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Waitrose to take award-winning Glasgow lager around the UK

Independent Glasgow-based brewery West has signed a nationwide supply deal with Waitrose to bring its top-selling lager brand to 200 stores after a successful six-month trial in the upmarket retailer’s three Scottish stores.

West, located at Glasgow Green, was established in 2006 by the Bavarian-born Petra Wetzel. It will supply the high-end grocery chain with 2500 cases per week of St Mungo, its most popular premium lager, with immediate effect.

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The brewery, which also operates a restaurant business, achieved a turnover of just under £1 million in 2009-10, St Mungo being by far the biggest revenue earner. The microbrewer claims to be the only brewery in the UK to produce all of its beers in accordance with the “German Purity Law” (Reinheitsgebot) of 1516, which ensured that only the purest beers containing the four core ingredients – water, malt, hops and yeast – were fit for consumption. Certification is used by modern marketers to stress the absence of artificial additives and preservatives within the product.

Based in the landmark former Templeton carpet factory, West has seen sharply rising demand for St Mungo lager, with a 180% leap in sales over the past year.

Sales director Richard McLelland said: “We are thrilled to have signed an exclusive supply deal with a brand renowned for its quality and sourcing integrity in order to offer people a true premium lager which has already developed a huge following.

“Waitrose continues to break new ground by becoming the only grocery chain to stock the only lager brewed in the UK to the highest exacting standards of the German purity laws and the first UK winner of three gold medals from the prestigious German Agricultural Society (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft). We are excited to be forming what we hope will be a strong and successful partnership.”

David Wyllyams, beer buyer at Waitrose, said: “West is a perfect local partner for us – with quality and purity at its core and a national appeal in line with our customer base.

“We share similar values through our desire to bring the best quality locally-sourced produce to our customers and are confident that we can look to roll out the supply to all of our 230 stores.”

St Mungo and several of West’s beer brands are available nationally through distributors Matthew Clark and Belhaven. The beer can also be found at London’s Met Bar, Turnberry, The Blythswood Hotel and Malmaison in Glasgow.

West plans to build a £6.5m brewing centre of excellence in Glasgow which will be fully operational in 2011 and include a restaurant, arts space and visitors’ centre.

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