The Maine Beer Box, a touring cargo container that’s been retrofitted by the Maine Brewers’ Guild with 78 taps is making the transatlantic journey to the United Kingdom to participate in the Leeds International Beer Festival.
Here’s the deal…
The Maine Beer Box is both a concept and an actual self-contained shipping/serving platform. It was created by the Maine Brewers’ Guild with the help of Eimskip an Icelandic shipping company to champion Maine craft beers abroad and to raise interest in their export viability.
Last year the Beer Box made its first overseas journey to Iceland to participate in a festival being held in Reykjavik and it will soon be transporting Maine beer to be served up at a major festival in the UK.
The Leeds International Beer Festival, a four-day event in September will give 12,000 attendees a chance to taste craft beers from all over Maine.
Collection of the beer that will be transported to the United Kingdom, 500 kegs worth as matter of fact, starts this week and will include breweries in Fort Kent, Caribou, Brewer, Ellsworth, Belfast and Lewiston.
The cargo container will be shipping out of Portland August 3rd with Eimskip paying for the transportation and each brewer donating beer and paying import taxes.
And those kegs won’t be shipped back empty either…They’re coming back to the United States for a tasting party at Thompson’s Point in Portland.
“We’re trying to leverage the resources of Maine,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild told the Bangor Daily News…
“Leeds is one of the most prominent beer festivals in the United Kingdom…There is a vibrant beer culture in London, but the energy around craft beer is in Leeds.”
And even with craft beer showing signs of some slowing in different regions of the country, the growth of craft brewers in the state is accelerating.
Maine currently has 124 craft brewers, up 30 percent over the 93 in January 2017, according to the Maine Brewers’ Guild and with the Maine Beer Box they’re sending a clear message that they are serious about expanding their market abroad.