Export Development Program News – October 2023

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American Craft Beer Ambassador to Europe Continues to Generate Media Coverage

Lotte Peplow, the Export Development Program’s (EDP) American craft beer ambassador to Europe, continues to generate solid media coverage for American craft breweries. In 2022, Lotte’s work resulted in 100 articles published with a total circulation of 10.9 million. This coverage reached eight European target markets.

2023 is proving to be another strong year for EDP media coverage. A few recent highlights include:

  • Beer Today (United Kingdom [U.K.]) – This piece covered an American craft beer pairing with smoked foods at a new London restaurant, Humo. Beer Today sees 100,000 visitors monthly.
  • Foodepedia (U.K.) – This site is a new media partner to the Brewers Association (BA) and covers the same Humo lunch for their 60,000 monthly readers.
  • The latest BA-funded Harris poll on craft beer consumption was picked up by a number of European publications including Beer Republic (Ireland), Restaurant Update (U.K.), Eat, Drink, Sleep (U.K.), and Beer Today.
  • The Brewers Journal (U.K.), among other media partners, covered the EDP’s participation at the London Craft Beer Festival.
  • An article written by Lotte on World Beer Cup judging was picked up by partners in India, Australia, and other markets.

These are just a sampling of recent results from the EDP’s media outreach efforts. More exciting coverage is on the way. Lotte has secured a commitment from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to include three articles on beer and food pairing in their magazine, What’s Brewing. The magazine reaches 200,000 consumers. Articles will be published in three editions from September to October.

EDP Partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Virginia SBDC for Export Education

In June and July, the EDP partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to educate craft brewers on export opportunities. Steve Parr, BA director of international relations, joined Chris Van Orden (Virginia SBDC), Dan Pische (SBA), and other invited guests for a three-part webinar series to discuss key considerations for international expansion.

Brewers of Europe Forum and Brewcon Speaking Engagements

beer ambassadors presenting at brewers of europe

Bob Pease, Brewers Association CEO, and Lotte Peplow, American craft beer Ambassador to Europe, attended the Brewers of Europe Forum in May in Prague, Czech Republic. Bob spoke at the event, which offered an excellent opportunity to expand awareness of American craft beer, and network within the larger European beer community. The speaking opportunity also provided a platform to steer a discussion on the future of craft beer in Europe from an American perspective. Bob made excellent contacts while at the conference with leading European importers, media attendees, European brewers associations, ingredient groups, and more.

Bob also recently returned from Brewcon in Australia where he presented on the state of the American craft beer industry. His attendance helped make connections with leading Australian media, craft brewers, and officials with the Independent Brewers Association of Australia.

Collaboration and speaking engagements at events like Brewcon and Brewers of Europe Forum keep the Brewers Association front and center as an industry leader for craft breweries.

EDP Hosts Inbound Trade Mission to Great American Beer Festival®

The Export Development Program recently completed its first-ever reverse trade mission of importers and other international trade contacts at the 2023 Great American Beer Festival (GABF®). Approximately 30 international visitors were part of this trade mission. Some were specifically invited by the EDP while others contacted us with independent plans to attend GABF. Countries represented include the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Brazil, China, Japan, Colombia, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Taiwan. EDP members interested in meeting with these importers registered with the EDP and received contact information and instructions for meeting arrangements to take place surrounding GABF.

This inbound trade mission is an exciting expansion of the EDP’s efforts to bridge the gap between American craft brewers and qualified importers in markets around the world. EDP staff attended some of the one-on-one meetings to better understand the needs of both buyers and sellers as they seek mutually beneficial import opportunities. EDP staff will follow up with participants after six months to try to determine any new business results. If successful at fostering new business relationships, this will serve as a model for inbound trade missions to other BA events.

Meetings with U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Service Officials

In July, Steve Parr attended the U.S. Agriculture Export Development Council (USAEDC) Attaché Seminar in Virginia. This annual conference brings together U.S. agricultural trade associations that receive export promotion grant funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with USDA grant administrators and officials from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). FAS officials are typically stationed overseas at Embassy and Consular Posts in key U.S. trade partner markets. Steve arranged meetings with FAS personnel stationed in Japan, France, Taiwan, and the Netherlands—all EDP target markets. The meetings provided an opportunity for Steve to share EDP program plans for these markets and to seek assistance with importer connections, logistics, and media outreach where possible. FAS officials are important partners to the EDP in each target market and their ongoing support of EDP programming helps ensure continued funding for future initiatives.

U.S. Beer Wins at Australia International Beer Awards

Australia beer awards event

Australia’s largest international beer competition, the Australian International Beer Awards, was held in May. This year the competition celebrated its 30th anniversary, with a new record of 2,826 entries from over 400 breweries in 21 countries worldwide. Of those entries, U.S. beer excelled, bringing home 95 awards: 45 bronze medals, 31 silver medals, 17 gold medals, a bronze in Best Outer Packaging Design for Calicraft Brewing Co.’s Cool Kidz IPA, and the Champion Major Trophy for Best Non-Alcohol Beer for Boston Beer Company’s Samuel Adams Gold Rush. Events such as these provide excellent opportunities for U.S. craft brewers to showcase their products in important target markets around the world.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

London Craft Beer Festival a Strong Anchor Point for U.S. Craft Beer

In August the EDP returned to London’s Craft Beer Festival, bringing with them a delegation of U.S. brewery representatives for a busy week of spreading awareness for American craft beer. The London Craft Beer Festival (LCBF) is one of the U.K.’s largest and most influential beer festivals and attracted over 17,000 attendees in 2023. The EDP presence at the festival centered around its booth, which featured more than 60 beers from 22 U.S. breweries. The booth was well attended throughout, with consumers, importers, and media alike enthusiastically sampling one of the most diverse offerings at the festival.

excited attendees at the Discover American Craft Beer booth at the 2023 London Craft Beer Festival

Preceding the festival, the EDP organized several key activities that helped maintain the high esteem surrounding U.S. craft beer in the U.K. First, the delegation kicked off the week’s activities with a curated beer and food pairing lunch at talk-of-the-town newcomer restaurant, Humo. Celebrating “beer and fire,” this trade and media-focused lunch invited the attendees to consider the similarities between the brewing process and cooking, where heat is added to carefully selected ingredients to highlight aromas, tastes, and smells—eventually arriving at an exceptionally high-quality result. This seven-course lunch was very well reviewed, with several excellent articles generated by influential media writers.

The following day, members of the delegation split up to attend collaboration brews all over the city with some of London’s best breweries. With styles ranging from a California Common to a strawberry and prickly pear Berliner Weisse, the teams developed some brews that are sure to be delicious. They will help raise the profile of these breweries within the U.K. craft beer scene—especially important as U.S. breweries attempt to gain a foothold in the market. The collab brews were documented by the Craft Beer Channel, which created an excellent documentary of our efforts in 2022. Stay tuned for the 2023 version, to be released in October, which will highlight LCBF as well!

All told, the slate of activities in London helped to boost the image of American craft beer in one of our most important export markets. Looking ahead, the EDP will continue to develop opportunities in the U.K. for member breweries, securing a strong foothold in a mature craft beer market.

Read more and explore photos from this recent American craft beer marketing initiative in the U.K.

EDP Returns to Swedish Beer and Whisky Festival in Stockholm

Sweden, long one of Europe’s most important markets for U.S. craft beer, continues to play an integral role in the export landscape. The EDP returned to Sweden in September 2023 to attend the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival (SBWF), which unites consumers and trade attendees for a strong showing of craft beer. This year, the festival is operating at a new venue, which is much more central and offers some excellent waterfront views. Having recently returned from the event, the EDP delegation will be evaluating this new venue, along with additional opportunities to promote U.S. craft beer in Sweden next year.

Craft beer enthusiasts at American craft beer booth in Stockholm

The festival was well attended, but the EDP booth was the star of the show. The EDP booth at SBWF featured nearly 50 different beers from 15 breweries and was one of the largest lineups at the festival. Further filling out the EDP schedule, the team held seven importer meetings and three consumer-oriented master classes, providing curated tasting opportunities for impactful parties within the Swedish craft beer system. Notably, the EDP met with Katarina Westman, beer purchaser for Systembolaget, and discussed the potential for growing American craft beer listings in the monopoly retailer.

Outside of the festival, the EDP team met with various Swedish industry personnel, discussing everything from market trends to opportunities for collaboration. As a mainstay of U.S. craft beer exports to Europe, Sweden is an essential market as the EDP team looks to stimulate increased exports of U.S. craft beer. Both through festivals and continued dialogue with key industry players, the EDP will continue to make an impact for American craft beer in Sweden.

Retail Promotions Return in the United Kingdom

As the EDP looks to stimulate continued expansion of U.S. craft beer exports, it has found noteworthy success with retail activations. Beginning in December of 2022 and continuing in the summer of 2023, cooperation with retail chain Home Bargains has linked consumers to a strong lineup of U.S. craft beers. The promotion, designed to coincide with the Fourth of July, was highly successful. Along with the first promotion in December, this recent iteration has helped to convince the retailer to add U.S. craft to its regular offerings, along with further integrating it into the mainstream beer culture in the U.K. It also serves as a strong template for replication in other markets, or with more English retailers. The EDP will look to continue this type of promotion in the future in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world.

Upcoming EDP Events This Fall

Though it has been a busy year to date, the EDP has a strong slate of events prepared for this Fall. Details are below, and stay tuned for further updates!

  • Advent Calendar Promotion in Europe: The EDP will be supporting an American craft beer Advent calendar promotion in the Netherlands, and elsewhere in Europe via e-commerce, featuring a number of member breweries.
  • American Craft Beer Experience in Mexico: The EDP is revising its programming for Mexico after several years of attendance at Cerveza Mexico. In October it will debut a buyer event on Oct. 11 at Foros Lomas in Mexico City, aimed at stimulating growth and retail connections for beers already present in the market.
  • American Craft Beer Experience Tokyo and Japan Trade Mission to take place Nov. 10-12: The EDP is pleased to be returning to Tokyo for its American Craft Beer Experience. Shipment registration closed on Oct. 2, and beer is due at the West Coast consolidation point by Oct. 13.
  • Japan International Beer Cup – Awards announced in early October: Consolidation has concluded and EDP member beers have arrived in Japan. Be on the lookout for results announcements in early October.
  • European Beer Star and Brussels Beer Challenge – Announced in November: Brussels Beer Challenge results are due to be announced on Nov. 20, with European Beer Star results following shortly thereafter on Nov. 29.