Shipyard Sets Sail for Australia; Establishes Beer Exchange with Rocks Brewing

Shipyard Brewing Company, Maine’s largest craft brewery, announces the further expansion of its global strategy by establishing an “International Brewing Alliance” to exchange signature brews with their new partners down under. This exchange comes on the heels of Shipyard Brewing Company (“Shipyard”) announcing a 15-year trade extension with its UK partner, Marston’s PLC.

Starting December 20, 2019, a selection of Shipyard brews went on tap at Rocks Brewing Co. (“Rocks”) based in Sydney, Australia. The selection includes Export, a blueberry ale, and an Australian take on Shipyard’s Finder that uses Aussie hops. Two of Rocks’ most popular beers, The Hangman Pale Ale and The Governor Golden Ale, will start flowing at Shipyard’s original Portland, Maine, Tasting Room at a launch party on January 9. There will also be a sneak preview on January 8 through Shipyard’s sister company, Sea Dog, at their brewpub in Treasure Island, Florida.

This alliance, the initial idea of Australian native and fan-of-the-brewery Dave Phillips, provides an opportunity for Shipyard and Rocks to share their popular offerings with new audiences across the globe. Phillips conceptualized the exchange after meeting Shipyard Founder Fred Forsley at Shipyard’s Newbury St. taproom in Portland. What started as friendly beer banter grew into a larger conversation around markets and the possibility of an exchange between the continents that has come to fruition.

“Aussies are a lot like Mainers – we’re down to earth, practical and always up for a chat over a beer. Having spent a lot of time as a beer tourist in and around both the Australian and American beer scenes,” explains Phillips, “I saw in Fred that same pioneering spirit that I saw in Simon Osborn and his team at Rocks Brewing Company. It was a natural fit to put both Shipyard and Rocks together for this alliance.”

Rocks Brewing Co., owned and operated by Simon Osborn, was started in 2008 as part of the Sydney independent beer scene and has a strong following at their Sydney brewpub.

“As independent, family-owned businesses with a mutual love of craft beer, we’re excited to embark on this journey introducing Shipyard’s unique flavors to the local Aussies and in exchange, send over a few of our own favorite beers to warm up Mainers. It’s a fun way to start a relationship,” said Osborn.

Shipyard owner Fred Forsley also sees further potential in this type of international alliance and is excited to get the ball rolling.

“There are few diplomatic tools as powerful as a good pint,” he said. “This is an incredible opportunity to ally with Rocks and to continue to share our products with fans across the world. As cultures and countries continue to foster friendlier relationships, it only makes sense that it carries over into the pub. We look forward to testing the program and realizing the potential for these brands to grow in each respective market.”

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