Bottles of beer from a Wombwell brewery are now on sale in dozens of South Yorkshire supermarkets, thanks to a Co-operative initiative.
Acorn’s Barnsley Bitter, Barnsley Gold and Yorkshire Pride are on the shelves of more than 60 community-based Co-ops.
The order has come through the Co-operative’s newly-launched pilot scheme designed to champion local produce in local stores across Yorkshire.
More than 50 Yorkshire manufacturers and producers have been signed up to provide a range of items including eggs, ice cream, sweets, chutneys, sausages – and beer.
Owner of Acorn Brewery Dave Hughes said: “We are chuffed to bits that the Co-op have asked us get involved in their local produce campaign and very much welcome the opportunity to sell our beer to more people right on our doorstep.
“We’ve increased UK-wide sales over the years through wholesalers, supplying a network of shops, pubs and bars, but it is has always been tricky to target more locally-based outlets with smaller deliveries.
“It’s fantastic to now have this chance to go one sale in so many Co-ops based in communities across our Yorkshire heartland.”
Dave plans to work with some local Co-op managers to plan beer tasting days and promotions in the near future too.
The local produce initiative was launched by the Co-operative Group in Yorkshire after members voted for the move at their annual general meeting. It has involved Co-op working closely with suppliers to overcome the logistical issues which have prevented local firms providing relatively small orders to their local stores in the past.
Co-op’s head of local sourcing Kate Jones said: “Our unique local sourcing initiative has been designed to break down the barriers which have previously made it difficult for small companies like Acorn Brewery to supply large national organisations.
“Our customers told us they want to buy local products at their Co-op store and so we have responded by teaming up with more than 50 new Yorkshire suppliers to tackle these issues.
“Products made in the vicinity of our stores are prized by customers who want to support locally produced regional food.”
The Co-op hopes to extend the scheme across the UK following this Yorkshire pilot.
Acorn Brewery was established in 2003 and is based on Aldham industrial estate in Wombwell. It currently employs 11 people and brews around 30,000 pints of real ale per week – with capacity increasing all the time.
Hand-pulled cask ale accounts for 90 per cent of Acorn’s production plus, over the last couple of years, the brewery has increased production of bottled beers by 20 per cent and introduced keg beers to its range.
Acorn Brewery produces six permanent real ales Barnsley Bitter, Barnsley Gold, Yorkshire Pride, Blonde, Gorlovka and Old Moor Porter; plus a wide range of seasonal IPAs.