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Mad Goose and Pure UBU brewer Purity drinking to success

The Warwickshire brewery is enjoying sustained growth with the help of winning partnership with Tesco

Independent brewery Purity is going from strength to strength fuelled by a winning relationship with supermarket giant Tesco.

Purity Brewing Company, based in Great Alne in Warwickshire, is well-known for its real ales and craft beers across Birmingham and the West Midlands but it is starting to gain a reputation nationally via supermarket shelves.

Purity's relationship with Tesco dates back almost a decade when its Farmers Harvest drink was picked up by the supermarket group and sold in a number of stores.

The brewery, which is based on a farm, has grown organically but the partnership with Tesco has really mushroomed in recent years.

Bottled versions of its Mad Goose and Pure UBU real ales are sold at Tesco and this year has seen Purity sell its one millionth beer to the retailer.

Purity's national account manager Rob Hill said: "I have been working closely with Tesco and, over the last few months, they have been really shouting out about working with local regional hero suppliers which is great for us.

"Being sold at Tesco really helps us reach out to a broad base of customers who want to try the quality products we can offer.

"The last couple of years Tesco has been doing a big thing about craft beer - part of a strategy they are implementing.

Birmingham Mail The wetlands system at Purity which recycles waste water and other products from the brewing process
The wetlands system at Purity which recycles waste water and other products from the brewing process

"With Mad Goose and UBU, we are seeing 250 per cent year-on-year growth - it is one of the fastest growing things we are working on. It is huge for us as a business.

"The on-trade in the Midlands is our heartland but Tesco helps us go north and south across the country."

Now the availability of UBU has widened to 552 Tesco stores while Mad Goose is sold in 486 outlets.

The brewer's other ale Pure Gold is more niche and sold at just 41 stores.

Media reports of the big supermarkets making life difficult for smaller suppliers could not be further from the truth as far a Purity are concerned, as Rob explained.

"It has been a mutual experience of collaboration and Tesco want to shout out about the work they do with regional suppliers - they are really collaborative," he said.

Collaboration is something that is at the heart of Purity's business and it also enjoys a close relationship with Upper Spernall Farm where it is based.

The brewery's operation represents a shining example of diversification - something which is being increasingly encouraged in rural communities.

Purity's expanding operations, the former brewhouse now houses offices and a shop and it has invested millions in a new brewhouse in former grain stores, sit alongside a working farm that is mostly arable but also has herds of sheep and Longhorn cattle.

Birmingham Mail Front of house manager John Conod takes a sample of one of the finished products
Front of house manager John Conod takes a sample of one of the finished products

One of its craft beers, Longhorn IPA, is named after the cattle and its two core products - Mad Goose and UBU - are named after farmyard favourites.

UBU owes its origins to the late and much-loved farm dog Tess, who had a habit of getting in the way of brewery operations and consequently earned the nickname 'useless bloody urchin' (UBU) and Mad Goose comes from a ‘mad goose', that made a general nuisance of itself and was renowned for harassing people and hissing at and pecking the tyres of the delivery trucks.

Perhaps one of the best examples of the farm and Purity working together is a wetlands system, a series of ponds which recycle the waste water from the brewery and other waste products while at the same time being a mini nature reserve.

Purity's front of house manager John Conod said: "Farmers are always talking about diversification - supplementing income streams along with crops and animals.

"That's precisely what we have here - a symbiotic relationship where we work very closely together."

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