Brewers barrel over to US for Maine event

The beer exchange gave the breweries an opportunity to meet with potential buyers and distributors. (S)
The beer exchange gave the breweries an opportunity to meet with potential buyers and distributors. (S)

Two local brewers helped to fly the flag for Yorkshire when they headed to the United States on an international beer exchange.

Knaresborough-based Roosters Brewing Co and Tockwith’s Rudgate Brewery joined a delegation of six Yorkshire brewers to visit New England for the Maine Brewers’ Guild’s International Beer Festival.

The others were Brew York, Saltaire Brewery, Kirkstall Brewery of Leeds, and Vocation Brewery of Hebden Bridge.

The UK Government-organised beer exchange gave the breweries an opportunity to meet with potential buyers and distributors.

Sean Sullivan, executive director of Maine Brewers’ Guild, said: “To bring home craft beers from across the Northern Powerhouse region is really exciting. It gives UK brewers the chance to collaborate with those in the US that are heavily influenced by what is coming out the UK’s growing craft beer industry.

“I hope we see lots of success from the collaboration and continue to join forces with breweries from either side of the pond.”

In the year to September 2017, more than 500 new craft breweries opened in the UK to meet the huge demand at home and overseas.

The UK Government-organised beer exchange was supported by Food is GREAT, a UK government initiative led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help UK food and drink businesses realise their potential abroad and establish their overseas presence.

It gave the breweries the chance to have their beers featured in the “Maine Beer Box”, a 12-metre refrigerated custom-built container complete with 78 beer taps, which previously appeared at the Leeds International Beer Festival in September, where it served beer from craft breweries in Portland, Maine.

Stephen Noblett, food and drink sector specialist at DIT Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The trip to Maine gave breweries across the region the chance to showcase their beer to an audience of prospective buyers, distributors and the public from across the US, which is a huge market for British beer.

“Maine is known for its booming craft beer tourism so creating an opportunity for these breweries to showcase what they have to offer during the festival could lead to some exciting and lucrative deals.

“Craft beer exports have seen a sharp increase over the past 12 months and it’s continuing to grow. It’s fantastic to see breweries taking advantage of these opportunities and, with the right support and guidance such as trade missions like this, anyone can do it.

“Trade missions are especially important as people get to meet buyers from across the globe face-to-face.

“Anyone thinking that exporting might be for them should get in touch with our team today. We have a network of International Trade Advisers across Yorkshire and the Humber ready to help businesses at any stage of their exporting journey, to help them benefit from the hundreds of opportunities across the world.”

Firms looking for support should call 0300 365 1000 or email yorkshire@mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.