Kopparberg is set to start producing cider in Britain as the Swedish firm looks to mitigate the fallout of Brexit in one of its key markets.
According to internal correspondence seen by the Press Association, the company will secure existing supply relationships with UK pubs and bars by starting British production on a small scale.
The company could then ramp up production in the UK to respond to market demand, the memo said.
The move, which was decided at least as early as May, was put down to uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations.
It is still unclear where Kopparberg’s UK production will be located or how many people it would look to employ.
Food and drink businesses importing goods into the UK have previously warned that a hard or no-deal Brexit could disrupt supply chains. In July, the British Retail Consortium said that failure to reach a deal could leave food “rotting at ports”.
Any cider made under the brand’s name in the UK would be the first to be produced outside of Sweden. The brewery’s origins in the Swedish town of Kopparberg date back to 1882.
It was re-established in 1994 by brothers Peter and Dan-Anders Bronsman. Kopparberg Cider, known for its sweet taste and range of flavours, is now available in over 30 countries.
In the UK, Kopparberg is one of the top-selling ciders at pubs and bars, served at more than 30,000 venues around the country.
JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has previously indicated that he has received assurances from Kopparberg that it would transfer some production to the UK.
Mr Martin, an outspoken Brexit supporter, has led the removal of several EU-made products from the Wetherspoon’s menu to be replaced with British or non-EU alternatives.
But Kopparberg has kept its place on the bar despite being made in Sweden.
“Our biggest bottled cider supplier is the excellent Kopparberg of Sweden,” Mr Martin said in June.
“Kopparberg has said that it will transfer production to the UK post-Brexit.”
Kopparberg declined to comment.