Drinking beer is nothing new in China.
As long as 9000 years ago, early “craft” beer nuts in China were making some pretty out there beers from rice, honey and fruit (whether they had big beards and top knots is not known). Fast forward to the 19th century and Czech, Japanese and Russian settlers were setting up breweries in the country - with the Germans founding the giant Tsingtao Brewery in 1903.
Today China is the biggest beer market in the world, valued at $80bn, and last month Jason travelled to Shanghai to try get Eden a bit of the action.
A Cumbrian brewer and the Shanghai skyline.
Despite being dominated by mass produced lager brands, China has a growing number of independent breweries. There were around 150 last year, which is three times more than the year before. There’s also a keen interest in British beers and Jason joined a selection of other northern breweries at the three day event Food Hotel China. This involved running a bottle bar alongside Hadrian and Border, Camerons, Batch Brew, Box Social and the North Brewing Co to promote Eden to a selection of importers, retailers, distributors and restaurateurs.
Our Eden Best went down particularly well with the locals and so we’re focusing on exporting some of our traditional English ales, including Eden Fuggle and First Emperor. We’ll keep you up to date over the coming months on whether 2018 becomes our Chinese New Year.
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