Real Ale Ltd — known to many as realale.com — has been named independent beer retailer of the year in the Drinks Retailing Awards. The award recognises the business’s commitment to championing beer and making it the core element in its success in the past year.
The awards were presented last night at London’s Dorchester Hotel. There were 20 award categories and 61 finalists.
Real Ale’s managing director, Nick Dolan, said “We are delighted to win this award and to be recognised by the industry. All of our dedicated team have worked hard this year to develop and expand our store, and this award is a fantastic reflection and achievement of this.
As an independent it also really helps to boost our profile both locally and nationally, and gives our local customers an independent shop on their high street that they can be proud of.”
Realale.com was established in 2005, opening a shop in Twickenham, south west London, with the aim of supporting British microbreweries and making the wide range of high quality, often unknown, real ales available to Twickenham and the surrounding area.
It now stocks more than 250 different beers from around the world, as well as over 250 different wines, ciders and spirits, all of which are sourced from small producers. Real Ale now runs monthly meet the brewer and meet the producer events that attract hundreds of people every year, reinforcing their philosophy of supporting small drinks producers and bringing their customers closer to them.
Established by Nick, his idea came from working on a barley farm in Norfolk. He helped to set up a The Real Ale shop on the farm and realised that a similar concept could be established in a more urban setting, and set up in Twickenham. Since then, Nick has gone on to be a recognised voice in the industry, judging at various beer competitions and sourcing and supplying a third of Marks and Spencer’s beer and cider range nationally.
In December 2012 Real Ale was named awarded best retail business at the Richmond Business Awards, and this month was ranked 46th in The Times’ top food websites. It is also listed in Time Out London’s Best Shops 2013.
This blog post is not by Wobbly Wallet but originally appeared on Beer Today: http://beertoday.co.uk/?p=12303