Export Development Program News – May 2024

Link to article
Share Post

Brewers Association EDP Awarded $2 Million from the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program

The Brewers Association (BA) is pleased to share the news that the Export Development Program (EDP) has been awarded $2 million from the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). This new funding source, recently announced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), encourages market diversification and will complement existing Market Access Program (MAP) funding, which the EDP currently uses to fund its robust slate of activities around the world. Funding will be put towards education, market research, advertising, and showcasing U.S. beers and their brewers at key international trade shows, festivals, and competitions in select markets in the United Kingdom (U.K.), Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. The EDP looks forward to new opportunities RAPP funding will facilitate and generate for U.S. craft beer exports. Stay tuned for more information related to RAPP, which is tentatively set to begin in June of 2024.

American Craft Beer Promotion at Europe’s Beer & Food Attraction

craft beer ambassadors posing at Europe craft beer and food attraction in Italy

In February of 2024, the EDP team returned to Rimini, Italy for the Beer & Food Attraction show, Italy’s largest beer-related event and gathering place for European beer trade. A delegation of brewery representatives rounded out the presence at the BA booth and helped to spearhead the activity. Show attendance was substantially increased this year, attracting 23% more visitors, and reaching a combined total attendance of over 41,000. While much of the show floor was occupied by Italian importers, representatives from all over Europe and beyond attended in significant numbers, broadening the scope of opportunity for U.S. craft beer exporters beyond just the Italian market.

The BA booth was well-trafficked and highly popular, assisted in no small part by an excellent beer offering. In total, the EDP shipped 46 different beers from 14 breweries. This helped facilitate tasting opportunities for the numerous importer interactions hosted at the booth, allowing attending brewery representatives to facilitate tangible connections to their beers. In addition to a busy carousel of importer visits, the EDP organized a tasting seminar geared towards attending trade and media. Each of the brewery representatives gave a brief presentation on a single beer, which the audience sampled. This led to a number of media placements, broadening the reach of EDP activities and U.S. craft beer in Europe.

Several attending brewers remarked on the number of positive importer interactions they had at the show, including the new business these meetings generated. Overall, the event was exceedingly positive, and is helping to maintain U.S. craft beer’s foothold in Italy and beyond.

American Institute of Taiwan Hosts U.S. Craft Beer Delegation

In February, Steve Parr, BA director of international relations, led a landmark trade mission to Taipei, Taiwan. At the invitation of Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Taipei, Steve accompanied several U.S. brewery representatives. The mission kicked off with market visits and a tap takeover, followed by tours of local breweries. Following this, the group presented various sessions at the U.S. Hoppy Duo IPA Seminar, featuring discussions on U.S. craft beer industry trends, brand storytelling, brewing innovation, and the significance of U.S. malt in craft beer production. The seminar concluded with a lively Q&A session, facilitating deeper engagement with local brewers and importers. In addition to seminars and tours, the delegation held meetings with key importers to discuss collaboration opportunities and address market challenges.

craft beer seminar in taiwan

These engagements provided invaluable market insights and fostered essential relationships for future growth. The mission enhanced the presence of American craft beer in Taiwan’s burgeoning market, and the EDP looks forward to building on this success to promote U.S. craft beer globally. EDP members can look to the Importer Directory in the EDP Member Resources area for updated importer contact information in the region.

BA & American Craft Beer Tapped at U.K.’s BeerX Conference

This March, Bob Pease, BA president and CEO, and Lotte Peplow, American craft beer ambassador to Europe, embarked on a trip to Liverpool, U.K., to attend SIBA BeerX, one of the U.K.’s premier beer and brewing trade events. Bob kicked off the show as the keynote speaker, following it up with a second presentation the next day covering American craft beer industry trends. Amidst the packed schedule, Bob and Lotte also seized the opportunity to meet with regional collaborators, strengthening the BA’s position as a leading authority in the craft beer industry. This trip proved fruitful, fostering deeper connections within the U.K. brewing community and elevating the profile of American craft beer on the global stage.

Great American Craft Beer Showcase Returns to South Korea

The EDP was pleased to return to the Korean International Beer Expo (KIBEX) in Seoul, South Korea, where it again partnered with the USDA’s ATO to present U.S. craft beer to trade and consumers alike. The BA booth, formally dubbed the Great American Craft Beer Showcase, was funded and operated in tandem with the ATO and was once again the centerpiece of the show—not only the biggest in terms of footprint but one of the most popular.

busy craft beer expo in Korea

The EDP brought over a delegation of five brewery representatives from four U.S. breweries, each with their own pouring station at the booth nestled between importer stations. Additionally, and new this year, booth redesigns included an interior meeting space devoted to discussions between the attending brewery representatives and the participating importers. The EDP, with the help of its excellent local organizer, set up meetings between these two groups, which both remarked positively.

Turning to the booth itself, it remained busy throughout the show’s operating hours. Boasting 114 beers from 34 breweries, the craft beer offering was unparalleled. Eight Korean importing companies used the pavilion as a home base to promote American craft beer products currently available in the market to attending buyers. In typical Korean fashion, orderly lines organically formed surrounding the BA booth and neatly proceeded around its perimeter as attendees sampled excellent U.S. craft beer offerings. Though the atmosphere was a little more relaxed at the trade-only session on the first day, all three days featured highly enthusiastic remarks from attendees, and it was clear that the BA booth featured beers unlike any others at the show or what is widely available in Seoul.

Outside of the KIBEX show, the EDP organized several other impactful opportunities. On the day before the show began the attending brewers were led on a market tour around Seoul, visiting several retail locations, a taproom, and two presentations at the ATO office. New this year, the EDP contracted with Crystal Kim, a local chef and Korean Master Chef participant, to curate a Korean food and U.S. craft beer pairing dinner targeting Korean media. With dishes like Korean fried chicken and beef with Galbi sauce, the goal was to connect U.S. craft beers with traditional foods, illustrating their versatility and application within everyday life. The EDP will look to replicate this type of event next year given its strong awareness-spreading capabilities, in addition to returning to its other slate of programming initiatives as it seeks to expand exports of U.S. craft beer to Korea.

International Trade Opportunities at the 2024 Craft Brewers Conference

The 2024 Craft Brewers Conference® (CBC) and BrewExpo America® in Las Vegas served as a productive platform for international market development efforts. Guiding the EDP’s activities at CBC, the program hosted a delegation of importers from various European, Asian, and Latin American markets interested in expanding their listings of U.S. craft beer. The EDP facilitated more than 60 meetings between importers and brewery representatives during the three-day conference.

Additionally, the team hosted several informative export seminars. At these seminars, importers from the Dominican Republic delivered a presentation on the Caribbean market, speakers from the U.K. participated in a panel discussion on the British market, and a speaker from Taiwan provided a market update. Seminar recordings will be available in the EDP Member Resources area later this year.

Throughout the conference, the team had insightful conversations with key industry players, gaining valuable insights into market trends and potential collaboration avenues. The team also explored potential partnerships with new importers and discussed opportunities for joint ventures and market penetration initiatives. Overall, the conference served as a fruitful platform for the EDP to gather insights, forge connections, and advance their goals of supporting craft breweries and facilitating market expansion efforts.

3 men posing with beer at pregame event in Mexico

The U.S. ATO in Mexico City geared up for an exciting initiative, “diplomacy through American sports,” set against the backdrop of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Rockies versus Astros matchup on April 27-28, 2024. In Mexico City, ATO planned an American product promotion event on April 25 aimed to showcase American craft beers with potential collaborations to expand market reach. The EDP facilitated importer presence at the event to promote U.S. beers currently distributed in the market. Around 150-200 industry guests attended, including MLB contacts, food bloggers and social media influencers, celebrity chefs, and other high-profile VIP officials. MLB’s expanded presence in Mexico, while great for baseball, also offered a strong opportunity to spread awareness for U.S. craft beer in Mexico. ATO remained committed to establishing the NFL and MLB activities as annual highlights, signaling promising prospects for future engagement in the vibrant Mexican market.

Strong Showing for American Craft Beer at 2024 Australian International Beer Awards

Australia’s largest international beer competition, the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA), was held this May. The 2024 competition, run by Melbourne Royal, attracted more than 2,500 beer entries from a record-breaking 400-plus breweries from 23 countries. They were judged by 84 beer experts from around the globe, including 15 international judges from nine countries. Among the 16 gold, 30 silver, and 54 bronze medals awarded to U.S. brewers, Outer Range Brewing Company won the Champion Trophy for Best New Exhibitor, and Quarter Celtic Brewpub won the Champion Trophy for Best European Style Lager for The Prince of Dort-ness. Competitions like this provide excellent opportunities for brewers to showcase their beers while elevating the image of U.S. craft beer internationally.

See this year’s winners.

2023 Export Survey Results

A big thank you to all EDP member breweries that responded to our annual export survey. The data you provide is crucial—it informs our understanding of trends, successes, and difficulties that impact future EDP programming.

In 2023, brewers experienced more difficulty than in 2022, with volume decreasing by 24.8% and value decreasing by 22.4%. Exporters encountered a host of obstacles in 2023, spanning from rising inflation and energy costs to post-pandemic on-premise sluggishness, reduced consumption levels, and currency depreciation in relation to the strong U.S. dollar. That said, there were some noteworthy exceptions among the EDP’s targeted export markets, with Canada, Germany, Ukraine, and Austria, among others, all reporting notable increases. With 37.5% of total exports, Canada remained the top export market for U.S. craft beer. Global economic difficulties aside, awareness and appreciation for U.S. craft beer remain strong, and the EDP remains committed to expanding exports around the world.

2024 EDP Events on the Horizon

Despite a packed schedule through the first few months of 2024, the EDP team is now gearing up for our next round of international market development efforts. More details are below, and we look forward to seeing you there!

  • European Beer Star – Registration is now open to EDP members interested in participating in the European Beer Star competition. Register by July 24 to receive cost coverage for up to three entries and participation in one of two consolidated airfreight shipments to Nuremberg.
  • Brussels Beer Challenge – Registration opens June 1
  • Japan International Beer Cup – Hosted by Japan’s Craft Beer Association, the International Beer Cup is Japan’s largest international beer competition and provides a valuable opportunity for member breweries to compete and gain brand awareness among one of the leading export markets for American craft beer. Stay tuned for registration instructions this summer.
  • London Craft Beer Festival & Brewer Trade MissionMember breweries are invited to participate in the 2024 London Craft Beer Festival, taking place in London on August 9-10. Register beer for the event by June 28.
  • Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival & Brewer Trade MissionOne of Scandinavia’s largest trade and consumer shows, serving as a quality platform for promoting U.S. beer already in-market alongside U.S. breweries interested in the Swedish market. 2024 marks the 32nd anniversary of the event’s occurrence and the BA’s 20th appearance at the festival. Register by July 22.
  • Great American Beer Festival Importer Trade MissionAmerica’s favorite beer festival is scheduled to return on October 10-12, 2024, and the EDP is once again hosting an inbound trade mission of American craft beer importers. EDP members are invited to register attending brewery staff by August 23 to participate in meetings with importers to discuss opportunities for international distribution while in Denver.
  • American Craft Beer Experience Tokyo & Japan Trade MissionThe EDP is pleased to be returning to Tokyo for its American Craft Beer Experience. In 2023, the event featured 40 American craft breweries and achieved record attendance, attracting over 5,000 beer enthusiasts to an outdoor venue on Tokyo Bay. Apply for trade mission travel by September 6. Register beer for the festival by Septeber 23.
Was this article helpful?