The mission sees 10 companies touch down in the north east region of the US to commence a five-day long educational visit taking in Boston before heading on to Toronto.
The aim of the mission is to raise awareness of the Scottish craft brewing sector in North America and provide Scottish craft brewers with access to like-minded brewers, industry experts, buyers and importers in North America who can offer advice on breaking into the market.
North America is a primary target market for the Scottish craft brewing industry and interest from global markets is at an all-time high, reflecting the success of companies such as Brewdog, Innis & Gunn and Harviestoun Brewery.
The companies taking part in the mission are West Brewery, Loch Ness Brewery, Loch Lomond Brewery, WooHa Brewing Company, Eden Brewery of St. Andrews, Fyne Ales, Crawcraft, Thistly Cross Cider Co., The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland and Spey Valley Brewery.
The learning journey will include visits to Harpoon Brewery and Samuel Adams in Boston, meetings with retailers, distributors and importers, the US Craft Brewers Association, and a meeting with the LCBO in Toronto (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) – the largest purchaser of alcohol in Canada. The group will also attend the Ontario Craft Brewers third annual conference and suppliers marketplace event in Toronto.
Susan Beattie, head of food & drink at SDI, said: “The Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan identified North America as a priority market for Scottish producers, and highlighted the need to build relationships with key trade contacts and raise awareness of Scottish capabilities in this market.
“We have developed this programme to equip these companies with the knowledge and skills to effectively target the North American market and take advantage of growing consumer demand for Scottish produce.”
The US beer market is said to be worth an estimated $99bn, with craft beer making up approximately 15% by volume and 17% by value.