Boutique sets out its stall

A new company has been set up to provide marketing and sales support to overseas craft brewers.

Boutique Beer Brands has been created by Don Parkin and Sean Robertson, both formerly with the speciality beer importer Cave Direct, along with Phil Harding, who used to have his own food and drink events company and worked as a manager with the Lowlander beer bar group in London.

The company has already signed deals to represent the French producers Vivat – which makes Triple, an 8.3% beer in a 50cl ceramic bottle and Blonde at 6.5% in 33cl – and Bellerose, which has a 6.5% beer in 33cl. All three French beers also come in 75cl Champagne- style bottles with a cork stopper.

It has also taken on the Oro di Milano range from the Italian craft brewer Alina, comprising the 5.1% abv Puro Malto lager, 6.5% abv Doppio Malto ale and the 8.2% abv Riserva Speciale brown ale.

Boutique Beer Brands is also working with Heathwick, the importer of US craft beers from Fordham and Old Dominion, to build sales of its products.

Parkin said: “The Italian craft beer scene is really exploding and they are generally happy to embrace high abv beers and produce good ranges.

“At the moment in the UK there isn’t much good quality Italian beer outside of Peroni and Moretti, so there is a big opportunity.”

Parkin said that Boutique Beer Brands would aim to be “a link between the brewery and the importer or wholesaler”.

Its French beers are being sold through James Clay and the Italian and US brands by Nectar.

Parkin added: “Our role is to drive sales by putting in promotions, staff training and events – all the sorts of stuff which sometimes get overlooked but which can be vital in helping to build a base for brands with the trade and consumers.

“We’re looking to work with around nine breweries so we’ve got a few more to go.

“We’re talking to a couple of people in Belgium and we’ve got a contact in New Zealand which sounds interesting, and another possible in Australia.”

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