Drop Bear Beer Co secures first supermarket listing as alcohol-free boom continues

The founders of an award-winning alcohol-free brewery are celebrating their first supermarket listing, after securing a deal with Tesco.

The listing is a dream come true for Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, the founders of the Drop Bear Beer Company, and will see four-can packs of their alcohol-free New World Lager and Tropical IPA appear on Tesco shelves across Wales.

Joelle said: “When Sarah and I would walk around our local Tesco doing our after-work-shop and discussing an idea we had for an alcohol-free brewery, we had no idea that less than three years later our award-winning 0.5% ABV beers would be on those very shelves that we walked past with only a dream to keep us going.

“The launch of our New World Lager and Tropical IPA in four can packs into Tesco marks our biggest listing to date, and we couldn't be more excited. We met Nathan the Tesco buyer at the BlasCymru/TasteWales Welsh Government event in October and discussions progressed from there. Drop Bear began with a big saucepan and an even bigger idea, now our award-winning beers are available in the UK's biggest supermarket. It's a surreal feeling.”

New World Lager is an IPL (India Pale Lager), a modern take on a traditional style which has been designed to appeal to craft beer drinkers and lager drinkers alike. Made entirely with ‘new world hops’ from New Zealand – the only alcohol-free lager in the UK of its kind – it’s won three awards since it was launched in October 2020.

The Tropical IPA was one of the first beers launched by Drop Bear, and has won six awards. Made entirely with hops from the USA, it showcases the best of tropical hops and provides fruity notes while retaining a good level of bitterness and avoiding an oversweet flavour.

Drop Bear have won more than 20 awards for their beers and recently announced plans to expand into a new £1.9m brewery based on a farm on the outskirts of Abergavenny.

The listing comes as Tesco customers are seeking more and more non-alcoholic beer options. Tesco recently revealed that sales of low-alcohol beer and cider in January were up 30% on the previous year.

Nathan Edwards, Local Buying Manager for Wales at Tesco, said: “We’re really delighted to be the first supermarket to stock Drop Bear beers. The brewery is a real South Wales success story, and Joelle and Sarah are a real inspiration to everyone who has a dream because they really can come true.

“We know that many of our customers are seeking out alcohol-free beers, and products that really deliver on their sustainability credentials, so these beers are a great addition for us. Plus, most importantly, they taste delicious too. We couldn’t be more pleased to share them with our customers.”

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd congratulated Joelle and Sarah on their latest success.

“It is great news that Drop Bear Beer will be available in Tesco stores around Wales after meeting at the Welsh Government’s BlasCymru/TasteWales flagship event in October 2021,” she said. “Drop Bear is one of our “Rising Stars”, which was showcased at the event and it’s great to see another of our fantastic Welsh food and drink producers growing their business. I wish them all the very best for the future.”