Magic Rock, Summer Wine, beer online

Two West Yorkshire brewers have just opened online stores. That's not so unusual. Or is it?

Regional brewers are perhaps expected to have a web retail presence - think Fullers, Batemans, Adnams,  Greene King. But beyond that, it's surprisingly hit and miss. Thornbridge choose to sell through an intermediary.  Castle Rock only sell stuff via their pubs. Many brewers are like Leeds: bulk buy beer orders only.

So the likes of Magic Rock and Summer Wine are to applauded for their efforts to get their beers into the hands of the topering public. And it's not just the bottles - t-shirts and branded glassware shows that the new wave of British brewing have learned a few riffs from the Punks.

There's a heap of reasons why brewers choose not or can not run an online store - lack of storage space, lack of staff to manage orders, lack of logistics experience. But it seems clear that the business plans of Magic Rock and Summer Wine had one eye firmly on cutting out the middleman and forming a loyal direct-buying fan base. Ones who will go for special bottlings. Limited releases. Double-tripe gooseberry hefe distilled from virgin otter's tears.

I'd love to be able to buy a mixed crate-of-the-week direct from Kernel. To buy bottles of weizen by those masters of internet understatement, Marble. That I can buy cutting-edge beers direct from progressive English microbrewers should make others raise their game.


  1. I've bought a case from Kernel before, I just emailed them directly and they sent it out to me. Might have been a one off, but they may do it if you ask them nicely :)

  2. Pretty sure I've bought Castle Rock Harvest Pale from Morrisons. Very nice too!

  3. Any more anonymous-ness and I'm pulling the rug on comments.

    I appreciate the first one on Kernel. But I couldn't give a gnat's twat about what crappy contract brews you can buy at Morro's.