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James Clay to develop London beer market through Utobeer deal

James Clay is set to develop its reach in London following the acquisition of the wholesale arm of highly-acclaimed beer specialists Utobeer Ltd.

Full Release 5th May: The acquired distribution arm will trade as ‘Utobeer Distribution’ and provide James Clay with a developed route to market for the London area. The deal will also see James Clay double their London Account Management team by taking-on the current Utobeer Distribution employees. Utobeer Ltd will continue to operate its award-winning retail division - The Rake, The Cage at Borough Market and Tap East in Stratford East London.

James Clay, founded in West Yorkshire, are the UK’s leading importer and distributor of specialist and craft beer. The internationally acclaimed business is within its third decade of trading and remains family owned. James Clay have built a reputation not only as a leading distributor, but also as a noted importer and brand manager having UK responsibility for prominent breweries such as Brooklyn Brewery, Flying Dog Brewery, Erdinger Weißbrau and Anchor Brewing Co.

Utobeer, an independent specialist beer company, has been selling a wide range of domestic and international beers since 1999. The acquired distribution arm will trade as ‘Utobeer Distribution’ and provide James Clay with a developed route to market for the London area. Under the terms of the agreement, Utobeer will continue to operate the retail division (The Rake, The Cage and Tap East) based out of Borough Market.

The deal, which is expected to be completed on May 9th, furthers the expansion of James Clay in its mission to make the UK a better place to drink quality, flavour first beer by providing the best possible platform for importing and distributing within the London marketplace.

Ian Clay, Managing Director at James Clay, commented: “We are picking up the baton from Utobeer co-founders Mike Hill and Richard Dinwoodie and have a great respect for what they have accomplished for beer distribution in our nation’s capital. We are excited about further developing relationships within the London beer community and sharing the experiences that excite us with even more beer drinkers. We respect the excellent work being provided by our existing partners and remain committed to working alongside them to develop quality beer in London.”

Co-founders of Utobeer Ltd, Mike Hill and Richard Dinwoodie, commented: “We are confident that James Clay is the best company to develop Utobeer Distribution and ensure that an even greater range of beers from world renowned craft breweries are accessible throughout London. We’re very proud of the progress we’ve made within the industry since establishing the company over 17 years ago and we look forward to seeing it grow even further with James Clay.”

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