The partnership between the 300-year-old Dutch family brewer and Beer Hawk Fresh, part of ZX Ventures – the global growth and innovation group of AB InBev – means that European craft beer, including Rodenbach, Palm, Cornet, De Molen and La Trappe will be made more widely available in the UK in bottle, can and keg.
What’s more, Swinkels is in the process of appointing its first London-based sales representative who will work alongside Beer Hawk Fresh to maximise its brands’ presence across both the on and off-trade.
Need to update approach
According to figures from The Morning Advertiser’s latest Drinks List, BrewDog’s Punk IPA is still top dog when it comes to on-trade craft beer after both its volume and value increased by almost a fifth, year on year.
What’s more, on-trade value and volume of Beavertown’s Neck Oil were both two-and-a-half times higher, year on year.
“Both in bars and the off-trade, and across keg and packaged beer, the craft market offers us a huge opportunity, but also means we have to update our approach,” Rob Page, managing director of Swinkels Family Brewers UK, explained.
“The Palm range, for example, has a well-established following in London and there’s an opportunity to re-engage consumers. Equally, both Rodenbach, one of the world’s most awarded breweries, and La Trappe, an acclaimed Trappist beer, are a great fit alongside the new wave of craft brands, as part of a well-curated beer offering.
“We’re looking forward to working with Beer Hawk Fresh to maximise these new opportunities, and we’ll also have our own ‘feet on the street’, with a beer sales specialist working alongside the Beer Hawk Fresh team.”
Targeting craft aficionados
Andrew Morgan, head of Beer Hawk Fresh, added: “We’re very excited to be adding these classic European beers to our portfolio of brands.
“As our network of partnerships grows, our focus is on ‘collaboration, not competition’, with every beer bringing something unique to the range.
“Offering diversity and choice is essential to any business targeting craft beer aficionados, who switch between modern beer styles and genuine classics according to the occasion.
“That’s a challenge to the traditional distribution model and for us, working with brewers such as Lion on Fourpure, Carlsberg on London Fields and now Swinkels on Rodenbach, feels very much like the industry coming around to our collaborative way of thinking.”