What Craft Beer Market’s Expansion to China Means For Canadian Microbreweries
Drinking craft beer is becoming increasingly trendy in China, and it’s a great opportunity for Canadian companies
Last week, Craft Beer Market announced a partnership with First Growth Holdings Ltd. to expand across the Pacific Ocean to Shanghai, China. This location, which is the first of five proposed Craft Beer Markets to open in China, is scheduled to open in 2015.
According to a recent article in Forbes, China consumes more beer than any other country in the world. More than double the number of pints are sold in China than in the USA, and China is well on its way to becoming the world’s largest beer market by 2017. Craft Beer Market isn’t the first Canadian business to make the move into this market: Russell Brewing Company opened in Hefei, China in 2013 with its brewery and two restaurants.
Despite the size of the market, craft beer is still a new trend in China and to say it’s a favourable one is an understatement. While Beijing is home to two breweries and Nanjing is home to one, the Chinese city seeing the biggest surge when it comes to craft beer culture is Shanghai.
The number of craft breweries and shops in Shanghai has almost doubled in the last two years; it’s now possible to find Oregon-made ales and Scottish lagers down Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s main street.
With a growing love for craft beer in China and more microbreweries likely popping up soon in western Canada, more North American breweries see the opportunity to share their beer with the Chinese. And Craft Beer Market is going to deliver with a beer menu that includes a variety of Canadian craft beers that Chinese haven’t had before. The booming Chinese beer-drinking market will be exposed to beers made in smaller-scale breweries, such as Calgary’s Big Rock, Kelowna’s Tree Brewing and Vancouver’s Howe Sound.
PJ L’Heureux, the owner of Craft Beer Market, perfectly sums up the decision. “We are excited to be a part of the growing craft beer scene in China and introduce some great Canadian producers to the market.”