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Gloucestershire Business News

It's official: Cheltenham has the best independent beer shop in the country

At the recent Drinks Retailing Awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London, Bath Road Beers was named the number one independent beer retailer in the UK.

Owned and run by a local company started by two former University of Gloucestershire students, Bath Road Beers opened its doors for the first time in June 2018.

Co-owners Will Coates and Andrew Coates - who are not related - now have a thriving business that sells beers, ciders and wines and runs a series of community events.

Will Coates said: "After leaving corporate life in 2017 we started a consultancy business from our houses in Cheltenham.

"We love the consultancy but needed to express our creative marketing backgrounds and a year later then decided to scratch that creative itch and build something tangible.

"I'd had the idea of an experiential beer proposition for a while, which I floated with Andrew Coates, my business partner, who was instantly sold."

"We set out with the mission of creating a community-based business, we wanted to offer exceptional customer service on top of standout product.

"We have over 400 beers, ciders and wines in the shop, we felt the experience of choosing something special to buy needed to be as enjoyable as consuming the product.

"It's no secret that the High Street is under pressure and people said we were mad to open a retail proposition, so we needed a reason to exist that was beyond just a transaction.

Andrew Coates added, "We've worked hard to stick to our vision of being part of the community fabric and a great relaxed place to hang out.

"Alongside selling beers, ciders and wines we have a number of community based activities including a running club, home brew club, games club and we do tasting events as well as pop up kitchens."

Will added: "We are so pleased with the award, I feel like a school kid who heard his first joke! It brings a smile to my face every time I think about it.

"The award has been amazing for the whole team and the reaction of our customers has made it all the more special," Andrew said.

"We've had many well-wishers in, cards, and our social feeds are going wild."

The Drinks Retailing Awards is an exclusive and unique ceremony. It brings together the top-level decision-makers in the UK off-trade to celebrate drinks retailing.

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