YORK’S burgeoning brewing industry welcomed a delegation of Indian beer industry professionals as part of a drive to boost ale exports to the east.

The business leaders were part of a trip to London, organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT), when Make it York invited them to head north for two days to sample the region’s local beers.

The visit aimed to build on trade ties between India and the region, exploring potential new export deals for local companies.

The Yorkshire and Humber region exported £7.5 million of beverages to India in 2016.

Breweries included on the whistle-stop tour were the Great Yorkshire Brewery, Wold Top Brewery, York Brewery, Brew York, Rudgate Brewery and Saltaire Brewery.

York Press:

Charles Storr, Business Services manager for Make It York, said: “There has quite literally been an explosion of interest in craft beers over the last few years and nowhere produces better craft beer than Yorkshire.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Department for International Trade to bring this key delegation from India to taste some of the best beers being brewed right here on our doorstep.

“We hope this visit will result in new export orders and create a brilliant new business relationship between Yorkshire and India.”

The delegation included Rahul Sing, founder and chief executive of Indian beer chain The Beer Cafe; Anuj Kushwah, founder and managing director of beer importer and distributor in India Kaama Impex; Jackie Matai, co-founder and managing director of Aspri Spirits; Dipankar Chakraborty, senior sector manager for India’s Department for International Trade, and a prominent writer on beer in India.

Yorkshire director for DIT, Mark Robson, said: “The visit has been a great success, and our guests have left being extremely impressed by our local brewers.

“The UK has a great tradition of producing high-quality beers that are the envy of the world. Inward missions like these are essential for creating and exploring new trading relationships. At this time of dynamic change it is more important than ever to seek out new opportunities – and there are plenty of opportunities overseas.”

The UK as a whole exported £645 million of beer and cider to the rest of the world last year, while 2015 was the first year since 2002 that total beer and cider exports from the UK to non-EU countries was higher than to EU countries. There were 2,250 breweries in the UK in 2016.