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Tindall Brewery Exports to Italy

Updated: Mar 27

The Story… The Passion… The Dream… The Italian Job…

 



For those who know Michael, he has big dreams for Tindall Brewery and February 2024 saw a monumental success and history in the making with the brewery sending out its first export order. Not only is this an achievement for Michael personally, but for Norfolk too.

 

Michael has spent the last seven years building the brewery's reputation. Now known for inventing quirky craft beers, alongside Tindall’s firm favourites such as champion award-winning Caramel Stout and Galaxy Dream.

 

The young independent brewer has now found an export market where many others have failed. It’s a post-Brexit success story for Tindall and Norfolk, but how did it all start…

 

The Story…

 

Rewind to February 2023 when Michael took a trip to the Food & Beer Exhibition in Rimini, Italy. Having never visited Italy, he grabbed the opportunity for a work-related trip and a bit of a holiday if nothing else. After all, this massive trade show was a whole new world of big beer businesses, a long way from his humble small East Anglian brewery.

 

Feeling a little out of place, amongst huge-scale brewers, but not letting this stop him, Michael visited distributors to introduce himself and feel the lay of the land. The Italian distributors had thousands of breweries from all over the globe trying to sell to them and most were not interested, except one… Dibirra. When he mentioned that Tindall Brewery was based in Norfolk, they got very excited due to a family connection with one of their team who used to live in Norwich.

 

The Passion…

 

Upon talking about the youthfulness, determination, and inspiration of his humble little brewery, Dibirra were keen to try Tindall beers. They were also planning to create a Cask beer project in Italy to introduce the wonders of designer English cask beer, which is what Tindall Brewery specialise in!

 

Happy to have made a connection, and although it was still only a pipe dream to be able to trade in Italy, Michael returned home to Norfolk, ever hopeful.

 

He next put his mind to discovering how the logistics of exporting beer to Italy worked. Since Brexit, it has been extremely difficult to trade with European companies, made even more difficult when you are trading alcohol.

 

Michael spoke to other brewers and breweries, who all advised it wasn’t worth the hassle post-Brexit. Dibirra’s cask project wasn’t kicking off till later in the year, so it wasn’t looking good.

 

The Dream…

 

Being ever hopeful, this didn’t deter Michael and the brewery team from seeing how far they could get. Having sent Dibirra some Tindall beer samples, they were blown away by the beers and loved how Tindall used the world-renowned Maris Otter Barley which was grown around the brewery and malted just a few miles away.


 

Following this, Michael spent the next few months, sending projected brew schedules, prices, and branding examples to entice the Italian market. Then in October, the surprising news came of an order, indeed the largest single order the brewery had ever seen.


To meet the challenge, it was all hands on deck and against the odds, the order was ready to ship within two weeks. Then was the wait for payment, having been advised not to let the beer out until payment was received, the delay continued, and disappointment and doubt again crept in.  

 


The Italian Job…

 

Finally, several months later in February 2024, payment arrived, and Tindall Brewery officially became beer exporters.

 


With investment in new equipment to package and safely palletise the order, help from friends and family to translate labels, deal with the export paperwork, and even advice from a local haulage yard, everything came together. Michael said, “It was amazing that all those people who had nothing to benefit from our export project other than seeing three young brewers do something incredible”.


The realisation hit home, that (to their knowledge) Tindall Brewery was the first Norfolk Brewery to export beer to Europe post-Brexit. Not only was this the biggest sale the brewery had made to date, but also, in Michael’s view the single most important thing he had achieved personally. 

 

UK Customs…

 

But the story doesn’t end there, there was an anxious wait for the beer to arrive in Italy. Watching it leave the brewery, Michael felt his work was done, but the next day, the courier called to stay the beer was stuck in customs! Despite his best efforts, they were missing an important reference number which takes up to 45 days to generate.



After several emails and calls to British Customs, fighting with the pitiable Norfolk Wi-Fi and phone signal, plus the thought of paying customs storage, and failed delivery penalties, not to mention letting down the brewery team, Michael reached deep once more to find a solution. After a nervous hour, they finally received approval from UK Customs and the beer was sent on its way.

 

Michael and his team had achieved, what many said was the impossible. From a local East Anglia brewery to proudly exporting the Tindall name and beer to Italy.  In the UK, Tindall Brewery may be just another micro-brewery but in Italy, they are now amongst some of the biggest UK breweries.

 

In a notoriously hard time to sell beer in the UK, this export success for Tindall has given the brewery a huge boost. With a new member of staff on board, not only are they surviving but growing. 

 

Michael said, “The branding and quality of our beer speaks for itself; we will likely be the first beer of that style that the Italians may ever try.”

 

Never compromising on ingredients, this progressive brewery continues to create the best ‘traditionally modern’ and ‘innovative beers’ using the newest and most interesting of ingredients.

 

If you'd like to try Tindall beers, you can shop online here:- https://www.tindallbrewery.com/shop

 

 

 

 

 

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