At Brew By Numbers, progress is at the core of everything we do. Since our conception, we have always focused on driving ourselves and the UK craft beer scene forward. Whether it's in our recipes, processes or business, we are always looking to refine and explore the ways in which we can get our modern, fresh beer to as many people as possible. Our latest news is a huge step in that direction.
We are incredibly excited to announce that, for the first time ever, Brew By Numbers will be available in supermarkets. That’s right, from the 11th of April, Marks and Spencers across the country will be stocking Brew By Numbers beer! Keep a look out for our beer hitting the shelves of your local M&S in the coming weeks.
We are still a reasonably young brewery and a relatively small operation compared to those with whom we'll share shelf-space. A deal like this is incredibly exciting for us and marks a big step forward on our ever-evolving journey.
We have always flirted with the idea of partnering up with bigger retailers. As with all decisions like this though, there are trade-offs. Questions of scale, reliability and quality throughout shelf-life have always been at the front of our minds. We strive to deliver the best that modern craft beer has to offer, and we'll never compromise on that.
Being able to fill an order like this and stay true to that ethos has not always been guaranteed. We have often found, for example, that the margins are too tight for us to make the kind of beer we want to sell, or we haven’t been able to guarantee the shelf-life necessary for supermarket retail. A key step in this direction has been our transition to canning instead of bottling. The benefits of canning are well-established in our industry, but the issue is thrown into stark relief exploring a decision like this one.
The extra longevity and freshness that canning provides allows us to feel confident that the beer being sold at M&S will be at it’s best for as long as possible. We’re thrilled to finally be in a position where we can make this step up without sacrificing what we do best: exploratory and hand-crafted modern beer. Then of course, there's choosing a partner that will be able to showcase all of this.
We have always admired M&S. Their respect for the quality and pedigree of their suppliers, their emphasis on sourcing locally, and highlighting the best of British produce has always struck a chord with us. As a multinational retailer, they have consistently remained true to this mission and retain an amazing track record on all fronts. With that in mind, we felt assured that our aims dovetailed perfectly. As we do with our own warehouse and retail practices, M&S take care and pride with the treatment of their produce. We feel confident that once those pallets leave our warehouse, they will be in the most capable hands in the industry.
But what about the beer?
Now for the juicy bit. We have brewed a brand new beer exclusively for M&S. But we've gone one further: it's a whole new style, too! It's always an exciting moment when we introduce a new number, and this one's a doozy.
Get ready for our brand new 50|American Pale Ale.
This was a really exciting brew for us. It's an homage to the beers that kick-started the beer revolution we are so pleased to be a part of. The American Pale Ale is perhaps the first quintessential craft beer style, representing everything that makes modern beer so great.
We started with a simple and balanced pale malt bill, with 'enough wheat and oats for a soft and rounded body without overdoing it, keeping the beer light and drinkable' says Kieran, our lead brewer. 'The water profile was also carefully constructed to accentuate the crispness and showcase the hops in all their glory.'
'We were looking to make a beer with a fair amount of bitterness (as all APAs should have) alongside all that resinous, citrus, stone fruit and berry goodness.' Kieran goes on to say. When it came to picking the hop profile for this first batch, we went all out to choose the most expressive American varieties from the Yakima Valley. This famous region is the birthplace of many of the modern craft hops. It was an obvious choice for our reverent No. 50.
The beer has just been packaged, and we've ended up with a fantastically quaffable 5.3% juice bucket. It's everything we love about craft beer in a can, and it really showcases the talent of our brewing team. We’ve built a reputation of toeing that line between drinkability and full-bodied flavour, and this style hits that sweet spot perfectly. It'll be hitting M&S shops nationwide on the 11th of April. Keep an eye out for our signature sleek black cans in the beer aisle. We can't wait for you to try it.
This beer is a chance to show an even bigger audience what Brew By Numbers is about, and we've absolutely relished it. It’s taken us years to get to a place where we felt like this was something we could do and stand by the quality of the result. We've put all of that experience into brewing a truly excellent and quintessentially craftbeer – one that feels both refined and accessible. And we’re fully confident that M&S's focus on quality produce and the best of local fare will ensure our beer will be well looked-after. For new customers, it will serve as a perfect introduction to Brew By Numbers. For those that already know us, it's another fantastic addition to a long list of top tipple.
We've had an amazing 12 months. Following our successful crowdfunding campaign, we've got taproom expansions in the works and a new brewhouse on the horizon. Recent months have seen us brewing some of the best beers we ever have, and now we have our first foray into the nation's supermarket aisles. We're thrilled to be moving forward into uncharted territory once more.