US drinkers get a taste for Hartlepool craft ale

Maine Brewers' Guild 2018 Winter Session held at Brick South at Thompson's Point in Portland, Maine. Photo by Whitney J. Fox Photography for Knack Factory
Maine Brewers' Guild 2018 Winter Session held at Brick South at Thompson's Point in Portland, Maine. Photo by Whitney J. Fox Photography for Knack Factory

Drinkers in America got a taste for Hartlepool beer when a host of North East ales were sent overseas in a novel exchange programme.

Breweries from across the North of England, including Camerons in Hartlepool, saw British craft beers served at the Winter Session International Beer Festival in Maine.

Maine Brewers' Guild 2018 Winter Session. About 1700 attendees sampled 57 Maine brewers and 23 United Kingdom brewers including Breakfast Stout by Cameron's Tooth and Claw nano brewery. Photo by Whitney J. Fox Photography for Knack Factory.

Maine Brewers' Guild 2018 Winter Session. About 1700 attendees sampled 57 Maine brewers and 23 United Kingdom brewers including Breakfast Stout by Cameron's Tooth and Claw nano brewery. Photo by Whitney J. Fox Photography for Knack Factory.

The UK Government-organised beer exchange gave four North East breweries an opportunity to feature their beers in the Maine Beer Box, a 40ft-long custom-built bar with 78 beer taps.

The Beer Box first appeared at the Leeds International Beer Festival in September where it served beer from craft breweries in America.

A Camerons Brewery spokesman said: “Working with the Department for International Trade we were offered the opportunity to send one of our beers to the US to feature at the Winter Brew Session in Portland, Maine.

“We chose to send one of the beers from our newly developed Tooth & Claw brewery.

“Having just released our Breakfast Stout, which was created by development brewer Simon Whittington, we felt this would be a great beer to represent the Tooth & Claw brewery.

“The feedback we have received from the beer from festival goers has been fantastic and it was great seeing the feature in the US.”

The 6% stout is blended with eight different malts, oats and cereals then mashed at a high temperature and matured on whole Sumatra Mandheling coffee beans to produce a thick, complex stout.

The exchange allowed both the USA and UK markets to share tips and best practice in a bid to increase exporting opportunities and help the firms to grow their business.

More than 500 new craft breweries opened in the UK in the year to September 2017, to meet the huge demand at home and overseas.

Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, said: “It gives UK brewers the chance to collaborate with those in the US that are heavily influenced by what is coming out the UK’s growing craft beer industry.

“I hope we see lots of success from the collaboration and continue to join forces with breweries from either side of the pond.”

Stephen Noblett, from the Department for International Trade, added: “It’s fantastic to see breweries taking advantage of these opportunities and, with the right support and guidance such as trade missions like this, anyone can do it.”

For details of support the Department for International Trade can provide to firms call 0345 1360169, email northeast@mobile.trade.gov.uk or visit great.gov.uk.