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Majestic asks customers to choose next craft beer

Majestic is getting its customers to choose the next beer for its core range.

The retailer is using its 200-strong ‘Beer Team” – made up of customers selected by each store during its ‘Ocktoberfest’ activities – to select a local beer that will go into national distribution over the summer.

The winning beer will be selected from among the eight local brews, which topped a consumer tasting competition during Oktoberfest, and which subsequently went into local distribution. They comprise St Peter’s Golden Ale Barbarian Bitter from The Parker Brewery in Southport, Fuggle Dee-Dum by Goddards Brewery on the Isle of Wight, Hip Hop from West Sussex-based Langham Brewery, Golden Fleece from Cumbria’s Dent Brewery, Adnams Ghost Ship, Bath Ales Ginger Hare, and Twickenham Naked Ladies.

The beer that proves the most popular will be revealed in March, ahead of being listed across Majestic’s 211 stores.

The retailer has upped its focus on craft beers in recent years after moving away from mass-produced two years ago after seeing sales of small batch beers rise around 164% year-on-year.

The retailer’s ‘Oktoberfest’ was the first time Majestic had hosted a beer event across all stores, with eight world craft beers and five local British beers open for shoppers to taste and vote for.

Majestic CEO Rowan Gormley said the retailer was at the forefront of the “beer revolution”.

“We have a better selection, both craft beer and local beer, than anyone else and the best people to guide customers through the range,” he said.

The retailer recently reported strong sales over the key Christmas period, which accounts for around 30% of its annual trading, but admitted there was still a lot of work to do. In November, it unveiled a new three-year strategy, targeting sales of £500m after pre-tax profits dropped 50% in the first six months of the year.

Gormley told the drinks business there was an opportunity for Majestic to occupy a “sweet spot” in the market as the multiple retailers faced seismic changes and cited the changes as proof that it was a simple “back to basics” move that was required.

The wine specialist had previously scrapped its six bottle minimum, introduced a Naked Wines click and collect service in store, and launched its first own-label wine range.


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