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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Italian job is Cumbrian brewery’s first export

Ale-lovers in Italy will soon be raising a glass to Cumbria as a craft brewery exports its first batch of beer.

Millom-based Hardknott Brewery will be shipping kegs and bottles of its Cool Fusion, Infra Red, Queboid and Colonial Mayhem to Sant’Agosino in the Emiglia-Romagna region.

The shipment of beers is the brewery’s first venture into the export market.

Dave Bailey, who runs the business with partner Ann Wedgwood, said he hopes it’s the first of many.

Mr Bailey said: “This started way back when we first moved to Millom in 2010. We were invited to hold a meet the brewer event in Rake Bar in London which was attended by Mark Dredge who is a well-respected beer blogger.

“Shortly after an Italian guy got in touch who was looking for something a little different to ship out to Italy.

“He only imports British beer and we’ve come to an understanding where we’ll sell our beer through him.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to build the brand in Italy.”

Mr Bailey has produced a new promotional strapline for his beers off the back of the first shipment – ‘beer for the cosmic’ based on the science-fiction style branding of his beers.

After a spate of awards, including a Society of Independent Brewers bronze award, Mr Bailey said he is looking to build on their existing brand in the UK and beyond.

He added: “We’re looking further afield.

“It’s good for the area because people drinking in Italy will be thinking ‘where is Cumbria’ and obviously it’s good for us.

“It’s very exciting.

“The local market is very saturated and there are some very good brewers.

“Looking further afield would be good for the area and for us.”

The beer has been sent for shipping and Mr Bailey expected it to be en route to Italy by the end of the week.

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