Queen's Award cheer for brewer

A BREWERY established in Suffolk 10 years ago to target the export trade has had its success recognised in the Queen's Awards for Enterprise. St Peter's Brewery, based near Bungay, is among the winners in the International Trade category of the awards.

A BREWERY established in Suffolk 10 years ago to target the export trade has had its success recognised in the Queen's Awards for Enterprise.

St Peter's Brewery, which operates from an historic moated hall at St Peter South Elmham, near Bungay, is among the winners in the International Trade category of the awards which are announced annually on Her Majesty's birthday.

The company has increased its export sales by 83% in the last two years, with more than 50% of production now being sold overseas.

Managing director Colin Cordy said: “Recently we were pleased to be named 'Drinks Exporter of the Year' by Food from Britain and to follow this up with the Queen's Award is an enormous honour and thrill for all of us.

“Over 50% of our total production is now exported. We now trade in 17 countries and have a strong presence in important overseas markets including the USA, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia and Japan.

“We have put a lot of effort into developing special beers for overseas markets. For example, our award winning English Ale, a fully hopped ale using all organic materials, is a top seller in the US, while Honey Porter is a favourite in Finland and Cream Stout is popular in Russia.”

Most Read

John Murphy, founder and chairman of the company, added: “I would like to thank our magnificent team at St Peter's Brewery for all their hard work over the years as well as our loyal overseas importers and agents and, of course, our bankers, advisors and suppliers.

“This has been truly a team effort and winning this award will spur us on to even greater success in the future.”

St Peter's Brewery is a privately owned company and has a workforce of 20. In addition to the brewery, it runs St Peter's Hall as a pub/restaurant and also owns the Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell, London.

Mr Murphy established the business in 1996 to address was he saw as the under-exploitation of Britain's brewing skills and heritage in overseas markets, with the aim of making St Peter's the international brand for English beer just as Heineken is to Dutch beer or Budweiser to American.

“Britain has one of the largest brewing industries in the world but only exports around 3% of total national production, and that includes Budweiser beer brewed here for the European market and English beers sold in Calais and other Channel ports for re-importation,” he said.

“British beers are, however, much appreciated by beer connoisseurs around the world and our superb and distinctive ales, stouts, porters and bitters offer an enjoyable change from the ubiquitous lager beers.”

Mr Murphy added: “It has not been easy to reach the level of sales we now have in export markets. Beer is a bulky product which is relatively low in value.

“We have had to contend with high shipping costs - which have seen huge increases due to the cost of fuel escalating in recent months - and strong competition from the major international brewers who guard their market shares fiercely.”