The Tempest Brewing team
Tempest's craft beers are sold as far afield as New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. We caught up with them to discuss the opportunities and challenges in exporting and where they'll explore next.
What does your company do?
Producer of fresh unpasteurised craft beers
When was your company launched, who by and why?
In 2010 by chef turned brewer, Gavin Meiklejohn.
Why? A love of beer and love of food. He wanted to brew beers that could be held to the same high standards as his food and believed he could produce amazing beers on a commercial side.
How long has the company been exporting?
What do you currently export, and where to?
We currently export to countries including France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands and as far afield as New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
An existing market for our beers. We had a lot of incoming enquiries from importers who had tried our beers and believed in the high quality of them. We've then had a gradual increase in sales as our capacity has expanded.
What is the easiest part of exporting?
Great for cash flow as most is in payment on proforma invoice.
And the most challenging part?
Identifying the best partners who will represent our company and beers in the way in which we would represent ourselves.
Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
It is an ongoing challenge to understand our partners. Luckily we have been in a position where our beers are very sought after which means most transactions are straight forward in terms of what our stock availability is. I think we will face the most challenges in increasing our sales in Asia.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
We are receiving support from Scottish Development International (SDI) around the Asia Pacific region. To date, most overseas trade has been done from our own efforts.
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
Make sure you get the right partners and ensure you get your price point correct.
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years’ time?
We are now focusing on increasing sales to the Asia Pacific market as we are heavily reliant on the European market for the majority of our exports and see the need to diversify as a result of Brexit.
In addition, we are hoping to begin exporting to Canada and North America.
Tempest Brewing have been shortlisted in the Micro Exporter of the Year category at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Enterprise. Join us on 22 March to celebrate international trade across Scotland.