Belfast Telegraph

Award-winning microbrewery toasts cross-border export deal

A CO Down microbrewery has brewed up some export business to gastropubs, bars and restaurants in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Clanconnel Brewing Company in Waringstown has agreed the distribution deal with CWI Drinks in Dublin for an undisclosed sum.

The firm recently won the Champion Beer Award at the Belfast Beer Festival ahead of 80 other beers and ales from across the UK for its latest product, McGrath's Irish Black Stout.

The breakthrough deal in the Republic of Ireland was announced by Mark Pearson, Clanconnel's managing director and founder.

"Moving into exports was a key objective when I set up the business in 2008," he said.

"We launched Weaver's Gold, our first product in early 2009 and this has been closely followed up with McGrath's Irish Red and McGrath's Irish Black.

"Winning business in the Republic is an important step towards my objective of achieving US market success, which I aim to achieve during 2011.

"Feedback from customers there has been extremely positive."

Mr Pearson, who said his ambition is to launch products in New York or Boston on St Patrick's Day, received support in developing the beer for export from Invest NI and Loughry College.

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