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Latest News

ZoephKingCreated 11 Nov 2016
Meet Zeph King, Managing Director of Real Ale Ltd

Age? 40   Birthplace? Hammersmith, London

How did you get involved with beer? 
I have known Nick Dolan, the founder of Real Ale, since nursery school. We went from drinking milk together, to enjoying interesting beers at the pub in our late teens, when those around us were drinking main stream lagers.  When Nick decided to expand Real Ale he invited me to join him and the rest, as they say, is history.

What makes Real Ale different to other drinks specialists? 
I know many people say this, but we really do employ the best team, people who are genuinely engaged, interested, believe in what they are doing and have an interest in the craft sector.  People come into our store not always knowing what they want to buy but to seek advice and to see what’s new and which beers or wines the shop manager, Tim and his team recommends.

We don’t generally stock what the supermarkets stock and we listen to the views of our customers, what they like and their feedback on the products we carry.  We engage with our clients through regular in-store tastings and we are actively involved with the local community via many events that we attend and support.

We have been promoting the craft beer sector for over ten year’s now, long before it was fashionable to do so, and we aim to stay ahead of the competition by keeping abreast of whose doing what in the sector and making sure we stay informed on sourcing the best beers around.  We aim not to stand still business wise, for example, we recently had a complete refit to ensure that we could offer more chilled products with the installation of more fridges as well as fresh keg on tap and a more open plan modern look to the store.

What’s the secret to managing an award-winning shop? 
The team, the team the team – the people who work here have passion and drive for what they do.  We are also only as good as the products we sell.  The high level of quality beer, cider, wine and spirits is fundamental to our success, and I can’t remember a time when it has been this good.  The time and effort that goes in to producing every product, from the brewery or winery, to the unique packaging, should be respected and admired. We have a great respect for the brewers and producers that we support.

Favourite beer and food match?
I’m a big fan of Brew By Numbers and I particularly like their Saison series. The Citra & Mosaic is particularly good,  although I also love their Gose Classic, Berliner Weisse and I think I bought our shops supply of Orange and Lemon Witbier! I really enjoy all of these beers before any week day meal.  But to match, I would probably say the Citra & Mosaic Saison, with a spicy Southern Indian Masala Dossa or a Middle Eastern mezze…something with a little kick.

Describe Real Ale in 3 words
Cutting-edge, committed and trustworthy.

What’s your idea of happiness?
Camping on a summer’s day with my family - a cold beer not far away.

If you could have a beer with anyone from history who would it be and which beer would you choose?
I’d love to try the actual Export Stout that The Kernel brewery has based their amazing beer, using a recipe from1890.  I would like to drink it with Captain Robert Falcon Scott.  I’m not sure I could handle the conditions on one of his many expeditions, but sipping a stout in one of the cosy boozers around Bermondsey with Scott wouldn’t be a bad choice for me…

RBACreated 11 Nov 2016
Real Ale Ltd wins a 'Highly Commended' award
Real Ale is proud to win highly commended in the ‘Best Business’ category in the Richmond Awards 2016.  Run by The Richmond and Twickenham Times and the Richmond Borough Chamber of Commerce, the awards celebrate the best of business in the borough. We are delighted to win this accolade amongst such strong competition.
Evans said he was pleased to “celebrate the fantastic contribution retailers make to our beer industry”.

CBBpicCreated 11 Nov 2016
Celebrate British Beer
The Real Ale team were recently invited to the House of Commons to be honoured for their achievements in championing our country’s thriving brewing industry in the Celebrate British Beer awards in which they were short-listed.  The campaign is run by trade magazine Off Licence News and the All-Parliamentary Beer Group.  Read more…
The Celebrate British Beer awards are designed to highlight the role “our hard-working retailers play in making Britain a world leader” said the organisers.

Graham Evans MP, new chairman of the All-Parliamentary Beer Group, partnered Off Licence News (OLN) in hosting the awards and praised the contribution that beer retailers make to the economy.
A host of MPs joined the assorted retailers, beer writers and trade body representatives in the Thames Room at the House of Commons for the ceremony.
Evans said he was pleased to “celebrate the fantastic contribution retailers make to our beer industry”.

UBCCreated 14 Sept 2016
Barnes Food Fair - Sat 17th Sept 2016

Place: Village Green Next to the Duck Pond

This is your chance to taste Real Ale’s Ubiquitous Pale Ale fresh on Keg.
The Real Ale team will be at this popular community event serving its celebratory Pale which was produced to mark the 10th anniversary of the shop last year, in collaboration with the acclaimed Derbyshire-based, Buxton Brewery.  Read More…

The Barnes one-day food and drink fair, features great producers in a grand marquee and an outdoor street-food and picnic area with live music all day.  The fair raises many thousands of pounds for local charities and this year the charity is the NSPCC.

Come and visit the Real Ale team who will have a host of fantastic craft bottled beers to try including a selection from best-selling Beavertown Brewery, as well as their own delicious Ubiquitous Pale Ale on keg, which has a lovely hoppy and piney aroma with a well-balanced hop and malt flavour.

TimPCreated 14 Sept 2016
Tim's Top Five Picks for September
Tim Peyton, Store Manager of Real Ale, gives his top five new beers for September.  It took him some time to select as there are so many great craft beers to choose from, but his top picks are:

Siren Craft Brew Calypso (Sorachi Ace) 4% ABV
One of the highlights for us at the London Craft Beer Festival  last month. Calypso is perhaps our favourite UK Berliner Weisse and a perfect late summer tipple. The Japanese hop Sorachi Ace makes this latest iteration of Calypso one of our favourite yet- exotic, zesty fruity and beautifully refreshing.
Alpine Beer Co (San Diego) Hoppy Birthday Session IPA 5.2% ABV
We were lucky enough to receive some beers from this much heralded Californian brewery recently, and this delightfully balanced session IPA did not disappoint.
Moncada Brewery (Notting Hill) Red 5% ABV

Whilst hop forward IPAs maybe very much in vogue, a well-balanced malty red ale is still a thing of beauty and this is one of the best in the style we have tried this year.
Firestone Walker Pivo Pils 5.3% ABV
Hoppy Pilsner- Fantastic modern lager from Firestone walker- all the things a well-balanced thirst quenching lager should be. So drinkable!
Kernel London Sour Damson 2.3% ABV
Incredible savoury fruit character from the damson plums- a standout beer this year for sure. Comes in enormous 75cl bottles - perfect for sharing!

DeliverooNewsCreated 14 Sept 2016
Can’t make it to the shop?  Don’t worry, Deliveroo will bring our beers to you.
This is the first time that consumers have been able to buy wine and beer from dedicated retailers and separately to their food order via the Deliveroo phone app.  Customers just choose from a menu of beers from Real Ale to be delivered within a 3 mile radius – great for those who can’t make it into the store but don’t want to have to compromise on their beer choices. The minimum order is 12 beers or wines.

This new service is identical to the company’s food delivery, with customers browsing the selection offered by participating merchants and Deliveroo couriers arriving to pick up the purchases and take them on to the buyer. Couriers have been and will continue to be trained to ID customers at the point of delivery if they look underage.
So if you live in or near Richmond and fancy some great beer or wine but cannot get to the shop – Order now!

LuxCreated 14 Sept 2016
Love what we do? - then vote for us!
The 2016 Food & Drink Awards are designed to acknowledge outstanding performance within the food and drink industry. Every day, food and drink companies across the world provide their customers and consumers with excellent service, and it is the organisers aim to recognise these companies and reward them for their services.  If you would like to place a vote for Real Ale please CLICK HERE


CloudwaterPaulJonesCreated 8 June 2016
Meet the Brewer: Paul Jones, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cloudwater
Age? 34
Birthplace? Newcastle
How did you become a brewer?  I’m one of the co-founders here at Cloudwater, and also the managing director.  Why beer, and why start a brewery?  I guess I’ve always had a passion for good customer service, and I can’t think of a better start to good customer service than an excellent product.  I’d been a beer lover for years before I got the chance to partner with James Campbell and start a new company and brewery.
Who has been your brewing inspiration? Most of the time I’m more inspired by chefs than brewers.  Fergus Henderson, Jamie Kennedy, Junya Yamasaki and Stephen Williams – chefs for whom presenting ingredients at their best is far more important than much else.
Brewer wise I’m inspired by lots of folk from Mark Tranter and Tom Dobson at Burning Sky, Evin O’Riordian at The Kernel, to Alex Troncoso of Lost and Grounded.  A focus on the quality of the customer’s experience is something all these guys care deeply about.  Ultimately that is what I find most inspiring, even above the actual beers they produce.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a brewer? If I wasn’t working in the beer industry I’d be running a small audio mastering company, and probably doing bits of composition and recording on the side.
What’s the secret to good brewing? There’s no secret – pay attention to every detail that contributes to your customer’s experience.
Favourite beer and food match? Something seasonal with something seasonal.  Right now that’d have to be a line caught fish grilled on a barbeque with fresh leaves from a local grower, with a delicate and delicious helles.
Describe Cloudwater in 3 words: Modern seasonal beer is how we describe ourselves, but internally it’s more like always do better.
What’s your idea of happiness? Not being troubled by a fear of death is what I’d say would give me most pleasure, but if we’re talking a little more day to day, cycling around Kyoto, London, or Copenhagen (and the delicious eateries and bars they hold) followed by an Allan Holdsworth gig or Steve Reich concert would put a pretty big smile on my face!
What was the last decent film you watched? 12 Years a Slave was excellent.  Before that I watched The Revenant three times.
If you could have a beer with anyone from history who would it be and which beer would you choose? This is a tough call!  I’d probably like to have a beer with Ryokan, and I’d take a 750ml bottle of something like XX Bitter by De Ranke – a beer that never disappoints, that’s not too fancy either.

DB2016awardCreated 8 June 2016


Real Ale Wins Special Commendation in National Retail Award
Real Ale has won Special Commendation in the Drinks Business (db), a leading national drinks trade journal for its ‘Independent Retailer of the Year Award’.  The shop won ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the same competition in 2015.


WineRefills150Created 29 April 2016
Bag-in-Box but not as we know it -
try before you buy wine!

Our selections are from small quality estates that are organic and biodynamic. The wines are 100% pure fermented grape juice. Wine refills are an eco-friendly option, allowing for bottles to be re-used, so you are only paying for the liquid content.  This means you can buy a quality wine that would usually cost £15 plus for around £10.00.

Ideal for picnics, dinner parties, or simply for those wanting something a little different.  The reusing of the bottle is also environmentally friendly. You can purchase an empty bottle for £2 or bring in your own free of charge. Volume for all ranges is standard wine size bottle-75cl.

Poivre d’ Ane (provence) White grapes: grenache blanc, rolle & roussanne - pure, clean pear and peach flavours, like spring in a glass, unoaked - £9.95 
Red Grapes: Syrah/ grenache - black pepper, juicy and soft plum - blackcurrant fruit character, excellent length and balance.   £9.95
Ch Fontainebleau (languedoc) Red grapes  grenache /cabernet- earthy, rugged and medium bodied. Mulberry and damson fruit with an excellent acidity and mineral freshness. A superb food wine.  £10.95
White Grapes vermentino -  apricot/ orange blossom and apple notes. crystalline purity of fruit.  £10.95

Press contact: Gill Shaffer, Mint Communications
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