Colorado based company, East West Beer Exchange, was founded in 2017 after CEO, Drew Wolman, identified a need for US craft beers in eastern Europe. Little by little the company grew and are now exporting craft beers from 16 American Breweries to 12 European countries. In 2022, they joined the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association’s FundMatch Program, funded by the USDA’s Market Access Program. They utilized the funding to increase the number of samples and giveaway items they brought to the International Food & Drink Event in London which they attended alongside the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the USDA. At the event, they made connections with 15 buyers from the Netherlands and 12 buyers from the United Kingdon. Since then, they have done business with 3 of the buyers from the Netherlands and are in “very promising” talks with a buyer from the UK.
East West Beer Exchange plans to continue to utilize the FundMatch Program to expand their exports in the coming year. According to CEO, Drew Wolman, the FundMatch Program is making it possible for them to attend outbound trade missions and trade shows that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. The additional funding allows the company to increase their impact at trade shows as well as reinvest some of their savings back into general operations.
East West Beer Exchange’s success has had a tangible impact on their local economy. The company partners with small breweries in Colorado and has been able to increase the amount they purchase from these breweries due to the increase in export sales.
In 2022, East West Beer Exchange’s focus on exporting led them to work with the United States Department of Agriculture, the Small Business Administration, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association. They were able to enter a new market, increase their export sales, gain 2 new distributorships, and share their success with the local breweries they partner with. For all these reasons, they were recognized by both the Small Business Administration and the Governor of Colorado as the Exporter of the Year.