Beer Hawk PerfectDraft mini kegs available via cash and carry for first time with United Wholesale Scotland

Retailers were able to buy Beer Hawk kegs and machines from United Wholesale Scotland starting in November

mini beer keg boom beer hawk

AB InBev has made its Beer Hawk PerfectDraft beer-keg range available through cash and carry for the first time. 

The PerfectDraft product enables the public to pour beers at home through 6l kegs that are inserted into machines known as “blades”. 

Major brands such as Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona are available, with RRPs for a keg starting from around £27. 

The products were withdrawn from general sale to retailers in 2020 due to the pandemic. Beer Hawk later launched a pilot programme in 2021 restricting trade sales to a number of authorised convenience stockists. 

However, the mini kegs and blades were made available in cash and carries last month, with United Wholesale Scotland being the first convenience wholesaler to stock the mini kegs and the blades. 

The company’s managing director, Chris Gallacher, told betterRetailing the products will provide convenience retailers with a major opportunity during the cost-of-living crisis

He said: “We’ve got Beer Hawk now and it’s a fantastic product, which we’re pushing out big-time. 

“The hospitality trade will probably see a decline as people are spending less. They’ve not got the money to go into a pub as much any more, and Beer Hawk offers a premium-pub feeling at home. 

“People are going to have to make a decision on any extra cash that they’ve got. 

“We’re the first wholesaler to have it and we’re opening the product out to every retailer that wants to do it. Within the first week, we received a number of orders, and the machines are also selling really well. It’s a really exciting product.” 

Changing customer buying habits during the pandemic fuelled a mini-keg ‘gold rush’ as some retailers were making up to £35,000 a week in sales from the product. 

One regional wholesaler, who asked not to be named, said they were aware that the Beer Hawk range had arrived in wholesale and that they were looking to talk to the company. 

They added that there were also some changes within Beer Hawk’s trade account team. 

Another regional wholesaler told betterRetailing: “There is demand for the product, but as a delivered wholesaler, we’d still have to think carefully about whether to make it available to retailers. 

“The challenge is the return of the kegs themselves. Retailers can easily return them to their nearest depot, but it creates challenges for storage capacity on our lorries if retailers are asking if they can return the kegs through our drivers.” 

AB InBev and Beer Hawk declined to comment when approached by RN. 

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