Scots crafting overseas niche

More Scottish beers are headed overseas after the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland expanded its sales base in China, Hong Kong and Dubai.

• Chris Miller of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland (left) with Paul Miller of Eden Mill.
• Chris Miller of the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland (left) with Paul Miller of Eden Mill.

The international division of wholesaler JW Filshill claims to have secured £200,000 worth of business for craft brewers including Inveralmond, West, Drygate, Deeside and Windswept.
The Craft Beer Clan was established by the wholesaler 18 months ago to help Scottish drinks producers penetrate markets initially in the Asia Pacific region.
It is now said to be working with 22 brewers and four craft distillers and has brokered deals with importers in Taiwan and secured orders in Thailand and Panama.
“Craft beer offers these consumers
a similar story to that of Scotch – the skill that goes into making it, the individuals and families who lovingly craft it and the wider story behind it,” said Chris Miller, head of export and commercial operations at JW Filshill International.
“It’s a great selling point for us and there were exceptionally high levels of interest in our beers in both Beijing and Shanghai.”
The Craft Beer Clan, whose members also include Williams Bros Brewing Company and Eden Mill, is targeting a £2.5 million annual turnover within three years.
Its strategy to engage global markets has also led to the creation of a website in Mandarin.
Chris Miller of Fillshill and Paul Miller of Eden Mill have also secured a three-month promotional deal to promote a range of Scottish beers in Thailand in early December.
The Clan claims to be in advanced negotiations with a new importer in Taiwan where there is said to be “considerable interest” in Scottish food and drink products.
“We’re pursuing new relationships with distributors all the time,” said Miller. “And we’re also making good progress in Scandinavia, Canada, North America and Australia. We also recently shipped orders to Switzerland and Denmark.”
At the beginning of this month, the Clan participated in the Showcasing Scotland event at Gleneagles where it held 15 meetings with prospective importers from the USA, Scandinavia, Russia, Switzerland, Spain and Thailand over two days.
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, described the progress being made by the Craft
Beer Clan of Scotland as a “great example of the collaborative efforts we’re seeing across the food and drink sector”.