The head of a Scottish microbrewery has praised the “dogged determination” of staff in overcoming Brexit challenges after landing an export deal with a Dutch supermarket operator.
Bellfield Brewery, the gluten-free specialist brewery, has successfully shipped its first order to Albert Heijn supermarkets in Netherlands.
Initially the supermarket operator will carry all four of Bellfield’s core range in the ‘Free From’ aisles of 180 of its largest stores, in a six-month exclusive deal that is worth six figures in revenue terms.
The core range comprises Lawless Village IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Craft Lager and Session Ale.
If successful, the deal could see Bellfield beers distributed across additional Albert Heijn branches.
The Albert Heijn deal was sealed for Bellfield at a football match last year. Bellfield’s agent had arranged to meet the supermarket’s beer buyer at an Ajax match at the Amsterdam arena and he had taken along some Bellfield beers.
Alistair Brown, Bellfield’s chief executive, said it was the first significant new export order for the brand in the last 18 months because of uncertainty around Brexit-related changes and Covid-19.
He said: “This is great news for our business and could not have come at a better time for us, after 12 months of Covid-related disruption. Our aim remains to grow our brand, in the UK and internationally, consolidating our reputation for producing great-tasting beers that everyone can enjoy. This is an important step for us.
“We’re very pleased – and proud – that our beers are now on the shelves of Dutch supermarkets. “
He added: “The last two years have been quiet on the export front in terms of securing new customers as they waited to see if there would be a Brexit trade agreement.
“Getting this deal over the line is testament to the quality of our beers and to the dogged determination of our in-house sales team, to overcome the challenges associated with Brexit.”