Brixton Brewery expects surge in demand in the Craft category and is taking its iconic Coldharbour Lager out of its South London home across the country to grow additional sales for operators

The Craft category is booming across the UK and is predicted to continue growing to 15% market share by 2025, with Lager holding the biggest share in the category. Craft currently delivers almost 50% more Retail Sales Value than Classic Lager, sitting at £4.85 Average Price Per Pint compared to Classic Lager’s £3.33 Average Price Per Pint. Although penetration of the category is currently 18.7% and rate of sale is up by 20%, there are still many more drinkers to recruit to the category, which is why Brixton is driving additional awareness this year.

Following its recently secured national off-trade distribution in key grocers, a national charge that was due to begin in March 2020 is now underway. This year the brand has big ambitions to explode in the on-trade, with a target of 1200 new taps nationwide and a brand new POS toolkit available to all customers to help them drive additional sales in-outlet. Supporting this ambition, Brixton Brewery is increasing its marketing budget significantly to help accelerate awareness and reach of the beer via a variety of activity including the brand’s first ever OOH campaign, an increased digital spend as well as extensive sampling across festivals and events.

Alongside the growth plans, the brand also remains committed to supporting and collaborating with local community and organisations, such as Age UK Lambeth, who they partnered with on the launch of Generation Pale Ale – the first beer purpose-brewed to raise money for the charity by bringing people of all (legal drinking) ages back together after lockdown.

Key to the brand’s ambitions is its easy-drinking Pilsner-style beer, Coldharbour Lager, a recipe the brewery has perfected over six years. As an accessible style, lager represents 62.5% of Craft volumes in the on-trade and compared to competitors, Coldharbour Lager offers a lighter, more sessionable ABV and bitterness without compromising on craft flavour.

By stocking Coldharbour Lager, operators can tap into one of the biggest trends in the market to grow beer sales and give their customers a taste of Brixton. Its strong ROS (2.6 kegs per week), in part due to its lower ABV vs competitors, means that drinkers will spend extended time in-outlet with an increased wet and dry spend. Additionally, the increased marketing investment and visibility support for Coldharbour Lager this year means that operators will see strong consumer demand for this beer, driving healthy ROS.

Co-Founder of Brixton Brewery Xochitl Benjamin said: “Following a chance meeting in a local bar in 2013, Brixton Brewery was born, and our passion for putting Brixton on the map for great beer is as strong as ever. As a family-run business, we are rooted in our diverse and vibrant community and we work hard to brew beers that make the Brixton community proud.  

“Each of our beers celebrate Brixton, from their names to the design, and each is hand-crafted in small batches, unpasteurised and unfiltered for maximum flavour. We always ensure we use the best ingredients we can get our hands on, whether sourced locally or further afield, resulting in beer that’s bold, modern and perfectly balanced for easy-drinking. Coldharbour Lager is just one example of this. Named after the bustling Coldharbour Lane, where travellers to London used to find shelter, this pilsner-style beer is full of fearless craft character and now helps consumers all over the UK take refuge from thirst.”  

Operators are already starting to see the benefits of stocking Brixton Brewery:

“Since we reopened in April Brixton Brewery’s Coldharbour Lager has proved to be an incredibly valuable addition to our premium beer offering. The brewery’s vibrant POS looks amazing in our sites and catches the attention of curious drinkers who are open to trading up from more mainstream brands. Once they’ve tried the beer, we find that its light and refreshing profile keeps them coming back for more, resulting in exceptionally strong ROS.” Steve Kirby, Operations Manager at ETM Group.