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 Another touch of home

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PostSubject: Another touch of home   Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:00 pm

[size=55:1mg3xo4u]Sofia echo

Another touch of home

Missing those wonderful real ales from home? Then you will probably want to check out beers.bg/ [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], the first on-line retail outlet for quality international craft beers and real ales in Bulgaria.

The new venture is a collaboration between Sofia residents Andy Sowray – known to expats as the proprietor of Andy's Foods, a retail and online business providing those much missed goodies from the UK – and Philip Walsh, an IT project manager who met Sowray when he visited his Sofia shop.

Sowray (who has been in Bulgaria since 1999) has specialised in importing British cheeses and pork pies as well as other delicacies.

At the beginning Philip helped Andy to develop his on-line store.

"
I created a new and updated version of his website, andysfoods.com, giving his clients the ability to order their favourite food and drinks online."


As a result there was an upsurge in customers buying online. Now the new real ale venture aims to continue in the same vein, the two of them having spotted a niche in the market.

Philip says that when he came to Bulgaria the one thing he really missed was draught beer and real ale.

"
There are now 20 dedicated draught ale bars in and around London and a handful in Manchester. A real consumer revolution is going on there so we decided to try to do something online,"
says Philip who adds that British beers are increasingly characterised by cheap ingredients and sky-high prices. "
There's a race to the bottom with the big brewers but now there's a groundswell of a fightback in the UK and US. There have been some great articles in The Guardian and Time Out celebrating real ales. So there is a momentum building."


Tight economics

The beers featured at Beers.bg will initially come from the UK, Germany and Belgium, but Andy and Philip also plan to introduce more ales from other countries.

"
We're working to fully integrate the site so that the delivery is charged and included in the transaction,"
Philip told The Sofia Echo. "
We don't want to rely exclusively on the expat market because it's been hit hard by economic conditions. There's now a burgeoning middle class in Bulgaria – people who work for hi-tech companies who are earning good salaries. We know some of these people and they'd like to taste some of these beers too."


He believes that many Bulgarians would relish a change from traditional home-grown brands.

"
There is a movement and we hope to tap into some of these streams of interest. We're not expecting this to be a mega-business. The economics are very tight. We want to get a bottle of Kraft beer here for between three and four leva, so we will have a slight price advantage over supermarkets. None of our beers will be over four leva. We will have some beer in the shop but also available online."


Andy and Philip will start with four beers from Belgium, four from the UK – including Marston's ale and Cumberland Ale from the Lake District – and German beers.

They plan to officially launch in the New Year but want to catch the Christmas trade, aiming to have a trial run between December 1 and December 3. For existing customers, as soon as plug-in payment facilities and the delivery system are set, it will be ready to go.

Cheers!

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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:11 pm

Good luck to Andy I know of his foods and he's brilliant
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:34 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Good luck to Andy I know of his foods and he's brilliant

Good luck to you both

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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:57 pm

Thanks for your good wishes, the beer should be here in 2 weeks time. If you would like to order either drop us a line to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or have a look at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Regards
Andy &
Philip
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Hi your link isn't working?
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:04 pm

Try this one Sally [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] g

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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:05 pm

Thanks Ashley
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:52 pm

Thanks very much all for the good wishes and to Ashley for posting the Echo article.

I'm working like a madman behind the scenes to get the 'store' part of the site operational and aim to have it ready in the next few days. Andy's also busy, making sure no beer gets spilled on the way here, or 'lost' in Cusotms ;
)

Don't forget you can sign up for our newsletter and launch updates, too at the [url=http:
//beers.
bg:14cz7e4m]temporary version of the site.[/url:14cz7e4m]

Cheers!
Philip (MacBoyUK)
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:08 pm

Best of luck to you all
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PostSubject: Re: Another touch of home   Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:44 pm

All the very best for a successful venture, a lot of us Expats where addicted to Real Ale in the UK and have to put up with drinking that abysmal stuff called lager!!! Theakston's Old Peculiar was my favourite in the Winter.

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