Maine Brewers Craft Beer Exchange With Iceland

BOSTON (CBS) – Here is an idea. Get a bunch of brewers to supply some beer, stuff it in a shipping container and send it to Iceland.

It’s actually happening. It’s called the ‘Maine Beer Box’ and it sets sail from Portland in June.

Sean Sullivan runs the nonprofit Maine Brewers’ Guild.

When asked how the plan started, he said “Like all good ideas, it started after a few drinks.”

The venture has real business implications.

“Maine brewers are looking to take their product overseas and launch the world’s first global brewer trade,” said Sullivan.

Icelandic shipping company Eimskip is donating the beer box.

“We’ll have about 75 draft lines fabricated into the side of it,” he said.

The infrastructure for the project has a value of about $100,000.

Virtually every brewery in Maine is donating the suds and away it goes.

“We’ll bring it over to Reykjavik, do what will probably be Iceland’s biggest ever beer festival, on June 24th, in Reykjavik, Iceland and then have the Icelandic brewers load that same Maine Beer Box up with their beer, and come over and be our guests at our festival on July 29th,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan believes this is a first in the United States if not the world. He imagines that Maine brewers will gain invaluable business acumen.

“So that our brewers will learn how to export their products and think bold about what their next steps might be to grow their businesses,” he said.

This idea has, as they say, legs.

“This isn’t gonna stop after Iceland. 2018 and beyond for the next 3-5 years at least, we’ll be exchanging beers with a different country, each year,” said Sullivan.

The business will not stop with beer. Sullivan says the future of exports could be in the experience.

The idea is nothing short of brilliant.

“Thanks very much, it’s hard to stand out in the beer world these days,” said Sullivan.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

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