Belfast Telegraph

Raising a glass to Tesco's growing range of Ulster brews

By John Mulgrew

Supermarket giant Tesco is expanding its range of Northern Ireland beers and ciders to meet an increasingly growing thirst in the craft market.

Tesco is now set to expand its range of beers and ciders, after experiencing "double-digit growth" over the last few years.

That will include products from Hilden and Fulcrum, along with McCann's cider from Portadown.

And sales of craft beers and ciders are growing faster than any other product on the shelves. Steven Murphy, buying manager for packaged food in Northern Ireland, said: "It's mainly on the back of the success of Whitewater Brewery - they were the first lines that we did.

"They have grown substantially over the last few years they have been in. We've also added to our cider range.

"We feel now it is time to add in more local. It's the biggest growing area - especially in the last two years.

"It's the area which has double-digit growth year-on-year, and it outstrips everything else."

The newly expanded range is set to hit the shelves across Tesco Northern Ireland stores in September.

Bernard Sloan of Whitewater Brewery in Kilkeel has been selling his range of ales and lagers into the supermarket, among others, for six years.

"We are getting good sales, and have continued good sales," he said.

It has since expanded into Tesco stores in the Republic.

Cider maker Oliver McCann is also adding new products to the supermarket's shelves, after first launching around three years ago.

He said: "Tesco is probably what got us up and running. It was the first supermarket we launched in, and we have seen growth from then until now."

Belfast Telegraph