Cains Export Hopes

The Liverpool Daily Post is reporting today that local brewer Cains is hoping to seal an export deal to the United States in the New Year. Cains announced earlier in the autumn that it would be exporting Cains Export Lager to China and further export opportunities would help safeguard the brewer’s future after a difficult couple of years.

I am struck by how different this business model is from the one Cains operated until its collapse in 2008. In 2007, when I was researching my book about the brewery and its long history, I asked owners Ajmail and Sudarghara Dusanj about their plans and they praised the way Sam Adams had become an international American brand. Back then in the era of cheap easy money, booming property prices and willing banks, the Dusanjs were understandably keen to become a significant regional brewer with national reach here in the UK. The result of their subsequent rapid expansion into and equally rapid withdrawal from pub estate ownership doesn’t need repeating. What is interesting now is that like other small upstart regional brewers the company’s concentration on its core business–brewing beer–is enabling its expansion in ways that avoid the high costs and risks associated with property and estates management. From the Post article:

Liverpool brewer Cains is in talks with several major US importers and hopes to clinch a US export deal early in the new year.

The Toxteth-based firm expects to reap the rewards of a trade mission it took part in this September, when joint managing director Sudarghara Dusanj attended a key Las Vegas brewing convention, supported by the government-backed export agency UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and regeneration agency Liverpool Vision.

His aim during the trade mission was to spread the word among American importers about Cains’ famous brewing heritage. [More]