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Beer bottles in brewery

This Skåne-based brewery is perfectly crafted for international markets


The Uncharted Brewing Company’s craft beers may be brewed in the middle of Sweden’s southern countryside, but they’re made to be drunk all over the world. Exporting alcoholic products to other markets, however, can be quite daunting. That’s why Uncharted reached out to Invest in Skåne early on and, for almost five years now, has relied on them to help ease the struggle of entering foreign markets.

According to Diarmuid Reidy, CEO and Head Brewer, the company was mindful from the beginning of its branding and environmental impact, opting not to use any bottles for its well-crafted brews. Sticking to aluminium cans for individual sales (along with kegs for bars and restaurants) increases their sustainability (one of the company’s core values) but also gives their beers a better canvas for eye-catching labels that stand out on shelves.

“...we decided to make the brand internationally attractive from the start…”

“We appeal to people who appreciate quality beer, quality design and quality packaging,” he explains, “as well as an element of sustainability to things.”

Founded in 2016 and based in the town of Eslöv, Uncharted was started by Reidy and his wife Linda Reidy, the company’s Vice President and Head of Sustainability. They’d met in Ireland (where Reidy is from) and moved to Sweden (where Linda is from) after living for years in Dublin. Both had worked for large international companies but wanted to start their own business. Some experience homebrewing mead and cider made launching a microbrewery seem like a good option.

Man standing in brewery

“We were thinking you could either be hyper-local or fairly international,” Reidy explains. “So we decided to make the brand internationally attractive from the start in the hope that exporting it would be easier that way.”

Award-winning and global

Today, the Uncharted Brewing Company has more than a dozen craft beers in its portfolio, ranging from ales to porters. Each one has a vibrant animal-based name, like “Pleasant Pheasant Unfiltered Pilsner” and “Velvet Raven Oatmeal Stout”, with an equally vibrant graphic. As for the beers themselves, they’re of award-winning calibre. Literally.

“We've made a point of entering international competitions, and that's kind of starting to come together now,” says Reidy. “We just got two golds in Germany earlier this year, a silver in France, and a gold here in Sweden.”

Yet even with international recognition and clever branding, it can still be a struggle for a brewery like Uncharted to get its beers to consumers in other countries.

“Just figuring out what the processes are — the legalities, all the paperwork — took a while,” says Reidy. “Your main hurdles are getting a distributor or just even getting special one-offs. The problem is there's only a limited number of people that import alcohol into countries.”

Thankfully, Reidy knew how food and drink companies could benefit from the aid of an official trade promotion agency. He was familiar with Bord Bia, Ireland’s food board, which is renowned for its efforts to help small Irish companies get on the global stage.

“At the start, I was looking to see what is out there to support small Swedish companies looking to expand internationally,” Reidy recalls. “Invest in Skåne was really the only local one that popped up.”

Since then, Uncharted has established distribution in Germany, Canada, Singapore, and China.

How Invest in Skåne helped

The Uncharted Brewing Company first contacted Invest in Skåne about halfway through its first year, around the end of 2017 and the start of 2018. According to Reidy, one of the first things they did was to help Uncharted join a group attending Alimentaria in Barcelona, one of the world's largest international food industry events.

In the years since, Uncharted has utilised many of the trade services offered by Invest in Skåne. The experience has given the company an understanding unlike any other of just what the agency can do for a Skåne-based business that wants to grow globally.

“They’ve provided support like educational seminars, market research, as well as support for going to fairs. Occasionally they do B2B networking events too,” explains Reidy. “The biggest challenge for a small company is awareness, getting potential customers aware of you and the more exposure you can get, the better. And particularly with Invest in Skåne, you're also getting proper business contacts, and that ties everything together.”

Working together has forged a strong link between Uncharted and Invest in Skåne, one that remains to this day.

“We know each other fairly well at this stage. They know what we're looking for, and we know how they can help,” says Reidy. “It’s a really great working relationship.”