Wholesaler targets overseas markets

Glasgow-based firm launches new subsidiary focused on exporting local brands

• Filshill’s Craft Beer Clan of Scotland initiative is targeting drinks markets across Asia.

INDEPENDENT wholesaler JW Filshill is taking Scottish brands overseas with the launch of a new export division.

The company has formed JW Filshill International to help Scottish craft brewers penetrate the lucrative Asian market.
The new firm, which trades as The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, draws on the expertise of Asia Pacific consultant and former Diageo executive David Moore and Chris Miller, ex-chief executive of Harviestoun Brewery.

Unlocking export potential is a key strategic priority for the industry.

Four breweries are currently part of the ‘clan’ including William Bros Brewing Company, based in Alloa; Eden Brewery of St Andrews; Perth-based Inveralmond Brewery; and the Deeside Brewery, Banchory.
The company has already completed a successful trade mission to Asia and attended WhiskyL exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai as well as events in Taipei and Seoul.
“The first container from these craft brewers was launched at WhiskyL and repeat orders are now being processed for China,” said Simon Hannah, managing director of JW Filshill and chief executive of Craft Beer Clan of Scotland.
“Filshill International is currently working on initial shipments for both Korea and Taiwan following successful presentations to key importers and since returning from Asia, Chris Miller has been approached by several other craft brewers who wish to participate in this export portal.”
To aid with the new company’s expansion, Hannah has assembled a team of “clansmen” with experience in the Asia Pacific market in beer and whisky sectors. As well as Miller and Moore, these individuals include whisky writer Charles MacLean and businessman JongWoo Kim.
JW Filshill International also has ambitions to create a small producer export platform for the wider Scottish food and drink industry.
The new company is supported by Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scotland Food & Drink.
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The craft beer sector is one of the most exciting chapters in Scotland’s food and drink story right now.
“Unlocking our export potential is a key strategic priority for the industry and the new Scotland Food & Drink export plan has identified 15 markets which represent the greatest opportunity.
“China and South East Asia are two that have the most potential, with consumers increasingly looking for premium products with a strong provenance story – a perfect fit for our craft brewers.”