Brew Export, February’s Hatching winner, wants to help local, craft brewers take their product across the globe. Imagine sitting down at a bar in Singapore on a business trip and being able to order a Founder’s beer. A little taste of home, right there in your hand. Right now, brewers are hesitant to tap into the international market, fearing steep prices and high difficulty. Shannon Long wants to show them it doesn’t have to be hard.
By assisting with international marketing, logistics, export compliance, and distribution management, Brew Export gives small brewers the chance to make a big impact around the world.
The Problem Being Solved:
The problem Brew Export is trying to solve is two-fold. Currently, American craft brewers are being contacted by distributors abroad and many are saying no because of the difficulty of shipping internationally.
Additionally, the local market will be saturated in the next 20 years as more small brewers pop up, and soon the small breweries will have to look abroad for more options.
Brew Export offers solutions to both of these problems. “We take care of distribution, international marketing, export compliance, and more,” says Shannon.
Where the Idea Came From:
Shannon, as an international relations and marketing major actually got the idea for the business in class. The assignment was to take a product and export it to market; she chose craft beer (Founder’s) to Singapore. After research and digging, and talking to those in the industry, the more apparent the problem became and she decided she should help al the craft brewers, not just one.
“The industry is growing like crazy,” sys Shannon, “so there are a ton of opportunities.” Craft brewers are growing and the government is encouraging exports. “The industry isn’t going anywhere.”
Despite the growth of the exporting industry, Shannon worries she may face challenges when it comes to conveying the advantages of shipping internationally. She is working on showing them that sometimes moving across the country can cost just as much due to taxes and regulations. “So, if the demand is higher in Thailand, why not?”
Once Brew Export’s website is up and running, it will cater towards the two customers Shannon wants to target, Suppliers and Distributors.
So far, Shannon has found her biggest challenge to be understanding exporting. “It’s not easy.” Each country has it’s own requirements, paperwork and rules. Luckily, she has some prior knowledge from past jobs and classes, and the entrepreneurship community has been looking to help and Shannon says they are, “more than happy to share their knowledge.”
Shannon has been surprised to see “how huge the demand abroad is for beer.” The United States is 14 in beer consumption. “I knew there was demand but I didn’t realize the extent.” She also was surprised by how good our beer is. “We have innovative, amazing beer.”
Aside from the $1,000 she won from the Hatching, Shannon is seeking additional funding through grants and investors.
Over the next year, Shannon would like to ship at least one container, allowing her to go through the entire process and learn from it. In three years, she hopes to be making money and in five years would like to be shipping to ten countries and be working with brewers from all over the world.
In the not-so-distant future (by the end of this month) she wants to have the website up and running and is working with fellow student startup, BST, to make that happen.
Shannon urges other young entrepreneurs to go to class and finish school. “The idea came from a class, school is important.”
She also stresses the importance of leveraging all resources, talking to people, and sharing your idea.
If you have questions you can contact Shannon by email: