By Ian McConnell

The head of a Scottish microbrewery has praised the “dogged determination” of staff in overcoming Brexit challenges after landing an export deal with a Dutch supermarket operator.
Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery, a gluten-free specialist producer, has successfully shipped its first order to Albert Heijn supermarkets in the Netherlands.
Initially the supermarket group will carry all four of Bellfield’s core range in the "free from" aisles of 180 of its largest stores across the Netherlands, in a six-month exclusive deal that is worth a six-figure sum in revenue terms.
The core range comprises Lawless Village IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Craft Lager and Session Ale.

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If successful, the deal could see Bellfield beers distributed across further Albert Heijn branches.
The supply deal was sealed for Bellfield at a football match last year. Bellfield’s agent had arranged to meet the supermarket’s beer buyer at an Ajax match in Amsterdam and he had taken along some Bellfield beers.
Alistair Brown, Bellfield’s chief executive, revealed it was the first significant new export order for the brand in the last 18 months because of uncertainty around Brexit-related changes and Covid-19.
He said: “This is great news for our business and could not have come at a better time for us, after 12 months of Covid-related disruption. Our aim remains to grow our brand, in the UK and internationally. This is an important step for us.
“We’re very pleased – and proud – that our beers are now on the shelves of Dutch supermarkets."
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He added: “The last two years have been quiet on the export front in terms of securing new customers as they waited to see if there would be a Brexit trade agreement. Getting this deal over the line is testament to the quality of our beers and to the dogged determination of our in-house sales team, to overcome the challenges associated with Brexit.”
Bellfield Brewery has 10 permanent staff, and is advertising for a taproom manager. It also has a team of casual staff who work in the tap room and, in normal times, in the beer garden.
Mr Brown and fellow co-founder Giselle Dye are the majority shareholders in the business. All permanent staff are either shareholders or have options over equity. The brewery also has a group of small shareholders who invested early on via Crowdcube and a group of larger, private investors, most of whom invested through Equity Gap, the Scottish business angel syndicate.