AN INDEPENDENT Perthshire craft brewery has signed a major deal to export four of its most popular beers to Russia.
Inveralmond Brewery, which is based in Perth, has reached an agreement with Russian distribution company Elizabet to sell its Lia Fail, Ossian, Thrappledouser and Blackfriars beers in the expanding Baltic market.
A spokeswoman for the brewery said: “Russia is one of the UK’s fastest-growing export markets and the third-largest export market outside Europe and North America. Assisted by Scottish Development International in establishing the trade, Inveralmond Brewery is the latest Scottish food and drink producer to join a growing Russian export market and is expected to see sales rise as a direct result.”
She added: “Until very recently Russia had considered beer a ‘soft’ drink, or more specifically a ‘foodstuff’, as it fell below the 10 per cent alcohol limits until Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a bill, which came into effect in January 2012, that now officially classifies beer as alcoholic.
“Soaring in popularity in recent years, with Russian beer sales rising by more than 40 per cent, the product is frequently marketed to Russians as a healthier alternative to spirits.”
Bob Hogg, the commercial director of the Inveralmond Brewery, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Elizabet on the distribution of our products to the Russian market. Russia is a vast country and logistical distribution is key to long term success.
“Russia has demonstrated affinity with many Scottish products including whisky, Scottish salmon and now beer.”
He added: “We are particularly grateful to the support from Scottish Development International in helping this deal come to fruition, their expertise and knowledge in guiding us into this market has been invaluable.”
Vladislav Efimov from Elizabet said: “We view Scottish beer as a high quality product and expect the Russian market to respond extremely favourably to Inveralmond Brewery beers.“