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4th March 2014

Buyers from key export markets to visit BeerX

Brewers wanting to break into the export market could be signing up their first deals at SIBA’s BeerX later this month as, for the first time, the event brings brewers together with buyers from a number of foreign markets in a ‘meet the buyers session’ organised by SIBA and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

Visitors flying into BeerX will include buyers and UKTI representatives from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, Croatia, Australia, Vietnam and Mexico. In addition to the ‘meet the buyers’ session on Friday 14th, UKTI will deliver four seminars earlier in the week, offering brewers practical advice on a raft of export-related topics including: researching opportunities abroad; selling and marketing; cultural and linguistic challenges and financial and logistical considerations.

Foreign markets have become increasingly important for UK brewers. Annual exports for all UK brewers stand at 6.4 million hectolitres, worth around £567 million. UKTI predicts an increase of 6.2 per annum over the next five years.

Of SIBA’s 723 members, 21% are already exporting and 58% said they thought SIBA could play an important role in helping to develop the export opportunity – according to the survey of members published in SIBA’s Beer Report 2014   – hence the decision to incorporate a sizeable export element into this year’s BeerX.

SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock said, “We’re delighted to be supporting our brewer members with these export events organised with UKTI.  To be able to speak face to face with a buyer from a foreign market and find out what they want from a British beer is an invaluable opportunity for our members and these sessions are already well-subscribed. 

“Export markets offer huge potential for many SIBA brewers, but getting started is a daunting prospect for many, who are already busy keeping up with the growing demand at home.  We hope that brewers who attend these sessions at BeerX will leave with a clearer idea of the export opportunity that exists for their beers, and the confidence to go out and grab it.”



In Beer Report, members identified a number of areas relating to exporting beers where they felt SIBA could help, including: finding export agencies, identifying potential markets, explaining foreign excise duties and offering financial guidance.  Following the BeerX sessions, SIBA will be looking at how it can offer further help to members wanting to export.

One of the speakers at BeerX is Mina Knezevic, deputy director of trade and investment at the British Embassy in Belgrade.  She will be speaking about the Serbian market, including the Belgrade Beer Festival, which is the biggest in Europe with 750,000 visitors and clearly an excellent opportunity for British brewers to showcase their beers in this large beer market.

The four export seminars take place at BeerX on Wednesday 12 March, alongside sessions from industry experts in a number of fields including hops, malt and yeast management. Industry Day, Thursday 13th, sees four high-profile speakers from brewing, pub retailing and politics address delegates.  The SIBA National Beer Awards, Business Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be announced at BeerX.


Tuesday 11 March:JUDGING DAY

  • Final judging of all SIBA National Beer Competitions: Cask, Bottled and Craft Beer in Keg

Wednesday 12 March:SIBA AGM AND MEMBERS’ DAY

  • SIBA AGM and briefings from SIBA executive
  • Seminars for SIBA members including export sessions from UKTI
  • Chairman’s reception
  • Opening of BeerX Festival of Beer to public (evening)
  • Announcement of SIBA’s National Beer Competition winners by BBC food and drink presenter Nigel Barden

Thursday 13 March:INDUSTRY DAY

  • Key speakers
  • Meet the Brewer event
  • Presentation of the SIBA Business Awards and SIBA Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • Festival of Beer open to public (evening only)




  • Business development seminars for SIBA brewers
  • Meet the Buyer event: buyers from a number of export markets
  • Festival of Beer open to public from 12 noon to 11.00 pm

Saturday 15 March:  FESTIVAL OF BEER           

  • Festival of Beer open to public from 12 noon to 11.00 pm, Rugby Six Nations screened in afternoon


Issued on behalf of:                Society of Independent Brewers

By:                                           ShielPorter Communications

For information:                      Ros Shiel

                                                07841 694137 / 01403 267971