector.

“The events industry growth has been phenomenal over the past decade and that’s not set to change any time soon, despite turbulent economic times,” she maintained. “Our focus is the premium end of the market where there has been far less of an impact due to the recession.”

With a list that currently features 10 UK wine producers, 16 breweries and seven “boutique” distillers, Clarkson noted: “All the products are award winners,” as she stressed: “We have also chosen the products that allow us to be competitive with premium quality imports and bigger brand names.”

Having built up its product list, BAR now plans to begin trading in early 2013. “Our focus to date has been getting out and meeting with each producer and getting to know what they are creating and why; I want to do the same with our customers,” said Clarkson.

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