Cumbrian-based Hawkshead Brewery is set to launch its organic stout in the US after two years in the planning. It is thought to the first British organic stout to be sold in America.
The Brewery and its bottle supplier, Hambleton Ales, have had to meet a series of stringent criteria including organic certification from the UK Soil Association and meet guidelines set out by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP), to sell the organic stout in the US.
Hawkshead has now despatched its first shipment of 4,500 bottles of its organic stout to Massachusetts-based distributor St Killians, which will be supplying the drink to outlets across America.
Sales manager, Anne Jones said: “We think this will be the only British Organic Stout in the USA, the only “Pure Brewed” one and certainly the only one brewed by a small local brewery. It has been a long and difficult job getting all the organic grain and hops NOP certified – a job that would normally require the resources of a much bigger brewery.”
“But Roman Dombrowski of St. Killian threw down the challenge and we picked it up. We tend to do that at Hawkshead – punch above our weight.”
“This all began at the Las Vegas beer trade fair in 2009. We weren’t even showcasing the Organic Stout, because of the problems getting US accreditation, but I took a couple of bottles in my luggage anyway, and that’s the one which got Roman interested.”
The Brewery received business support from government body UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets.
UKTI staff advised Hawkshead Brewery on how to gain National US Organic Status and International Commercial Teams (INCO), as achieving organic status in the USA is a very demanding process.
Peter Gawne-Cain, international trade adviser for UKTI North West added:
“Hawkshead Brewery is a real local success story and it is great to see its real, traditionally brewed Cumbrian ales being snapped up in America. Cumbria as a region has a proud history of producing quality food and drink and I am delighted that products such as Hawkshead’s organic stout are flying the flag overseas for all that is best about British produce.
“UK Trade & Investment has 25 advisers in the North West available to help companies with any aspect of international trade, offering a range of services to help firms discover international markets, assist with market entry strategies and even to put them in touch with potential customers, suppliers and distributors, so I would urge other companies to give us a call and see how we can help.”
Hawkshead Brewery has recently undergone an expansion after a £250,000 investment into expanding its brewery and the creation of its Beer Hall. The expansion will enable Hawkshead Brewery to produce 180 barrels, or over 50,000 pints per week.