US brewer eyes up £1.7m Belfast brewpub

California-based Karl Strauss Brewing Company is considering investing £1.7m and opening a new brewpub in Belfast in what would be its first outlet outside of the US.

39525_164434720234868_100000050231853_537061_4988162_n_0As reported by the Belfast Telegraph, the company is currently eyeing up a site in east Belfast which could see the brewer invest £1.7m into developing a new ‘brewpub’.

The US craft beer chain said such a development would include a restaurant, and option for an on-site brewery, creating 100 jobs and marking its first move outside of the US.

Maurice Kinkead, chief executive of the East Belfast Partnership, told the paper: “I’m heading over for a meeting next month with the owners.”

“It would be a great opportunity – bringing something international like a brewpub. It would certainly help make this city a more interesting place.”

The Karl Strauss Brewing Co. was founded in 1989 in San Diego and has eight brewpubs across California serving craft beer alongside a food menu.

Should this proposal go ahead, it would be the chain’s first outlet outside of the US.

The brewery’s co-founder Matt Rattner has already said he was excited at the prospect of a “partnership” in Belfast and described the craft beer movement in the US as having “international aplomb”, but added that it would not “enter into anything lightly.”

Exports of US craft beer rocketed by 49% in 2013 with a total of 282,526 barrels valued at US$73 million shipped, proving its popularity worldwide with western Europe alone seeing values rise by 46%, according to figures published by the Brewer’s Association.

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