August 16, 2022

Saltaire-based SALT joins Tesco’s incubator scheme for entrepreneurial brands

The international award-winning Salt Beer Factory has been chosen to join an imaginative Tesco initiative highlighting innovative young brands.

Launched in 2017, the Tesco Incubator Programme is designed to assist carefully selected entrepreneurial brands ‘that have the potential to offer something different and exciting for Tesco customers’.

SALT was launched only two years ago bringing together heritage with modern brewing to produce exceptional, hop-forward and cutting edge craft beers.

The 20 hectolitre plant, complete with a modern taproom, is sited in a Grade II listed former Edwardian tram-shed at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage village of Saltaire, created by 19th century philanthropist Sir Titus Salt.

SALT’s first year saw double acclaim at the fiercely fought World Beer Awards, scooping  UK gold medal in the Black IPA class for ‘Answer is None’ (7.2% abv) and UK  bronze in the American IPAs for ‘Alpaca DDH IPA’ (6.6% abv).

Since 2018 Tesco has supported 28 brands under the incubator initiative. SALT is only the fourth selected brewery and follows renowned trail blazers such as Brewdog, Thornbridge and Camden. 

Head brewer Colin Stronge (left) and brewer Tom Plant in the SALT brewhouse

Tesco said: “By helping young, innovative brands grow and reach their potential, we can offer even more choice to our customers.  Through a comprehensive year-long programme, these suppliers will benefit from learning events run by Tesco’s Product Team, help in understanding the needs of customers and using customer insight in developing their brands and advice on merchandising products more effectively. 

“The brands will also have the opportunity to share experiences and best practice with other young brands. It’s never been more important to offer our customers affordable products that are sourced and made in a sustainable way, so this year’s intake of brands reflects this aim.”

The Incubator Programme builds on developments in recent years of ways of working in partnership with suppliers. It is part of a wider invitation for all suppliers to innovate and grow business with Tesco, while ‘we can continue to provide our customers with fantastic, innovative new products’.

Nadir Zairi, managing director of Salt Beer Factory, said: “Being selected for the incubator scheme is terrific recognition and a huge achievement for us. We are extremely proud to be in such esteemed company. We have a great relationship with the Tesco team and we are brand embedded and inspired by our local history. Our relationship with Tesco allows us to grow our brand to tell our story nationally and showcase our exciting, creative beers in a vibrant craft beer industry.

“This is even more important when taken in the context of the impact Covid-19 has had on the brewing and hospitality industry. SALT is very proud to be only the fourth brewing brand on the scheme, following in the footsteps of three illustrious brewers.”