Ossett based business wins Independent Cider Retailer of The Year

20 February 2017

Ossett based specialist drinks retailer Bier Huis (Beer House in English) has scooped the top prize of Independent cider retailer of the year at the Drinks Retailing Awards on Tuesday 7th Feb at the Dorchester hotel in London's Mayfair. Bier Huis beat off competition from other finalists from the west country the home of cider. 

Owner David Jones says;

"To win this prize is a huge honour for us. Our commitment to cider which is the largest choice around and championing local cider in both bottle and draught as well as the best from around the world, has shown us to be a cut above the rest."

Lidl, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s were among the winners at the 2017 Drinks Retailing Awards, which were presented at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Tuesday.

The DRAs are the drinks trade’s biggest annual highlight, bringing together the leading lights in retail and rewarding the greatest innovators. Competition was fierce as the awards received a record number of entries, but a rigorous judging process eventually named 24 overall winners.

The awards are run by trade magazine Off Licence News and editor Martin Green was joined on stage by Joe Fattorini, star of The Wine Show, to hand out gongs to retailers that stood out as the best in the business over the past year. Lidl has grown faster than any other supermarket in spirits, cider and sparkling wine and also saw strong sales increases in beer and still wine. 

“Alcohol sales in the retail sector – taking in supermarkets, off-licences, convenience stores and independent specialist shops – grew 1.1% in the year to November 2016 and then had a fantastic Christmas, with sales of alcoholic drinks up 5.7% in the four-week festive period (Nielsen), compared to the previous year. Retailers were dreading Dry January, but the month turned out to be rather wet as alcohol sales were up 2.1% in the four weeks to January 28, 2017, making it the best performing category in grocery, ahead of frozen foods, which grew 1.8%. Perhaps Brits decided abstinence was foolish in a month that has seen miserable weather and the ascent of Donald Trump.

“The UK drinks retail sector is ferociously competitive as the Big Four supermarkets are squeezed by Aldi and Lidl at one end and Waitrose and M&S at the other, while independent specialists are setting a high bar by showcasing a wonderful range of beers, wines and spirits. But the big grocers have fought back by finessing their offerings and often streamlining their ranges as they battle to recover market share. Across the supermarkets, independents and convenience stores, drinks ranges are becoming more and more exciting, and our winners showed what a buoyant, dynamic market it is. The real winner is the consumer, as shoppers have never before enjoyed such a breadth of choice at such competitive prices, while knowledge and passion among staff is soaring, so it is no wonder Brits are forgoing the pub to enjoy drinks at home more.”