Run in association with the University of Nottingham, and held at their Sutton Bonington campus, with support from British Craft Beers and the Food & Drink iNet, the course aims to help microbreweries find new markets for their products.
One brewer attending is FunFair brewery, based in Elston, Newark, which was set up ten years ago by Abigail Cutts and David Tizard.
Speaking about the deal Cutts said: “We currently sell about 10,000 gallons of beer across the UK each year but after some research realised that there could be scope for sales in China.
“We have now produced a specific product for this market – an alcoholic ginger beer, called Teacups, inspired by the quintessentially British Alice in Wonderland.
“The ginger and lemon taste and British packaging is specifically targeted to this market.
“We’re hoping the course will give us our first lessons on how to export and what we need to be aware of, as well as giving us some excellent opportunities to network with other microbreweries from across the region.
“We would like to take the product to the Shanghai Trade Fair so will be looking at how to do this next.”
Another attendee is award-winning Smisby microbrewery, Leatherbritches, who make their beer at The Tap House, in the National Forest. Founded in 1993 by Bill Allingham, the youngest son of the family, it is now run by Edward Allingham, Bills older brother.
Allingham said: “Our beers are in huge demand across the world: Australia, the USA, Japan and China are all keen to buy, and we are keen to supply.
“But we need to understand better how to export. There is often too much paperwork in the way – but if we can overcome this and learn more about the process we can rapidly boost sales and explore additional markets.
“These days if someone rates our beer online, it spreads so quickly on Facebook and twitter, and before we know it we have interest across the world, but we need to know better how to get it to the customer.
“The markets we have sold to are very different but we have extremely high quality products, which are diverse to suit. We have found Australians and Americans like a strong and hoppy beer, whereas in China and Japan, they like something bright and clear and flavours like lemongrass and ginger.”
Stuart Muir, International Trade Manager for UKTI East Midlands said: “There has been a boom in microbreweries across the East Midlands, with companies taking advantage of a new found popularity for locally produced real ale. Britain creates beers unique to the islands and there is growing demand for different flavours around the world.
“This specialist Passport course will help businesses get the training, initial advice and on-going support they need to succeed overseas.”
The Shanghai trade exhibition takes place in April and if you would like to get help to export contact UKTI East Midlands on 0845 052 4001 or visit [ilink url=”http://ukti.gov.uk”]ukti.gov.uk[/ilink]