The deal sees the Alloa-based brewer act as the main point of contact for the supermarket and advise on category management, in addition to supplying stores with 11 Scottish craft ales.
It builds on a similar distribution model used in England, which is said to enhance distribution efficiency and allow supermarkets to give more regional focus to their beer ranges.
Beers from Fyne Ales, Inveralmond, Traditional Scottish Ales, Isle of Skye Brewery and William Brothers were in the first batch of ales due to appear in Morrisons before Christmas, with plans in place to extend the range in 2012.
“We are proud to have been selected to deliver this service into the Morrisons business and delighted to be at the heart of a project that will assist so many Scottish breweries in further developing their businesses,” said Richard McLelland, director of sales and marketing at William Bros.
Fergus Clark, owner of Perth’s Inveralmond Brewery, whose Ossian ale is listed in the initial tranche (it also hopes its Lia Fail will be included in a future range), said the deal represented good business for the company.
But he said it would complement – not replace – the “strong existing relationships with multiples”, including Tesco, it has already developed.
“It’s quite an exciting deal that’s been put together,” Clark told SLTN shortly before Christmas.
“It’s going to provide better choice than Morrisons offer in premium bottled beers.
“We’re bottling the beer at William Brothers, so it helps on distribution costs and it takes a lot of the logistical headache away from us – it’s not just the physical distribution of it, it’s receiving the orders, processing the orders, fulfilling them and invoicing, all that kind of stuff that goes on in the background.
“William Brothers is taking care of all that aspect of it for us, so it takes away quite a bit of a headache.”