Just as its name implies, Brew Export is focused on getting Michigan beer into other countries. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recently recognized the company’s efforts by awarding the 2018 Rising Star Award.
The award, which was presented by MDARD Director Gordon Wenk, was created to recognize a Michigan company that is new to exporting, or is increasing its exports into one or more countries.
Brew Export of Comstock Park was established in 2015 by Shannon Long with the mission of connecting people around the globe through beer. Starting in 2016, the company began its export journey. To date, Brew Export has shared with the international market tens of thousands of beers manufactured by a dozen Michigan breweries, such as Dark Horse Brewing Co., Odd Side Ales, and Latitude 42 Brewing Co.
“When you hear the phrase ‘rising star,’ it’s really hard not to think of Brew Export,” says Wenk. “Shannon’s energy and the imprint that Brew Export is making on the Michigan craft beer industry is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. And the success that they have enjoyed in just a few short years is remarkable. We feel honored to recognize Brew Export in this way.”
READY FOR EXPORT: Boffo Brown, a brown ale brewed by Dark Horse Brewing of Kalamazoo, is ready for the export market.
Brew Export’s vision has gone beyond just selling beer, according to Long. “I hope our export success serves as a reminder to agricultural companies, both small and large, that thousands of interested buyers lay beyond the United States’ borders.”
Brew Export has helped Michigan craft beer enter markets in China, Spain, Belgium, Malaysia, Canada, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Russia. And MDARD’s International Marketing staff have supported Long throughout the company’s short but successful history.
“I absolutely love the International Marketing Program at [MDARD],” Long says. “They have made exporting so much easier on me. They’re there to answer so many questions, to connect you with buyers, to provide you with data that’s probably worth thousands of dollars…. When I have questions that are timely, I know that I can always rely on them with a quick answer. If they don’t know the answer, they know someone who does.”
The award review committee consisted of representatives from Michigan State University, Michigan Farm Bureau, Comerica Bank, Van Andel Global Trade Center and Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith P.C.
In 2017, the Rising Star Award was presented to the Gluten Free Bar, which created new jobs due to exporting. To be eligible for the award, the products must be more than 50% grown, processed or manufactured in Michigan.