A WARINGSTOWN based microbrewery which has just broken into the Republic of Ireland has made an important step towards entering the US market with its expanded range of locally brewed beers.
Clanconnel, which has secured support via Ulster Bank’s start-up and emerging business package, has recently established links with a distributor in Indiana and plans to begin marketing its three local brews in the US in the near future.
The company, founded and owned by Waringstown-man Mark Pearson, was one of more than 1,800 Northern Ireland SMEs (small or medium-sized enterprises) to secure lending from Ulster Bank in 2010, and Mr Pearson said the bank’s support is an important endorsement of the company’s business plan.
“We’ve established our products in the Northern Ireland market and have broken into the Republic, and we see the United States as a significant opportunity for us, particularly as we have been achieving good reviews in brewing media over there, and have developed links with a key distributor,” he said.
“We are working closely with Ulster Bank to develop our business plan, with a strong export focus. We see the bank’s support as a real endorsement of the company and our plans, and will allow us to significantly develop,” Mr Pearson concluded.
David Andrews, a business development manager at Ulster Bank, said: “This is a business with high growth potential that required bank support to help take it to the next level. With our commitment to supporting start-up and emerging businesses, we are providing the company with a loan for business development purposes, as well as no transaction fees, and networking support through the Small Business Can website for example.”
Clanconnel has recently expanded its product range to three locally brewed beers with the addition of a stout and a red ale to its original blonde ale. www.clanconnelbrewing.com