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Craft Beer: In and Out of America Since 1587
April 13, 2017 Elizabeth Thomas, Business Development Specialist, Office of Small Business

In one of America’s most enduring mysteries, the residents of the first “permanent” English colony (aka the Lost Colony) disappeared three years after landing on Roanoke Island, a barrier island off of what is now known as the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Although theories abound, we don’t know what happened to them. We do know that before they disappeared, they had beer. Twenty years later, according to the U.S. National Park Service web page on Historic Jamestowne, the next batch of newly arrived colonists enjoyed their first feast - washed down with beer. “The colonists, in addition to importing the beer from the Mother Country, quickly began practicing the art of brewing themselves.” And even though it wasn’t taught in elementary school, the story of the Pilgrims landing well north of their mark was due in part to a shortage … of beer. The website lists a year- by- year chronology of beer in America taken from the book, “American Breweries II” by Dale P. Van Wieren.  Here are a few highlights:

  • 1789: George Washington presents his “buy American” policy indicating he will only drink porter made in America.
  • 1881: 132 breweries produce 185,000 barrels of beer. Population of the country is 7 million.
  • 1984: Microbreweries begin to spread.

As microbreweries began to proliferate, the demand for craft beers grew exponentially in the United States and elsewhere. In 2016, the Brewers Association ( reported that American Craft Beer exports topped $116 million. The top five markets for American Craft beer in reverse order were:

5) Australia

4) United Kingdom

3) Ireland (no slouches in the brewing department themselves)

2) Sweden

1) Canada

Ireland, the Netherlands, Thailand and Taiwan were the fastest growing markets in 2015.

3 Daughters Brewing was born from a recipe for beer battered fish. Using their own hand crafted brews, Founder Mike Harting and Head Brewer Ty Weaver created a dish for a local St. Petersburg, Florida restaurant that quickly became popular. Their passion for brewing craft beer grew and 3 Daughters Brewing now distributes in Georgia, Florida, the Bahamas, Brazil and other countries. Working with EXIM, 3 Daughters put an export credit insurance policy in place, which empowers them to offer up to 90 days open credit terms to new and existing international buyers. Export credit insurance reduces the risk of nonpayment by international customers and gives the American exporter leverage to negotiate payment terms, knowing that their foreign receivables are protected Negotiate Credit Terms with Overseas Buyers

3 Daughters Brewing is one of many small businesses following in the proud tradition of American-made beer. The Bahamas, Brazil and other countries are better for it.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.