Propel Morning Briefing

Future of craft beer lies in refrigerated supply chain, says Bottle Shop founder

The Bottle Shop founder and managing director Andrew Morgan has told Propel the future of the craft beer sector lies in creating a refrigerated supply chain.

Last month, the company raised more than £400,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

Morgan said that as the craft beer market starts to saturate, he expects the superior beer quality of a chilled supply chain to offer a point of difference for the retail and wholesale arms of the business.

The Bottle Shop supplies bottled beer to operators such as better burger brand Byron and Curzon Cinemas, among others.

The majority of money raised on Crowdcube will fund a refrigerated warehouse in London’s Canning Town and a refrigerated distribution hub in Manchester.

The investment will also be used to open two further sites in London, with a large share of the £50,000 fit-out budgeted for each site going on installing refrigeration for bottled beer.

Morgan said: “For too long the UK market has had iffy versions of great American or Belgian beers. No-one knows how well it has been looked after in the supply chain. Through the crowdfunding we can have an end-to-end refrigerated platform from the US and Europe into the UK, and give our business and retail customers confidence they’re getting an uncompromised product.”

Morgan added that The Bottle Shop’s current sales mix varied from venue to venue, with Margate seeing 90% on-trade sales compared with 50/50 in Canterbury and about 60% on-sales in Bermondsey that, like Margate, features beer taps.

As well as ten beer taps and more than 100 bottles, Margate Bottle Shop offers draft prosecco, hand-mixed gin and tonic on tap, and cocktails that account for 30% of sales.

However, the two new sites will be bottle-led. Customers can also order-in food at all Bottle Shop sites, with Morgan explaining: “In the age of Deliveroo, why would we want to try to compete with a service that can give you anything you want to eat, delivered to the bar?”

Morgan opened the first Bottle Shop in Canterbury, Kent, in 2010.


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