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Wielcome back to the UK: and, yes, that's St Austell brewing director Roger Ryman in the frame

St Austell’s Russian success now in the UK

Drinkers in the UK can now get a taste of the beer that has helped St Austell Brewery make its breakthrough in the Russian market.

Black Square Russian Imperial Stout, named after the avant-garde abstract painting by Kazimir Malevich, has completed its maturation in oak barrels. It is available in bottles at 12.5% abv following a popular advance sampling at the 2017 Great British Beer Festival.

It was conceived in Moscow last year in a collaboration between the Cornish brewer and its local distribution partner New Riga.

St Austell has since been brewing kegged Black Square in 80-barrel runs for Russia where the beer has spearheaded a systematic export drive through New Riga aimed at the premium end of the market, focusing on ‘quality, not quantity’.

The company expects to hit close to 700 barrels in sales to the country this year, the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and to reach a sustained growth of 15% year-on-year as Black Square is joined by other brands.

They already include Mena Dhu stout and pale ales Proper Job and Big Job, plus seasonal ales Liquid Sunshine and Bucket of Blood red ale. Now two new beers, Eureka American pale ale and Ruby Jack red ale, are set to extend the Russian portfolio further.

Black Square’s launch alone lifted St Austell’s Russian exports by 60% and it remains New Riga’s best-selling craft beer.

“We’ve been working with New Riga for a number of years now and when it opened a new brewery last year, it made perfect sense to go and work with them to create a brew we knew would work in both markets,” said St Austell’s brewing director Roger Ryman.

“We’ve been able to create some fantastic bonds of friendship, not only with New Riga’s brewing team, but also among beer drinkers in Moscow who we know will tell their friends about us and share the story on social media.

“Such a positive story and such goodwill is invaluable and impossible to emulate unless it’s genuine.”

Phil Mellows
11th October 2017

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