Against The Grain Brewery co-owners Adam Watson and Sam J Cruz have recently returned from a very successful Canadian trade mission (5/25-5/30) led by Governor Steve Beshear, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes and the Kentucky World Trade Center.
Against The Grain and a handful of other successful Kentucky small businesses were chosen on merit to represent and further establish Kentucky trade/export relationships within Canadian provinces. Currently, Kentucky enjoys a very lucrative trade relationship with Canadian provinces. With an annual trade exceeding $27 billion dollars, Canada is the states largest export market and trading partner.
Louisville companies represented were distillery startup Distillery America, Advanced Medical Technologies, and Gear Brake. In addition companies from throughout the state were represented as well. R.J. Corman, Snap Dolls, Brewco Inc, and Circus MOJO; to name a few. Also included in the group were a number of ‘sponsor’ company representatives to act as mentors. “We are eternally grateful for the direction and advice given by Kentucky business veterans associated with Touchstone Energy Cooperative, LectroDryer, and the Governors Office of Agricultural Policy in pursuing business opportunities here in Canada.” said Sam J Cruz.
In addition to traveling with Governor Beshear, Secretary Hayes, and the KY World Trade Center, we were also briefed by the United States Embassy and U.S. Consulate on a variety of cultural differences and customs associated with engaging in trade with the Canadian provinces and companies.
“The mission was an astounding success for us at Against The Grain.” said Sam J Cruz. “It makes complete sense for us (Against The Grain) to explore the opportunities of export to Canada. Not only is the proximity of Canadian provinces viable for maintaining fresh product, but we will also have the value of increasing the positive trade relationship associated with Kentucky products exported to Canada.” In addition, we intend to bring our findings and experience back to share with our colleagues here in Kentucky…Canada is thirsty for Kentucky beer!” said Sam J Cruz. “We were able to gauge a great understanding of various regulations throughout the Canadian provinces, as well as establish viable relationships with potential partnerships, customers, and with Canadian regulatory agencies governing import of craft beer into each system.” said Sam J Cruz. “The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the KY World Trade Center were instrumental in streamlining the process for us. We were able to execute a number of meetings with potential partners and officials in just a few short days. Had we embarked on this project without the help of the Think Kentucky and KY-WTC, the process would have taken an immense amount longer and likely been less successful.” said Sam J Cruz.