Home brewing is back, according to housewares chain Lakeland, which has just introduced a series of products for brewing beer, wine and cider at home.
The company said: “The homebrew revival is finally here, better than ever and not a moment too soon, what with the price of alcohol growing ever higher.”
It continued: “During the boom years of the ’70s and ’80s, home brew didn’t have the best reputation for success but the good news is most home brew kits now use only the finest natural ingredients and are on a par with commercially produced tipples.
“No chemicals are added at any point, and they’re great value too. Once you’ve bought your equipment and made your first batch, every bottle or barrel you make afterwards will cost less. Rest assured, you will not be making cheap booze, but you will be making fantastic wine, beer and cider inexpensively.”
Lakeland has teamed up with home brew specialist Muntons to introduce a range of wine maker kits. (“In 2012, Muntons sold enough home brew kits to make 42 million pints of beer and 2½ million bottles of wine… so they certainly know a thing a two about the process of brewing at home,” Lakeland said.)
Other wine kits stocked are from Cedars Gold and Stark Naked, while bitter abd cider kits are sourced from Brewmaker and ale kits from Milestone Brewery.
Lakeland operates stores nationwide from Aberdeen to Triuro. Its 61st shop opened on March 14 at thecentre.mk in Milton Keynes and two more make their debut in Scotland this month, at branches of Dobbies Garden World in Edinburgh Melville and Stirling. Another branch, at Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon, opens at the end of next month.
The group recently unveiled plans for a major expansion of its business, including a £10m investment to develop its distribution centre at Kendal in Cumbria.
The new warehouse will boost storage capacity by as much as 50%. Currently Lakeland stocks more than 4,000 products, as well as introducing around 1,000 brand new lines each year.
In the UK, business is going “from strength to strength,” the retailer claims, thanks in part to the popularity of home baking and the culture of ‘home-made is best’. 2012 sales were the highest in the company’s history.
Lakeland plans to swell its store total by as much as 50% over the next five years, to around 100 UK stores.