Smaller breweries toast new ale contract with Co-op

Steve Magnall, chief executive of St Peter�s Brewery

Steve Magnall, chief executive of St Peter�s Brewery - Credit: Archant

Five breweries in the East of England are celebrating after scooping contracts with the Co-op to supply around 60 of the community retailer’s food stores.

St Peter's Brewery.

St Peter's Brewery. - Credit: Archant

The award winning St Peter’s brewery, based in South Elmham, Bungay, will supply about 60 of the Manchester-based national retailer’s stores with around 25,000 pints of four of its ales.

The brewery, based next to St Peter’s Hall and using its own well water, will supply its Best Bitter, Ruby Red, Golden Ale and Organic Best Bitter, which all come in distinctive bottles based on a design found in a tavern in Gibbstown, Pennsylvania, from the late 1700s.

Family-run Saffron Brewery – a small craft brewery based at Henham, near Saffron Walden, will supply the Co-op with its Saffron Blonde and Dawn ‘til Dusk ales.

Nethergate Brewery at Pentlow, near Sudbury – which marked its 30 anniversary this year - will also supply around 60 of the community retailer store’s with its Nethergate IPA and, Lemonhead ale.

Nethergate Brewery.

Nethergate Brewery. - Credit: Archant


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The brewery, which is set to move to a new site in nearby Rodbridge early next year, has already sent out its first shipment of around 5,000 bottles.

The move comes as the Co-op commits to doubling the number of its local, small and micro suppliers and launches a small producer charter to support and, provide opportunities to champion local suppliers.

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Oakham Ales in Peterborough and Elgoods of Wisbech in Norfolk have also been named as suppliers.

Steve Magnall, chief executive of St Peter’s Brewery, described the deal as “very good news”.

Brothers James ( right ) and Edward Hoskins ( left ) of Saffron Brewery.

Brothers James ( right ) and Edward Hoskins ( left ) of Saffron Brewery. - Credit: Archant

The Co-op is a champion of local produce and this deal will further support our business development and open up new markets for our business in communities across the region.”

Richard Gray, director of sales at Nethergate Brewery: “To reach more local communities is a great opportunity, and it comes at a perfect time as we mark our 30th anniversary and ready ourselves for our move to our new site. We are constantly asked where our ales can be bought and so this contract win has come at a great time to further build awareness of our brand.”

Peter Hoskins, director at Saffron Brewery, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Co-op. Its heritage, values and local, community-based approach is a great fit with our business. To reach more local communities is a great opportunity and will further support our business development and build awareness of our ales.”

Simon Dryell, ranging manager for the Co-op, said it was “exciting” to collaborate with the breweries.

General view of the newly refurbished Coop Food Store on Balloon Street, Manchester.

General view of the newly refurbished Coop Food Store on Balloon Street, Manchester. - Credit: Archant

“The quality, passion and innovation of smaller producers makes these prized local products and we are delighted to give them pride of place in our stores,” he said.

“We know that the provenance of food and drink really matters to our customers, we are committed to investing in local economies and providing new opportunities to showcase and celebrate great British food and drink producers.”

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