CRAFT beer maker Inveralmond Brewery has struck a US distribution deal with Iron Horse Beverage.

Beginning at the end of March, Iron Horse will distribute Rascal London Porter, one of Inveralmond’s most successful brands, to bars and retail stores in the US, starting in New York and California.

Two more Inveralmond brands will follow in the coming months.

Rascal London Porter, a rich dark beer, is inspired by the brewing styles of 18th-century London.

The London Porter is named after the porters whose job it was to move goods on and off ships at London’s docks and around the streets of the English capital.

Rascal forms part of Inveralmond’s Inspiration Series. Iron Horse Beverage will bring two more beers from the series to the US in the next few months: the Czech pilsner-inspired lager Sunburst and the Belgian Abbey beer-inspired De Mons.

Iron Horse Beverage, which supplies beer to 35 states, met Inveralmond Brewery at Showcasing Scotland, a meeting of 100 Scottish food and drink companies and 140 international buyers last October at Gleneagles Hotel.

The Iron Horse/Inveralmond deal is one of the first to come out of the event, organised by Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Development International, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise as part of Year of Food & Drink Scotland 2015.

With limited marketing behind it, Rascal has proved to be a big hit in the UK, despite the crowded craft beer sector.

It has sold the equivalent of 100,000 pints to date and won Champion Beer at the 2015 World’s Biggest Ale Festival, run by JD Wetherspoon, before it was officially launched.

Sales are 40 per cent to 50 per cent more than anticipated, the brewery has said.

Cliff Morello, chief executive officer and president of Iron Horse Beverage, said of the deal: “The number one craft beer in the USA is the IPA, whereas not everybody has a Porter. That means less competition.

“And I’m a big proponent of authenticity. This brand comes from the Porter’s country of origin, so they know how to make it.”

Bob Hogg, commercial director for Inveralmond Brewery, said: “Rascal has been a great hit in the UK and we fully expect it to cause a stir in the USA.

“We believe its interesting combination of flavours makes it unique in the market.

“The same can be said for our whole Inspiration Series, which we’re delighted to see launched into an exciting and fast-growing craft beer sector in the USA.

“We’re also happy to see a positive outcome from Showcasing Scotland and last year’s Year of Food & Drink Scotland celebration.”

Rascal London Porter first started to hit Britain’s pubs and off-trade in February 2015 as part of Inveralmond’s Inspiration Series.

Its victory in the World’s Biggest Ale Festival led to it being featured on JD Wetherspoon’s national guest ale list during July and August last year.

As well as being sold in the UK on-trade and off-trade, Rascal has been shipped to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy.

Situated in Perth, Inveralmond Brewery opened in 1997 and brews a range of beers including Lia Fail, Ossian, Thrappledouser and Santa’s Swallie.