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24th September 2013

Cumbrian craft brewer lands deal to supply beer to Ireland

A CUMBRIAN brewer is hoping to keep Irish eyes smiling after winning a contract to export his award winning beers to the Emerald Isle

 Dave Bailey, of the Hardknott Brewery, which is based in Millom, has won an agreement to export his beers to the Republic of Ireland via one of the country’s specialist beer distributors.

Mr Bailey, who runs the brewery with his partner Ann Wedgwood, made three trips across the Irish Sea this year, including in July when two of its beers won bronze at the Alltech Craft Brewing and Distilling Convention in Dublin.

The brewery has now won an agreement to supply its Continuum, Azimuth, Queboid and Infra Red beers to Irish distributor Fourcorners.

The first shipment of 3500 bottles of the beer arrived in Ireland last month and Mr Bailey said these would be the first of many.

Mr Bailey said he was satisfied that Hardknott had been able to successfully target the Irish market, as well as working to overcome HMRC rules around exporting beer.

He said: “It took a concerted effort to target the Irish market and keep on working to meet as many people as we could and get our name out there. But we had a great time visiting the country and met so many lovely people and eventually it all came together. The Irish people are very personable and they like to do business face-to-face, which is an approach I really respect, admire and enjoy.

Legislation and bureaucracy don’t make it easy to export. It takes a lot of hard work and tenacity to overcome the problems but we are looking forward to a good long relationship with our Irish distributor.

“We want to do things differently and come up with new things for our customers to get excited about. That’s why we are successful, be it in Ireland or anywhere else. We want people who drink our beer to taste it and realise just how exciting and vibrant beer can be. Beer shouldn’t just be an unmemorable adjunct to a night out with friends. Indeed, the best beer should be a talking point, something that helps create a buzz.

“We want to get younger people excited about beer that has got fresh flavours and is colourful and new. It’s about imaginative innovation, something new rather than unperceivable variations of other indifferent beers. It’s about making something that will really get people to sit up and take notice. It’s very much about smashing through the resistance of deep pre-conceived ideas about beer.

“I think there are some positive signs around for businesses like us, the economy is coming out of recession and things are starting to look a little bit more rosy. Business is getting better and we think we are at the leading edge of the curve in terms of having the right ethos, the right product and the right branding to take advantage of that.”

For more information about Hardknott’s beers go to

Notes to Editors

Hardknott Brewery is located in the former iron smelting town of Millom, Cumbria. The progressive brewery is owned and run by Dave Bailey and Ann Wedgwood.

Founded at the top of the beautiful Lake District valley of Eskdale. Relocating in Millom in 2010 enabled the brewery to expand much more rapidly than if it had been located in Eskdale.