Welcome to this special edition of the GBH podcast, which forms part of our Coming to America series, brought to you in collaboration with Guinness.
Before we get started today, I want to tell you how excited I am about bringing our Uppers and Downers festival of coffee, beer and coffee beers to London this May. It takes place at Mick’s Garage in Hackney Wick on Saturday May 19th and will feature over 30 exceptional brewers and roasters—including today’s guests, Boundary—each collaborating on some new and exclusive beers that you’ll only be able to try at the event. Tickets are limited and selling fast, so head over to goodbeerhunting.com and hit get tickets to secure your space.
In our Coming to America series we’ve brought you stories about upstart and iconic breweries from around the world that have been impacting U.S. drinkers for generations, and those that are just beginning to make the journey. Stories like how Pilsner Urquell originally came to the US, and how young breweries like Denmark’s Alefarm are trying to find their place in the same market in the age of modern and local.
Today’s guest is Matthew Dick, co-founder of Boundary Brewing Cooperative, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. If you read our article on Boundary back in May 2016 then you’ll already be somewhat familiar with this Northern Irish upstart, which is only the second brewery to open in Belfast. Using the cooperative model as a base, which Dick will explain in detail later in this episode, Boundary began its journey in 2015, thanks to the investments made by over 1000 owner-members. It’s a model that’s relatively unique within the UK brewing industry, but its one that’s so far proved successful for this young business
Before the brewery opened however, Dick spent many years living out in the United States. He met his wife in Reno, Nevada, where he lived for several years, and latterly he spent some time in Austin, Texas, where he worked for the now defunct homebrew equipment manufacturer, Brewbot. To say that the US brewing scene inspired Dick—in particular breweries working with barrels and mixed-fermentation beers like Jester King—would be something of an understatement.
An American-inspired entrepreneurial spirit resonates through everything that Boundary does. With three years under its belt it’s starting to become established in its home markets of the UK and Ireland, but this isn’t without its challenges, especially with the ever-darker clouds of Brexit looming on the horizon.
Now, however, Boundary is beginning to look further afield and after securing a distribution deal with Shelton Brothers it has started to export its beer to the US. Boundary had the honor of taking over the taps at DC’s Churchkey this past St. Patrick’s Day. It also recently debuted its beer in New York City with an event at The Jeffrey. In this episode we’ll learn about the value of these US exports to such a small brewery, and how it balances this alongside activity the needs of its domestic market.