Lauded for the innovative way that we take our beers to the overseas market, we picked up the Export Award at the glitz-filled event, hosted by WMN editor Bill Martin and attended by businesses from across the South West.
Our carefully advised export strategy is designed to build the Company's reputation as a premium brewer of quality beers, working with overseas collaborators to develop according to the demands of the market.
Examples of this collaborative approach include Russia, where we worked with new Riga’s Brewery in Moscow to create Black Square Russian Imperial Stout. The special beer was a best seller for them and has been rebrewed since in both Russia and the UK, where it is aged for six months in bourbon casks and released as a limited-edition beer just before Christmas. Based on this initial collaboration, we now sell Proper Job, Big Job and an exclusive Smugglers Ale for the Russian Market
In America, we worked with Harpoon Brewery in Boston to create Skipper Ale, which went down very well locally and means the business now has a foothold in Canada through local distribution channels. North America is a notoriously difficult market to break into due to the multitude of craft ales and no clear routes to market but, as with Russia, the Harpoon collaboration with local breweries has established a high reputation and has allowed the company to start spreading our wings,
Our export growth over the last year has been 49.9% year on year. This year, we expect to sell over 8,150 hectilitres of beer overseas to 22 markets, concentrating on three main markets with long term volume potential – Russia, France and Italy.
75% of our overseas business is Proper Job and Big Job as there is a real demand for IPAs and double IPAs (India Pale Ales – more hoppy beers, traditionally stronger at over 5.5%), which has allowed us to find a niche market to build on and Proper Job is now the biggest selling English bottled IPA in France while Big Job accounts for 90% of our overseas sales.
Aside from collaborations, we've also worked to make delivery of our beers overseas more convenient for distributors. Adaptations for market include the investment in key keg machinery at the Brewery since all non-bottled exports go out in Key kegs overseas. Products are sold overseas in adapted packaging, including 330ml bottles to suit the market
Beer is bulk delivered to France enabling distributors there to utilise their keg population and facilities to deliver wider across the country. This has built a great working partnership, especially in France.
We're currently testing a new product exclusively for overseas sales – Cloudy Job, a Milkshake IPA after a New England Style; while foundations are also being laid for trade with China, a potentially vast market which will become more important as time passes.
In other words, this is just the start of the odyssey for our keg favourites such as Proper Job and Korev overseas and, to coin a phrase for all those looking forward to a cold pint of something Cornish: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”