This week’s conversation is potentially one of the most enjoyable and insightful conversations I’ve had since I started working in beer. I spend a lot of my time chatting to brewers and bar owners, but never have I taken the time to pose questions to someone who works in the world of beer distribution.
I’ve known Pete Brissenden from back when he worked for London’s Meantime brewery, way before SAB Miller and subsequently Asahi bought it out. Pete’s worked for a range of breweries over the years, from the very traditional Hopdaemon in Kent to Camden Town Brewery in its formative years.
These days he works for The Bottle Shop, a London based distributor and retailer that specializes in wholesaling craft beer. What differentiates The Bottle Shop from other British beer distributors is that 50% of its business is based on imports. In the UK The Bottle Shop is working with cutting edge breweries such as Beavertown and Cloudwater. While at the same time bringing in beers to the UK from the likes of Green Flash, Crooked Stave, Alpine and many more.
During this discussion Pete and I cover topics ranging from pricing, to the viability of imports in a post-Brexit UK economy to the health of the cask ale market here in the UK. We also dig into his history at Camden and Meantime a little, including Pete’s reaction to the latters sale to SAB Miller while he was still working there.