A thousand pints of Barnsley Bitter are on their way to Italy thanks to a local brewery’s first international sale.
Acorn Brewery of Wombwell, Barnsley, has shipped a selection of its award-winning real ales – including the prized Barnsley Bitter – off to an Italian wholesale buyer.
The export order represents the independent brewery’s first international sale and builds on its growing trade in the UK market, which now sees them supply all five major supermarkets.
Acorn Brewery owner David Hughes said: “It is fantastic to think that Italian beer drinkers will soon be able to enjoy Barnsley Bitter as it will be distributed to bars, shops and restaurants across the north of the country.”
Acorn Brewery shipped a selection of its real ales to Italy via the wholesale deal last week. £10,000 worth of Acorn’s most popular brews including Barnsley Bitter, Barnsley Gold, Yorkshire Pride, Old Moor Porter and Gorlovka made up the order.
A total of 3,500 pints – some in bottles and some in travel-safe kegs – were packed on to pallets and loaded on to a lorry for the journey.
David said: “We are delighted to secure our first big export order and plan to explore the overseas market further.
“We are supplying a growing number of pubs, bars, restaurants and retailers in the UK so the natural next step for our expansion is to tap into the growing international taste for craft beers.”
Acorn secured the export order following a chance meeting with Italian wholesalers at the CAMRA National Winter Ales festival in Derby earlier this year.
An invitation to the Acorn Brewery followed and the buyers so liked what they saw and sampled that they shook hands on their first order.
The Italian export was shipped out this month around the same time that Acorn secured a new contract to supply 75 Morrisons stores across the north with its Old Moor Porter.
This deal means the brewery now counts all five established UK supermarkets – Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – amongst its customers.
David said: “These are exciting times for the business. We have learned a great deal through our first export experience and laid down the foundations for more overseas trade building on our growing business in the UK market.”
Acorn Brewery was established in 2003 and now produces around 30,000 pints of real ale every week at its brewery on Aldham industrial estate. It employs 12 and its turnover has reached £1.2 million following year-on-year growth.
Investment in new equipment last year enabled Acorn to increase production of bottled beers by 20 per cent and introduce keg beers to its range.
These products build on Acorn’s reputation for award-winning hand-pulled cask ale – which still accounts for 90 per cent of their production.
David said: “Our motto is ‘tradition and innovation’ and although we are proud that our hand-pulled cask ales still represents the bulk of our business, we are also very keen to invest in diversifying our high-quality product range and broaden our customer base with bottled and kegged beers.”
Barnsley Bitter is one of Acorn Brewery’s best-selling brands.
The award-winning real ale uses carefully-preserved, original strains of yeast which have been used to brew the iconic ale, since the 19th century.
Its full range of real ales has won more than 50 regional and national awards with Barnsley Bitter reaching the finals at CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival for the past three years.
Acorn delivers direct to over 400 pubs and bars in the north and midlands, and supplies to countless others via wholesalers.
It supplies its bottled beers to pubs, bars and more than 50 retail outlets including delis, farm shops and supermarkets.
Acorn Brewery also opened the Old No 7 in Barnsley town centre in 2011 and the pub showcases the brewery’s own beers amongst other worldwide brands.
The Old No 7 was voted CAMRA Yorkshire pub of the year for 2013.