From Across the Atlantic: An American Craft Beer Trade Mission in London

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The Brewers Association’s Export Development Program (EDP) recently orchestrated a series of promotional activities in the United Kingdom (U.K.) aimed at bolstering awareness and sales opportunities for U.S. brewers. The U.K. stands as the second largest global export market for American craft beer, and the largest in all of Europe, accounting for a 7.3% share of total exports.

To enhance these efforts, the BA EDP organized a brewery representative trade mission comprised of nine representatives of EDP member breweries to travel to London to support broader EDP initiatives and forge relationships with domestic trade partners. Activities included the below.

London Craft Beer Festival

Regarded as the United Kingdom’s premier craft beer event, the London Craft Beer Festival unfolded at the historic Tobacco Dock in London August 11-12, attracting 17,500 attendees, with organizers reporting “65% of the U.K.’s major beer buyers in attendance.” In its third appearance at the event, the EDP showcased more than 60 beers from 22 U.S. breweries at an American craft beer-themed pavilion. The festival served as a forum for importers and distributors to engage with EDP members while allowing the beer-loving public to savor the innovation and quality of American craft brewers across the country. Notably, the Brewers Association pavilion enjoyed a constant stream of enthusiastic visitors throughout the festival’s duration.

craft beer enthusiasts at american craft beer booth in london
craft beer enthusiasts sampling beer at american craft beer booth

Collaboration Brewing

Members of the trade mission delegation to London were matched with a local U.K. craft brewer to brew collaboration beers. The endeavor invited each brewery pairing to create a classic American-style beer, a testament to the influence of American craft beer on the global stage. The project was captured by the acclaimed YouTube series, the Craft Beer Channel, culminating in an online episode to be released in late September in coordination with the tapping of each creation at brewery taprooms and events later this year.

craft beer ambassadors at beer tourism spots in London

Beer and Food Pairing Media Lunch

An annual tradition, the BA EDP invites U.K. beer writers, media, and journalists to an event that carefully pairs EDP member beers with food as part of efforts to generate coverage and awareness of American craft beer innovation and availability in the market. This year’s event bore the captivating theme of “beer and fire” and unfolded at the stylish new London restaurant, Humo. Attendees were treated to a sensational seven-course gastronomic experience, with each course expertly harmonized with an EDP member beer. To date, media coverage has appeared in publications such as The Drinks Business and Mostly Food & Travel, with more coverage confirmed in the near future.

craft beer ambassadors at beer and food pairing event with menu
collage of beer and food pairings at specialty meal

The work of the Brewers Association Export Development Program is made possible by grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Brewers Association remains steadfast in its mission to fortify trade relationships, enhance media visibility, and elevate consumer awareness of American craft beer in the U.K. These endeavors encompass active participation in international trade and consumer festivals, securing U.S. craft beer-oriented speaking slots at conferences, supporting retail promotions to drive sales, and undertaking media campaigns. Through these efforts, the BA EDP is poised to continue propelling the demand for American craft beer, not only in the U.K. but throughout Europe and beyond.

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