Spain got a taste of the best of Norfolk's beers as a group of brewers joined a cask force at a trade mission in Valencia.

Eastern Daily Press: Attendees at the trade mission in Valencia organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT). Picture: Reece Collingbourne/DITAttendees at the trade mission in Valencia organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT). Picture: Reece Collingbourne/DIT (Image: Reece Collingbourne/DIT)

The breweries had the opportunity to showcase their brews and meet potential buyers in Valencia at a trade mission organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Eight East of England breweries from the Craft Beer Export Club were invited to Valencia to meet representatives from more than 20 Spanish distributors, wholesalers and bar and restaurants chains.

They included: Panther Brewery of Reepham; Wolf Brewery (Besthorpe); Elgood's Brewery (Wisbech); Brewboard (Harston); Oakham Ales (Peterborough); Mad Squirrel Brewery (Hempstead), World Beers (Hertfordshire); City of Cambridge Brewery (Cambridge).

The event involved a tasting session where each brewer pitched their pints to attendees and gauged interest from local customers.

Martin James, managing director at Panther Brewery, said: 'We're a microbrewery and exporting is still very new to us. Attending trade missions like the one in Valencia is the perfect way to get your foot in the door, understand what buyers are looking for and start exporting.

'The Spanish distributors really enjoyed our more interesting flavoured beers like our ginger wheat beer, which was surprising as we'd expected them to prefer the more traditional drinks.

'We experienced no issues with language barriers as the DIT translators were on hand during the day, which was a relief. We made some strong contacts and have high hopes for the next few months.'

The trade mission was part of DIT's Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to encourage and support firms in exporting their products overseas.

The Craft Beer Export Club hosts regular meetings throughout the year during which local breweries can share tips on exporting, meet industry experts and also find out about new international opportunities.

Alan Pain, head of exports for the East of England at Department for International Trade, said: 'Spain has long been known as a beer country with Spanish consumers gulping down twice as much beer as wine.

'Demand for craft beer is growing across the globe and Spanish importers are looking to British breweries to cater to the demand.'