Latest News

Latest News

SurreyFADFestCreated 22 Feb 2017
Surrey Food Festival - Sat April 22nd, 10am-6pm
Come and see us at the Surrey Food Festival in April.  We will be joining around two hundred other craft food and drink traders. You’ll have the chance to sample some of our specially selected beers, including our very own Ubiquitous, freshly kegged, as well as a wide range of craft beers and ciders in bottle.

Tickets for the Surrey Food Festival can be purchased prior the event. Entry is £9 per adult and free for under 16's at the gate. Early bird tickets can be purchased for £5 from Surrey Food Festival website visit: - the offer ends 7th April.

AnspachCreated 22 Feb 2017
In-store tasting - Anspach & Hobday
Thursday 9th March, 7pm-9pm

The next in-store tasting will be with Bermondsey brewers and long term friends of the shop, Anspach & Hobday. Tim, store manager, recently visited the arches to brew a beer with Dan, Paul & Dylan at A&H.  Join us to sample the fruits of their labours. 

The brewery team (including brewer Dan, who used to work at Real Ale, will be with us on the night to give history and context to the beers and how they fit in with London brewing traditions. One of the beers available will be The Three Threads, a wonderfully malty London porter based on a19th century recipe. We will also have lovely keg beer flowing all night for people to enjoy on site, plus a wide array of bottle samples from the Brewery’s Experimental Range.

DRAfinalistCreated 22 Feb 2017
Finalist Drinks Retailers Awards
We were recently short-listed for the prestigious national Drinks Retailing Awards in the category of ‘Independent Beer Retailer of the Year’, for the sixth year in a row.  Real Ale has won this award against national competition on three different occasions. 
Zeph King, Managing Director of Real Ale said “It’s great to be selected as a finalist in the independent beer retailer of the year category.  We were very proud to win this award in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and we have been finalists for the past two years.  

“We have also recently won awards and received accolades from both the Richmond Business Awards and from trade publication, The Drinks Business.  It’s good to know that despite some tough competition, we continue to be recognised by industry as providing our customers with a fantastic range of high quality but often unknown, craft beers, ciders, perries and wines, produced by smaller British and International breweries”.

KegPourCreated 22 Feb 2017
Growlers at the ready
Watch out for the following awesome keg beers available for growler refills during February and March: Cloudwater DIPA V12 9% (Manchester), Howling Hops NZ Pale (Hackney Wick),Weird Beard Little Things that Kill (Hanwell), Burning Sky, Arise Session IPA (Sussex)and Time & Tide Spratwaffler IPA (Deal,Kent).
Follow us on Instagram (@realale_ltd) - for daily updates on new beers!



StigWarCreated 22 Feb 2017
What's hot in-store?
Stigbergets Bryggeri (Gothenburg, Sweden) We have been absolutely bowled over by the quality of beers coming from Sweden. Stigbergets burst onto our beery radar late last year with two beers, the stunning GBG Beer Week IPA, and Amazing Haze IPA. These are dream beers for any lover of hops, and many customers were lauding them as the best they’ve ever tried. They were so popular the first time around we made sure to get extra stock this time. Here’s what we have: West Coast IPA 6.5%, Amazing Haze Double Dry Hopped Mosaic IPA 6.5%, EKO Pale Ale 5%, Lairepmi Imperial IPA 8%, Bryggbars Premium Lager 5%. Visit us early to avoid disappointment, and watch this space for more O/O beers, a Stigbergets off shoot, later in the year.
Warpigs (Copenhagen, Denmark) Warpigs is the unholy union of Mikkeller and 3 Floyds Brewing based at the Warpigs Brewpub in Copenhagen. Rarely seen in the UK, we have 3 beers in 75cl bottles that are guaranteed to make an impression! Sky Burial. Barley Wine, 9.7%, Ominous Drip, Imperial Stout, 11.4%, YoufXXXXXmeup & Imfurious Coffee Stout, 6.3%

ZoephKingCreated 22 Feb 2017
"Quality is key whether in cask, bottle or can"
Zeph King, MD of Real ALe Ltd

Those who read the drinks press or follow beer bloggers may be aware that there has been much discussion regarding Cask beer, its quality in pubs and the importance of quality in beer generally.  Zeph King, Managing Director of Real Ale, reviews the current climate.

The recent cask ale debate really began when leading craft brewery, Cloudwater, announced at the beginning of the year that they would no longer brew cask beer.  The main reasons given were that many pubs did not know how to look after the beer properly and that the margins were too small.  Shortly afterwards, a leading beer journalist, Pete Brown, former author of the Cask Report, admitted that he would only drink cask beer in pubs that he knew would look after the beer properly. Sadly, he wrote that, from his experience, there were not that many.

I agree.

Wherever a beer is sold – whether in a pub, club, off licence or festival - it’s fundamental that people are offered the freshest beer in the best condition.  If beer is not well looked after and the consumer experience is not a good one, then it can influence repeat purchase, no matter where that purchase takes place.  

Looking after cask beer properly is important for the reputation of a pub, the brewery, and of course the reputation of the beer industry as a whole. It’s also essential to remember that a beer that is enjoyed in the pub can also be sold in off licences and supermarkets.  If standards are not maintained whilst bottling or canning, then the bottled or canned product can let the brewery and its brand down.

Sometimes, beers arrive at Real Ale from breweries where the quality of the beer in bottle is poor. Unfortunately we have to reject these products and don’t offer them for sale. With the sheer amount of choice it can be so damaging for a brewery if the consumer has just one negative experience.

Also, it’s important to remember that customers generally, are becoming better educated and informed about beer and quite rightly won’t accept an inferior product. Keeping beer fresh whilst in transit is also key.  We are increasingly working with suppliers who use cold chain distribution to ensure the best quality for our customers. Fresh is best!

As the price of raw materials and transport costs have already increased it’s not a surprise that this will impact pricing further down the chain. The cost of raw materials in particular can be much higher for small breweries as they don’t have the economies of scale that larger brewers can enjoy.  We are doing everything we can to try and hold pricing so that it doesn’t get passed on to our customers.

We have found that customers are prepared to pay for products with more hops – but only if the quality is there.  Back to the cask debate, and with more education and information, customers will begin to understand that there is going to be a variation in the cost of a pint. For example, a West Coast US hopped session beer at 3.5% may well be more expensive than a traditional English Bitter at 4.5% - even if the ABV is lower.

Over the past twelve years we have bought, tasted and sold over 10,000 different beers and have built a reputation for offering a wide range of beers as well as wines that you won’t find in the supermarkets.  We always sample our products before stocking them but not all off-licences or supermarkets will do the same.  It’s the only way we can ensure quality and remain a cut above the rest.

We feel so strongly about the quality issue we have grown our own team to help support craft brewers throughout the brewing process.  We employ a Master Brewer who heads up our Technical Team; a supply chain specialist who oversees our whole supply chain operation; and we now have a team dedicated to new product development.   I believe the debate is a healthy one if it throws the whole issue of beer quality into the spotlight as we continue to champion innovation and promote excellence in the industry.

RBACreated 11 Nov 2016
Real Ale Ltd wins a 'Highly Commended' award
Real Ale is proud to win highly commended in the ‘Best Business’ category in the Richmond Awards 2016.  Run by The Richmond and Twickenham Times and the Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce, the awards celebrate the best of business in the borough. We are delighted to win this accolade amongst such strong competition.
Evans said he was pleased to “celebrate the fantastic contribution retailers make to our beer industry”.

Press contact: Gill Shaffer, Mint Communications
Tel: + 44 (0)17992 18353, Mobile: + 44 (0) 7958 989124