Brexit Sparks Bavarian Beer Frenzy at Cairngorm Brewery

Beer drinkers in Germany are stocking up on Scottish beer by the pallet load to ensure their supply does not run dry in the event of a hard Brexit. Aviemore based award-winning craft brewer, Cairngorm Brewery Company has seen Bavarian buyers expedite and increase their orders pre-Brexit, to ensure that German customers are well stocked with fine Scottish craft beer.

Sam Faircliff, managing director of Cairngorm Brewery, said:

“Our buyers in Germany have told us that they do not want to be left without our product post-Brexit.

“The uncertainty surrounding trade has seen buyers bring orders forward to ensure they are able to meet the demand once the UK leaves the European Union.

“We have received an unusually large order for more than 5,000 bottles of our Cairngorm and Loch Ness branded beers from Germany, one of Europe’s largest beer markets.

“Receiving an order like this and in these circumstances is a testament to the ability of Scottish producers to carve out a lane for themselves, even in the most hotly contested markets.”

Sam did acknowledge that Brexit has had a negative impact on customer growth, saying: “We have found that existing European customers continue to be willing to trade, however, the lack of clarity around Brexit, appears to be a barrier to gaining new customers.

“During this uncertain time, we have increased our planning and housekeeping efforts, enabling us to be in a position to expand further into Europe, once the outcome of Brexit becomes clearer.”

Scottish food and drink enjoys success on an international scale due to the recognition of quality and heritage associated with the country’s produce. Producers of everything from cheese and oatcakes to salmon and whisky have for decades linked their products to the country’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Martin Johnson, regional head of international and key sectors at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:

“Thanks to the efforts of our producers, markets have come to associate Scottish food and drink as being made from good quality ingredients, and with great attention to detail applied by skilled craftsmen and women. 

“Drinks businesses such as Cairngorm Brewery should continue to take advantage of the strong Scottish brand and the routes to the international marketplace that have been paved by the likes of malt whisky and Scottish salmon.”

When looking to Cairngorm Brewery’s future, Sam said: “Currently, exports make up between two to five per cent of our turnover, however, we are looking to grow that number over the next five years to between 10 and 20 per cent.

“We are in the process of building an extension at the brewery which will increase efficiency and reduce the cost of our products. This will allow us to be more competitive in European markets, as we do anticipate export tariffs for Europe are going to increase.”

When asked why others should look to export Sam said: “Instead of taking a slice of the domestic cake, exporting allows you to explore new markets and expand your customer base.”

Martin further added to Sam’s call for more businesses to export saying: “Scotland should step forward and become a larger player on the international stage. At HIE, we can provide the support, information, advice and funding to help businesses grow through overseas trade and encourage businesses of all sizes to explore this further.”

Businesses wishing to find out more about how HIE can help should visit HIE’s international trade support is part funded by ERDF.