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UK's Pirate’s Grog Rum battles Brexit with bottling switch to Netherlands

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The UK-based Pirate's Grog Rum is to switch some of its bottling to the Netherlands to ward off potentially higher export costs caused by Brexit.

About about 20,000 Pirates Grog bottles will now be produced in the Netherlands

About about 20,000 Pirate's Grog bottles will now be produced in the Netherlands

The company, which currently bottles its Caribbean rum in London, will move production of its non-UK stock to Amsterdam's CJ Hendricks. The logistics group will also warehouse the rum for Pirate's Grog.

A spokesperson for Pirate's Grog told just-drinks the move is partly motivated by Brexit, which will see the UK leave the EU next year. After Brexit, UK exports to the EU could be subject to tariffs.

"We see it as the right time to do this for the business," the spokesperson said. "Brexit is something that the company has to take into account."

Pirate's Grog CEO Gareth Noble said the distribution hub in the Netherlands will lower shipping costs to European customers, and prepare the business "for all eventualities".

"As the business grows it's important that we have greater control and flexibility over production," Noble said.

In November, Dutch brewer Heineken told just-drinks it had shifted production of 60% of its UK volumes of Heineken lager to Manchester. Previously, supplies of the beer for the UK market were brewed in the Netherlands. Heineken denied the change was because of Brexit. 

Pirate's Grog is on course for strong growth this year, with an expected 70,000 bottles sold compared to 40,000 in 2017. The production change will see about 50,000 bottles produced in the UK, with 20,000 going to the Netherlands.

Pirate's Grog rum is made on the the island of Roatán, 40 miles off the coast of Honduras. Outside of the UK, it is sold in France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Australia. 

The beer category in 2019 - just-drinks predicts


Sectors: Spirits

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