A little over four years ago, Cam Wallace and Scott Baigent founded Eight Degrees Brewing, an independent craft brewery based in County Cork, Ireland. "We set up probably in the deepest, darkest time of the recession," Wallace told CNBC.com in a phone interview.
Ireland has faced its fair share of hardship over the last few years: recession, a bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, spending cuts and tax rises. For Wallace, while 2010 was perhaps not the ideal time to start a business, there were still some advantages.
"Interestingly, there's a lot of benefits for setting up in a recession," he added. "In terms of being able to keep the costs low, that certainly is far more easily achieved in a recession because you've got a lot more bargaining power."
Today, the business – which employs eight people including Wallace and Baigent, produces roughly 500,000 pints of beer annually and exports around the world – is benefiting from another development: the continued weakening of the euro against the dollar after the 1.1 trillion euro ($1.6 trillion) quantitative easing program unveiled by Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, earlier this year.
"Certainly, from an export point of view we're probably a little bit more attractive in pricing, I would imagine," Wallace said.
He went on to explain that the company's horizons are starting to broaden. "We have markets in Singapore and Australia… Hong Kong as well, and the fact that we're getting a lot of those over the line now probably indicates that with the weakening of the Euro we've become a little bit more competitive. It does seem to be opening up new markets for us."