Good Beer Hunting

Brooklyn Brewery Partners with Carlsberg for UK Distribution

Brooklyn Brewery has formed a partnership with Carlsberg UK, which will distribute the New York brewery’s beer exclusively within the United Kingdom. Carlsberg UK will take over from the existing distributor, James Clay, as of Dec. 30.

Despite Brooklyn having what appeared to be a strong relationship with James Clay for several years, this move isn’t a surprising one. In 2012, Brooklyn Partnered with Carlsberg to form Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery) in Stockholm. This latest news poses the question: how deep will this relationship continue to go?

The benefits for Brooklyn are substantial. Carlsberg has huge market penetration in the UK and this partnership will give Brooklyn access to thousands of new on-trade accounts. According to Vice President of Marketing of Carlsberg UK, Liam Newton, Brooklyn saw 54% value growth within in UK in the last year alone. Brooklyn’s growing brand will now strengthen a portfolio that already includes brands such as Sweden’s Backyard Brewery, Mahou and San Miguel of Spain, and Italy’s Birra Poretti. Meanwhile, this is a useful move for Carlsberg when its own brand appears to be on the wane.

Brooklyn’s success here could lead to other U.S. brands looking to distributors like Carlsberg, with greater reach than the independents they currently use. Founders is 30% owned by Mahou San Miguel, a brand that is already distributed by Carlsberg in the UK. Firestone Walker could also look to potentially use the leverage of its owner, Duvel Moortgat, in order to grow its UK brand.

For James Clay, this move will free up the large amount of resources they put into distributing and promoting the Brooklyn brand, allowing them to spend more time doing the same for other clients such as Left Hand Brewing and Flying Dog.

—Matthew Curtis

Carlsberg Takes Up Brooklyn Brewery Distribution [The Brewers Journal]