Craft beer supplier teams up with east coast brewer to expand its reach
Specialist beer supplier Hippo Beers has joined forces with Alechemy Brewing in a deal which has expanded Hippo’s wholesale and distribution arm.
The creation of Fusion Beer Distribution, a joint venture between Glasgow-based Hippo Beers and the Livingston-based craft brewer, allows the supplier to reach a greater number of Scottish bars and restaurants than ever before.
Derek Hoy, who founded Hippo Beers with fellow director Alec Knox in 2012, said the new distribution arm will also enable the firm to supply cask and keg ales as well as packaged beers to Scottish operators.
He said: “Fusion will allow us to work directly with more new breweries, move into cask and keg distribution as well as bottles and cans and expand our direct delivery coverage over to the east coast from Aberdeen down to Newcastle.
“The aim of course is to bring more good quality beer to the bars, restaurants and bottle shops of Scotland.”
Teaming up with Alechemy, run by James and Adam Davies, gives Hippo Beers access to the brewer’s transport and delivery network.
“We were always really limited with what we could do because we did not have any good transport infrastructure,” said Hoy.
“We spoke to James at Alechemy, who was one of the first companies we dealt with, and they already have their own transport and network.
“We’ve got our own strengths that we can draw on.”
Hippo Beers’ previous distribution network only allowed the firm to supply operators in the west of Scotland, but with the new network in place the firm has set its sights on the east coast as an area of expansion.
However, although the firm’s reach has grown, Hoy said he has no plans to rush in with Fusion Beer Distribution and sacrifice on quality.
“The main aim is to start small and try to grow gradually from there,” he said.
“We’ll work with four or five brewers in the first place.
“It’s more about quality rather than quantity.”
The foundation of Fusion Beer Distribution follows a previous brewing and sales collaboration between Hippo Beers and Alechemy Brewing.
In 2013, the two firms teamed up for the release of limited edition beer Augustine IPA – a beer named for St Augustine of Hippo Regius, patron saint of brewers and the inspiration for the Hippo Beers name.