Isle of Arran Brewery's new distribution link-up with Munich's oldest brewery will create a European bottling hub to help boost exports, the Scottish microbrewer has said.

The company this week signed a deal with Hofbrau Munchen to distribute its beers in Scotland, Arran chief executive Gerald Michaluk said yesterday (17 December). The deal will also see Hofbrau bottling and distributing Arran's portfolio in Germany.

“We want to enter the German market and we also need a bottler for Europe,” Michaluk told just-drinks. “There's little point us bottling here and sending glass halfway across the world when we can send beer in tankers. One tanker can do us 60,000 bottles.”

Michaluk said it is a major boost for his company to work with Hofbrau, which was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria and sells 30 million litres globally. The purchase last month of a bottling facility in Falkirk was made with the partnership in mind, Michaluk said. Arran will first distribute exported Hofbrau bottles before its Falkirk plant opens in March, Michaluk said.

“It's a really good synergy with us because we don't do lagers and don't have any inclination to do so, so if you're going to do a German lager you might as well do it in Germany,” he said.

Hofbrau's portfolio, which includes Hofbrau Original and Munchner Weisse, is already brewed under licence in the UK but the deal is set to expire in 2014, Michaluk said.

Last month, Isle of Arran Brewery announced a merger with fellow Scottish micro-brewery The Isle of Skye Brewing Company. Michaluk said the deal is still on track for completion next month.