Aldi launches hipster craft beer range

Is this a great step for craft beer fans - or a bad sign?

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old friends meeting. close up...

Aldi is moving into the craft beer market, and will be stocking a range of 18 UK-brewed craft beers in its stores from today. The discount supermarket said it was tapping into the booming craft beer market - currently worth £420 million, and predicted to hit £1 billion in 2020.

Tony Baines, Joint Managing Director of Corporate Buying at Aldi says: "Our buying team has scoured every corner of the UK to source an eclectic collection of fantastic ales, and we're delighted to be able to bring this exceptional collection to shoppers across the country at an affordable price."

Thirteen breweries have signed up to the special buy - including Wiltshire brewery, Wadworth. Colin Oke, Head Brewer at Wadworth's, says: "We're an independent family business and making quality ales is our passion – the deal with Aldi means we can continue to grow and put 6X on the UK map, a testament to our team and the generations before us."

They will be priced at £1.25 and will be available while stocks last.

Is it the beginning of the end?

The craft beer revival has been a huge success story. When Gordon Brown introduced a Progressive Beer Duty in 2002 it gave tax breaks to small brewers and kick-started an industry. There are now more breweries in the UK than there have been for the past 70 years.

Craft beer gained a foothold among Hipsters and artisans, and gone from strength to strength. It has seen 1,500 breweries flourish, a number of fashionable festivals spring up around the country, and a few household names emerge. It has been so successful that the Campaign for Real Ale is currently examining its purpose in life, because real ale seems effectively saved.

The arrival of craft beer in Aldi is a sign of just how far the craft beer revolution has gone. It reflects the fact that global mega breweries have been snapping up craft breweries for the past year, cashing in on the trend.

The question is whether craft beer - loved in part for the fact that the beers are a niche alternative to mega brands - can survive this move to the mainstream.

Will hipsters flock to Aldi to drink their favourite tipple at a reduced price, or will they stroke their beards, leap off the craft beer bandwagon and embrace a wholehearted move towards artisan gin? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.


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