The craft beer opportunity

betterRetailing catches up with Jonny Leece from BrewDog to see how his category advice helped two retailers maximise the craft beer opportunity

The demand for craft beer continues to grow and cannot be understated. It is recommended retailers start by stocking the top 10 craft beer lines, which account for 47% of category sales. Better Retailing joined Jonny Leece, head of impulse at BrewDog to see how the two retailers he visited have got on after receiving his expert advice on becoming a craft beer destination.



Kelly Busby, Londis Seaborn Stores, Bare, Morecambe


  • Visibility: Craft beer products weren’t easily spotted by customers, meaning Kelly was missing key sales opportunities
  • Bestsellers: Kelly had a wide range of craft beer products but was missing some bestselling products, including Lost Lager
  • Multipacks: Kelly has competitors nearby, so offering choice is vital, but she didn’t stock some key formats shoppers look for

Changes to drive sales

  • Increase visibility: We remerchandised Kelly’s craft beer to drive awareness and encourage new customers to the category, increasing sales
  • Stock bestsellers: We expanded Kelly’s range to include Lost Lager, the fastest-growing lager brand in the top 50, and Elvis Juice
  • Try new formats: Shoppers are looking for multipacks to save money, so we introduced Lost Lager 10x440ml cans and our 8x330ml selection pack.

Kelly says

“I really enjoyed being part of the project with BrewDog and being able to refresh our craft beer offering. It’s been great seeing shoppers notice the changes and I have encouraged new customers to try new products following the introduction of Lost Lager 10-pack and the eight-can selection pack. Due to the success of the trial and the new products, we plan on making Lost Lager a permanent fixture and I will definitely be keeping the changes.”

Key lessons for your store

  1. Increase visibility and drive footfall by ensuring your craft beer range is at eye-level
  2. Stock the top-selling craft beer lines, including Lost Lager, to cater to shopper needs
  3. Include a variety of formats, as one fifth of craft beer sales come from eight-to-10 packs



Tarsem Singh, The Pantry Convenience Store (Premier), Oswaldtwistle


  • Trading up: Tarsem had a strong range of premium lines, but they weren’t highlighted clearly, jeopardising higher basket spend
  • Bestselling brands: Craft beer is in growth, but Tarsem was unsure what lines, brands and flavours shoppers are looking for
  • Multipacks: Multipacks encourage shoppers to try something new, but they were missing from Tarsem’s range, risking sales

Changes to drive sales

  • Drive trade up: We remerchandised Tarsem’s premium beer offering, ensuring they are at eyelevel, to drive trade up and increase spend
  • Brand recognition: Shoppers look for recognisable brands, so we introduced three new lines to Tarsem’s range: Lost Lager, Punk IPA and Hazy Jane
  • Offer multipacks: Six out of 10 cans are sold in multipacks of four or above, so we expanded Tarsem’s craft beer range in include these

Tarsem says

“I’m delighted with the 21.6% year-on-year overall beer sales increase, as well as how well BrewDog has sold due to the changes made by Jonny. I’ve realised how important it is that customers can shop the category easily and I’m thrilled they are responding positively to the changes. Punk IPA and Lost Lager have become strong sellers, and I plan to re-order both if I’m able to source them.”

Key lessons

  1. Drive awareness of craft beer lines by placing them at eye level, to encourage trade up
  2. Stock well-known craft beer brands, such as Lost Lager, for customers new to the category
  3. Offer a variety of formats and selection boxes, for shoppers looking to try new flavours

BrewDog’s top tips

  1. Stock the bestsellers, including Lost Lager, which is the stepping stone into craft beer
  2. Offer a range of formats, like our variety box eight-pack, for shoppers looking to try something new
  3. Shoppers look for brands they know and trust, so stock recognisable brands, like BrewDog
Jonny Leece, head of impulse, BrewDog

Expert advice

“It’s great to see the sales impact Kelly and Tarsem have had by following our advice on maximising the craft beer category. BrewDog has the highest brand recognition (21%) within craft beer, and the results from Kelly and Tarsem show that including some of the top craft beer lines in different formats can help drive new shoppers to the category, boosting sales.”

The craft beer opportunity

Interested in improving your craft beer sales and taking part in our next in-store project?

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