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Peaky Blinders boosts brewery's exports success

By John Corser | Business | Published: | Last Updated:

A Black Country brewery has won praise from a Government minister for its enterprising export efforts on the back of a hit TV series.

Ian King, left, and managing director Chris Sadler at the brewery

Sadler's Ales, based in Lye, which produces Peaky Blinders-themed ales, gin, whiskey and rum, has recently won a distribution deal in Romania.

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead said: “Exports have surged in the West Midlands over the past year, with successful products from electric black cabs to world-class BAFTA-winning TV shows leading the way in unlocking the region’s enormous potential.

“Sadler’s Ales are a great example of a local business which is seizing the global opportunities offered to local companies, by tapping into the popularity of one of the world’s most popular TV series. As an international economic department we will encourage other companies to follow their example, and continue to help businesses of all sizes forge ties with potential buyers and investors.”

It’s not just exports that have seen a big increase as last year Birmingham welcomed a record number of overseas visitors with tourists flocking to the city following the international success of Peaky Blinders.

From January to September last year there were a record 1.8 million overseas visits to the West Midlands, up 10 per cent on the same period the year before.

Baroness Fairhead called on more companies to follow the example of Sadler's and get involved in exporting.

The value of exports from the West Midlands rose to £32.9 billion in the year ending September 2017, a 15.9 per cent increase on the previous 12 months. The West Midlands share of total national exports has also increased, and now accounts for 10.2 per cent of all UK exports.

Growing Sadler’s Ales, which has its brewery at Conyers Trading Estate, also sells Peaky Blinders themed ‘ale and hat’ sets.

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It won the export orders to Romania with support from the Department for International Trade and is now looking at building on this success to sell more of its products in other new markets.

Sales director Ian King said: “After a visit to meet our trade partners in Bucharest and after several supplier meetings, we secured distribution of our Peaky Blinder merchandise into the Romanian market.

“This is a big win for the brewery and will allow us to further extend our export portfolio.”

To celebrate the success of the BBC series, a Peaky Blinders festival is set to take place in the West Midlands later this year – providing fans with the chance to live out the exploits of the Birmingham gang.

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For two weekends over September 7 and 8 and 14 and15, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley will be transformed into the streets of 1920s Birmingham where the show is set with the hope of attracting more visitors from around the globe.

Baroness Fairhead is currently working on a new export strategy to develop a new culture of exporting in the UK.

The Export Strategy review will take evidence from businesses to consider how to increase exporting activity and unlock international opportunities.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star business reporter at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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