We send some of our stuff out of the UK. Enough to make the pain of working with various different country's duty systems worthwhile. It's quite a big learning curve, learning all the various rules and regulations surrounding export, and our own HMRC are less than helpful to the point of almost being obstructive1, but with my tenacity and the Hardknott team's support, we are growing our success in this area.
One of the great things about having trade in overseas countries is that we get to know more and more beery people. We even occasionally get people from foreign climes dropping by our modest brewery in our ex-industrial, former iron ore town, Millom, on the lovely West Coast of Cumbria.
Last week one such chap came all the way from Kentucky, in the grand United States of America to see me. Will Hanrahan is his name. He brought some lovely Kentucky Bourbon Ale, which we drank, along with various Hardknott beers. A good time was had, enough to make the following day somewhat difficult.
He told me of an international event in Dublin that his boss is organising. The International Craft Brewing and Distilling Convention is organised by AllTech, an international company who do stuff with yeast, including, but not exclusively, brewing.
We've been looking at getting our beer into Ireland for some time now. It'll be grand. We're at the advanced stages of this happening. Indeed, misunderstandings between the Irish and UK duty officials seems to be the only barrier. So, a trip over to Dublin seems like the right thing to do. After all, 'tis a splendid place, so it is.
Oh, nearly forgot, apparently bloggers and the like can get in for free. You need to contact this Will Hanrahan and ask for a code. Try tweeting @WHanrahan.
1Honestly, I could tell you a whole load of stories here, but I need to let a few scenarios run their course first. Suffice to say, contrary to EU law, HMRC does obstruct free trade between EU member states. I hereby renounce my former Euro Sceptic past and ask for further EU harmonisation.