BeerX presentations give SIBA brewers a head start into export
BeerX, SIBA’s celebration of British beer held in Sheffield, concluded on Friday with a ‘meet the buyers’ event bringing together brewers with buyers, importers and experts from a dozen foreign markets.
The session, organised in conjunction with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), was designed to offer practical advice to brewers looking to start exporting, or to expand their current operation into new countries. Visitors included buyers and UKTI representatives from markets including the USA, Canada, Sweden, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, Croatia, Vietnam, Mexico and Australia.
Welcoming these visitors to BeerX and Sheffield, John Healey, MP for nearby Wentworth and Dearne, said, “We take great pride in our great British brewing industry, which provides jobs, wealth and huge pleasure for millions of drinkers every year. These drinkers are served ever better by the innovation and skill of the UK’s many independent craft brewers, which we want to share with consumers around the world.
“Local brewers are at the heart of the UK’s brewing industry, as outstanding examples of excellence and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, they have a passion for brewing, and this is what buyers and importers visiting BeerX today will find, in the conversations they have with SIBA brewers, in the deals they make and in the beer they drink.”
Alisdair Read of Windswept Brewing in Moray, north Scotland, said, “We’ve been brewing for 15 months and plan to start exporting this year. The export sessions at BeerX, in particular the one-to-one conversations with UKTI officials and buyers, have been tremendously helpful in furthering our understanding of the complexities around exporting, and we’ve spoken to people from both Norway and Sweden, which are two of our target markets. It has all moved us a bit further along the road to export, so I’m pleased we attended.”
In addition to the ‘meet the buyers’ session, UKTI delivered four seminars at BeerX earlier in the week, offering advice on a raft of export-related topics including: researching opportunities abroad; selling and marketing; cultural and linguistic challenges and financial and logistical considerations.
Of SIBA’s 723 members, 21% are already exporting and 58% said they thought SIBA could play an important role in helping to develop the export opportunity – according to the survey of members published in SIBA’s Beer Report 2014 – hence the decision to incorporate a sizeable export element into this year’s BeerX.