Denver Beer Co. today announced that co-founders Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford will join Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock as part of an official delegation to promote trade relationships between Denver and Japan. The delegation will travel to Tokyo and Takayama, Denver’s sister city, in early November and will meet with Japanese dignitaries and business leaders during their visit.
Denver Beer Co. is the first company to participate in OED’s pilot Export Promotion Program, which launched this year to help export-ready companies to access international markets. OED partnered with the International Business program at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Business to provide international market research and work as consultants for Denver Beer Co. The Business School utilized Denver Beer Co. financial information and distribution data to create a customized export plan for international beer exports. To implement the plan, OED hired one of the students who worked on the consulting project as a summer intern. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Our small business community produces some outstanding Denver-made products and services, and we want to share those products with people around the world,” Mayor Hancock said. “We’re very proud that we can pilot this effort with the Denver Beer Co. – our local craft brewing industry is the best in the nation after all – and we look forward to seeing how we can expand this program for other export-ready companies in high-growth industries.”
“We are thrilled to join Mayor Hancock as part of the official delegation from the City of Denver,” stated Patrick Crawford. “We are grateful for the support and research conducted by the UC Denver School of Business and the resources offered by the City of Denver OED and the State of Colorado OED-IT to help us launch this international export endeavor. It is the best example of collaboration I have seen between local and state economic development officials, and a local university.”
“Colorado craft beers are taking the world by storm. In Japan we have seen a significant rise in interest in American craft breweries and the unique flavors they are creating,” Charlie Berger continued. “American craft brewers are at the forefront of what is hip in Japan. Many large Japanese cities have craft beer bars and liquor stores dedicated to craft beer imports. We believe this is a great opportunity to showcase Colorado craft beers on an international stage where our flavors are really unique and the quality of our beer will stand out.”
As a result of the OED program, Denver Beer Co. sent its first shipment of beer to Japan in July, 2015. The brewery has partnered with Global Craft and Nagano Trading Company to export several of the brewery’s canned beers, including Graham Cracker Porter, Incredible Pedal IPA, and Sun Drenched Exploratory Ale, to the Tokyo market. Nagano Trading Company utilizes a cold-chain distribution method which ensures the beer stays in a refrigerated container from the time it leaves the Denver Beer Co. cold storage warehouse to the moment it hits a refrigerated store shelf in Tokyo.
“The cold-chain distribution method ensures our beer is actually fresh when it arrives in Tokyo. We would never export beer overseas if it were to sit in a hot shipping container for several weeks. This method gives us peace of mind that our beer is arriving in a Japanese liquor store in the same condition one would find at a local Denver liquor store,” continued Berger.
The Mayor’s delegation to Japan comes on the heels of Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae’s recent visit to Denver in which he presented the keynote address at the Japan American Society of Colorado’s annual banquet, and met with U.S. Representative Diana DeGette and local business leaders to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The Ambassador expressed interest in fostering trade relationships with American companies in Japanese markets and toured Denver Beer Co. For more information, visit www.denverbeerco.com.