Carlsberg plans continued UK growth for Brooklyn beers

Brooklyn Lager

Carlsberg UK is expanding its range of craft and world beers by taking over exclusive distribution for Brooklyn Brewery’s beers in the UK.

After 15 years of growth with leading beer distributor and importer James Clay, the new deal will run from December 30, covering a wide selection of core and seasonal beers including the best-selling Brooklyn Lager.

Other brews in the range include Brooklyn Scorcher IPA, Brooklyn Summer Ale, Brooklyn East IPA and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, each imported from the brewery in New York City where production is overseen by brewmaster Garrett Oliver.

They will complement Carlsberg UK’s existing premium beer and cider portfolio which includes craft cider Bad Apple, Danish-style pilsner Carlsberg Export, Italian lager Poretti, Belgian ale Grimbergen, Spanish lagers Mahou and San Miguel, and Sweden’s Backyard Brewery range including Shed Head, Bee 17 and Lawnmower.

In the free trade, Carlsberg UK will manage the Brooklyn Brewery portfolio through its newly-launched brand and sales division, House of Beers, which is dedicated to world, craft and speciality beers and ciders. This provides specialist support to customers operating premium pubs, bars and restaurants in major cities across the UK, including central London.

House of Beers’ team of brand ambassadors intend to drive the continued growth of the Brooklyn Brewery portfolio in the free trade through events, range advice and staff training.

Liam Newton, vice president of marketing for Carlsberg UK, said: “Brooklyn Brewery is at the forefront of the craft beer revolution, brewing quality beers that drinkers seek out and enjoy.

“The Brooklyn beer range will complement our existing portfolio of premium, craft and speciality beers and ciders and we will ensure it thrives well into the future, like it has in the past.”

According to figures for total UK trade from CGA Strategy and AC Nielsen for the year to July this year, Brooklyn Lager has seen value growth of 54% over the past year.

Eric Ottaway, chief executive officer of Brooklyn Brewery, added: “This move is an extension of Brooklyn’s relationship with Carlsberg throughout Europe, and we look forward to working creatively with Carlsberg UK on the continued development of the Brooklyn brand in the UK.

“We would like to thank everyone at James Clay for the great work they have done to build Brooklyn to this point in the UK. They have been great partners and brand builders for the last 15 years.”

James Clay commented: “We hope Brooklyn Brewery’s new partnership with Carlsberg builds on the foundations laid for the brand over the past 15 years and would like to express how much we have enjoyed working alongside the talented and committed people at the brewery.

“After recently moving into a new facility in the north of England, the largest exclusively dedicated to craft and speciality beer in the UK, and acquiring the wholesale arm of London-based beer distributor Utobeer, this transfer allows us the resources to invest and support expansion from our existing and potential new brewery partners from across the world.

“As an independent, family-owned business, we are absolutely committed to investing in the longevity and growth of craft and speciality beers in the UK.”

The agreement between Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg UK follows an 11-year relationship between Brooklyn Brewery and the wider Carlsberg Group, which sells Brooklyn products in over a dozen markets including Denmark and Sweden.

The brewers have also cooperated to open two microbreweries: the New Carnegie Brewery in Stockholm in Sweden, which opened in 2015, and EC Dahls Brewery in Trondheim in Norway, which opened in August this year.

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