Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, has signed new agreements with Canada’s oldest independent brewery, Moosehead Breweries, to act as their distributors for the US and for Canada.
The Kent brewery’s flagship beer, Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale, will be on sale across North America from September, with further products planned for 12 months’ time.
Spitfire will be available on draught for the first time in 50ltr kegs and also on sale in 330ml bottle six packs (packed four per case for trade) and 12 x 500ml bottle cases. Packs and keg tap handles feature Union Jack branding
The two businesses were introduced to each other by the Boston Beer Company, for whom Shepherd Neame brews Samuel Adams Boston Lager in the UK and Moosehead Breweries distribute in Canada. The synergies between the historic, multi-generational family brewers were clear from the outset and negotiations have resulted in five year contracts being signed for each market.
Shepherd Neame export manager Olly Scott says it’s great to be back: “The US deal means Shepherd Neame beer will be available in the USA for the first time since 2001 and that’s very exciting for us. We know drinkers value greatly the heritage of our brewery and quality of our beers. Meanwhile, signing Moosehead Breweries as our new distributors for Canada will expand our distribution to new provinces: again, it’s a hugely exciting prospect.”
Moosehead Breweries vice president for sales and marketing, Jim Eagles adds: “We know our customers have huge affection for Spitfire Ale, it’s a quintessential English ale which is supported by a very cheeky marketing campaign that really resonates with people. It’s great that two companies with such shared ambitions, and whose pasts mirror each other so closely, meet the demand we know exists for Spitfire in North America.”
Notes to editors
Shepherd Neame Ltd isBritain’s oldest brewer and an independent, fifth-generation family business. It isbased in Kent, in south east England – the UK’s primary hop-growing region. The company’s famed for its Spitfire and Bishops Finger ales and brewed more than 71 million pints in 2011/12.
Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale is a best-selling UK ale. It was first brewed in 1990 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which raged over skies of Kent and was a deciding factor in World War II. The beer’s equally famous for its irreverent marketing, which is renowned around the world for its tongue-in-cheek wartime theme. Winner of a gold medal and Best Strong Cask-Conditioned Beer of the World at the Brewing Industry International Awards, Spitfire Ale is now Shepherd Neame’s biggest-selling cask conditioned ale. Spitfire Ale has Protected Geographical Indication, the same regional produce protection afforded to Champagne and Parma Ham. It is brewed with chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well deep beneath the Faversham Brewery, ale and crystal malt and East Kent Goldings, Target and First Gold Kentish hops.
Tasting notes by Ben McFarland, three-time winner of Beer Writer of the Year:
“An infusion of three Kentish hops adorns this beautifully balanced, blood-orange tinted British bitter with an acutely aromatic allure. Hints of marmalade, red grapes and pepper are thrust from a springboard of warm, mellow malts. The floating fruity finish signs off with a smidgen of spice and raspberry.”
Moosehead Breweries is a Canadian leader in beer sales and marketing; representing a diverse portfolio including Moosehead, Cracked Canoe, Tennent’s, Magners Cider, Samuel Adams, Paulaner, Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea and Hop City Brewing Co. In the United States, Moosehead Breweries distributes its flagship lager, along with its craft portfolio; Hop City. Moosehead was founded in 1867, and is Canada’s Oldest and Largest independently owned brewery. For more information on Moosehead Breweries, visit www.facebook.com/moosehead.
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