Hawkers IPA will soon be available in 600 premium supermarket outlets in Britain under an export deal with retailer Marks & Spencer.
UK sourcing company Brands Direct pursued Hawkers after it was named Supreme Champion Brewer at the International Beer Challenge in London last year, founder Mazen Hajjar told Brews News.
He said this fast-tracked Hawkers’ plans to enter the UK, its latest export market following launches into Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and New Zealand.
“You basically don’t say no to Marks, so we may have jumped the gun a bit on entering the UK, because we weren’t going to say no to Marks,” Hajjar said.
“They took a full container, it was somewhere around 900 cases of IPA. We’re in negotiations to start exporting to the UK proper, so it’s not going to just stop at the IPA.
“We’re also looking at Sweden and South Arica, so we’re not just following a traditional path of going into our backyard.”
Hajjar said he hopes the deal will pave the way for other breweries to begin exporting to the UK, where Australian craft beer is largely unknown.
“We’ve all got to work together to change the negative image of Australian beer that’s associated with Foster’s,” he said.
“The problem with being an Australian beer is; one you’re associated with Foster’s, two you’re expensive and three you really don’t have your own style.
“We’re kind of producing American beer, so we’re trying to compete with much cheaper much stronger American brands.”