The supermarket has doubled the number of Scottish craft beer and ales it stocks and increased the number of Scottish breweries it works with from 13 to 21.
It also extended the selection of beers and ales from some of its existing suppliers, such as Fyne Ales, bringing the total number of Scottish beers, ales and lagers available to over 90.
Waitrose’s beer experts have been working on expanding the craft beer offering since September 2015. Working with Scotland Food and Drink, the team sampled 140 craft beers from across Scotland before making its final selection.
Twelve of the new beers are exclusive to Waitrose, including three from Fallen Brewing in Stirlingshire; the Blonde and Wolf Dark bottles from Lossiemouth-based Windswept Brewing; signature bottle Seggie Mill from Eden Mill brewery in St Andrews and the Black Cork from Knops Beer Company in East Lothian.
A gluten free option from Black Isle Brewery is also exclusive to Waitrose, giving coeliacs the chance to enjoy a high quality beer with a citrus zing.
Waitrose is also the only supermarket to stock Skye Yer Ben, a smooth collaboration between celebrity chef Tom Kitchin and Isle of Skye Brewing.
Oliver O’Mara, local and regional buyer for Waitrose, said: “This is the biggest regional beer hunt Waitrose has ever undertaken, which gives you an idea of how seriously we are taking the craft beer movement in Scotland.
“The Scottish brewing scene is at the forefront of innovation in the UK, such as the Goldfinch by Black Isle, a gluten free and organic beer which is now available in all our Scottish branches.”
Kate Prall, beer buyer for Waitrose said: “We now have one of the biggest selections of craft beer and ales, which I think will make Waitrose a real destination for lovers of these drinks.
“We sampled around 140 beers and I was really impressed with the quality; we were quite spoilt for choice.
“Scottish craft beers can really hold their own against the UK national ranges. It’s clear that the brewers are passionate and have a real love for their craft, which makes for great tasting beer.”
Waitrose now stocks beer from 21 breweries, including:
· Fallen Brewing, Stirlingshire
· Windswept Brewing, Lossiemouth
· Eden Mill Distillery and Brewery, St Andrews
· Knops Beer Company, East Lothian
· Barneys Beer, Edinburgh
· Fyne Ales, Cairndow, Argyll
· Tempest Brewing
· Alechemy Brewing, Livingston
· Broughton Brewery, Biggar
· Traquair House Brewery, Peebleshire
· Isle of Skye Brewing
· Stewart Brewing, Loanhead, Midlothian
· Drygate, Glasgow
· Heather Ales, Alloa
· Inveralmond Brewery, Perth
· Black Wolf Brewery, Stirling
And UK wide suppliers:
· Sinclair Breweries
· Innis and Gunn
Matt Cordan, operations director for Drygate Brewing said: “We’re really excited to be working with Waitrose to bring our Drygate Brewing Co. beers to a wider audience across Scotland, with a view to building the brands towards a national launch.
“We worked closely with the buying team to ensure that they have the correct range and we have selected our Gladeye IPA, Bearface Craft Lager and our latest release, Ax Man Rye IPA, to be launched in all stores.”
Paul Miller, co-founder of Eden Mill added: “As a brewer which has won recognition and awards for our sustainable practices, we are particularly excited to see four of our beers selected to be sold in Waitrose’s Scottish stores.
“Our customers are continually asking for our beers to be made more widely available and having them available in Waitrose, whose environmental ethos is renowned, is great for them and us.”
James Davies, founder of Alechemy Brewing was also excited to be added to the Waitrose list: “It’s great to see a national retailer sourcing goods from smaller, independent craft breweries.
“Our beers offer a true alternative for the real ale lover, and I’m confident Waitrose customers across Scotland will appreciate the new offerings available to them.”