Waitrose is adding to its speciality beer and pre­mium cider offerings to appeal to the UK's growing interest in these markets.
The retailer is launching its first own-label cider using fruit from its farm in Hampshire. Waitrose Leckford Cider, a 6% abv cider priced at £1.20 a bottle, is made using juice pressed from Cox's apples from its farm in Leckford.
The cider joins Waitrose's growing portfolio of own-label and branded premium bottled ciders in time for the summer season, which is expected to mirror last year's boom period for the category.
The retailer is also adding to its speciality beer portfolio with the launch of Kasteel Cru, a sparkling beer brewed in the Alsace region using Champagne yeast, priced at £1.29 a bottle.
Waitrose has also agreed a deal in Scotland with the Edinburgh-based Caledonian Brewing Company, whereby three of the brewer's products - Deuchars IPA, Caledonian 80 Shilling and organic ale Golden Promise - will be available at selected branches nationwide. They will also be stocked at two new stores due to open in Edinburgh in June.
Beer and cider buyer Steve Wallace said: "The Caledonian Brewery has a strong heritage and affiliation with the people of Edinburgh." He said the three beers would be a good addition to its range. "As a result, not only will we be stocking the brands in our new Edinburgh stores when they open, but they will be available at a number of our branches nationwide."
Scottish & Newcastle has a 30% stake in the brewery.