Wisbech brewery Elgood’s strikes deal to sell its beer in Argentina – and urges others to follow its lead

Elgood's Brewery, Wisbech. Picture: Ian Burt

Elgood's Brewery, Wisbech. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A brewery on the Norfolk-Cambridgeshire border is expecting to double its international sales in the next year by tapping into global demand for high-quality British beer.

Elgood's Brewery in Wisbech has secured a distribution deal in Argentina which will see it export an additional 20,000 pints of beer over the next year.

Despite having been established for 200 years, it was just three years ago that Elgood's decided to start selling abroad, with the support of the Department for International Trade (DIT) – which is now urging other food and drink producers to follow its lead.

The brand already exports to 10 countries worldwide including the US and Italy and the agreement with the Argentinian importer – its first entry into South America – will be its 11th, leading to its beers being stocked in bars, restaurants and shops.

Marcus Beecher, sales director at Elgood's Brewery, said international orders were still only a small part of the business, but one it was aiming to grow.

'We're aiming to have our beers in Argentina in the next six months and our next target market is to expand in Asia, particularly Japan. Exporting can be a big commitment for smaller firms like ours, which is where the help of expert organisations like DIT can really come in handy.'

The company was first introduced to potential buyers from Argentina at a 'Meet the Buyer' event hosted by the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of its Exporting is Great campaign.

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Elgood's Brewery has worked with government trade advisers since it first started exporting in 2015 and has been on four trade mission to Spain, Argentina and Chile.

Mr Beecher added: 'When we first started exporting, we found it difficult to source reliable buyers and were responding to international enquiries on an ad-hoc basis without any real direction.

'Since working with DIT, we've streamlined our exporting plan and attended many one-to-one meetings with buyers from around the world.

'Nothing beats having the opportunity to meet buyers face to face so they can taste our beers and learn about our unique brewing process. If we can do it, so can many other local firms.'

Alan Pain, DIT's head of the East of England, said: 'Elgood's Brewery is a great example of a local business that's taken advantage of meeting potential overseas buyers face-to-face to showcase its products. Its delicious beers are now being sampled around the world, and the brewery is reaping the rewards.

'British-stamped food and drink has a global reputation for its high quality and, as demand for craft beers and ales continues to increase across the world, it's the perfect time for other local breweries to consider overseas markets for their growth plans.

'Of course, exporting isn't without its challenges. Language barriers, tax and regulations all need to be considered in the first instance. However, businesses don't have to go through this process alone.'

The DIT has 30 international trade advisers based in the East of England to help firms begin exporting venture or grow abroad.