BrewDog expands into China after Budweiser deal | BrewDog

BrewDog said it plans to brew in China as part of a deal with Budweiser China to expand sales in the world’s biggest beer market.

Budweiser China will start brewing BrewDog’s Punk IPA, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice beers by the end of March at its Putian craft factory near the southeast coast, the companies announced on Monday.

BrewDog is focusing on international expansion after a difficult few years in the UK. The company, based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, lost its ethically certified B Corp status in December after complaints about its treatment of workers. BrewDog apologized to employees in 2021 after a group wrote an open letter accusing the company of creating a “culture of fear” within the business.

Other blunders include an ill-received ad campaign focused on workers’ rights at the soccer World Cup in Qatar, and a gift in a “solid gold” beer box that was actually gilded with brass. James Watt, one of the founders of BrewDog, ended up paying the tender winners nearly £500,000 out of his own pocket after complaints from some.

Watt said the company is focusing on international expansion in part because “the environment is very difficult in the UK,” in an interview with the Financial Times.

BrewDog produces its beers in the US, Germany and Australia, allowing the company to deliver products to customers faster and reducing the costs and carbon emissions associated with shipping around the world.

The company had also agreed a deal with an unnamed subsidiary of Budweiser China to expand BrewDog in South Korea, with options to partner in other Asian markets, the release said. BrewDog has another joint venture in Japan with Asahi. It said Japanese sales had doubled since the deal was announced in September 2021.

The China commitment will allow BrewDog to use “Budweiser China’s extensive sales and distribution network” to win a share of the fast-growing market for “craft beer” – a term generally used for beers that deviate from the milder flavors of older ones. brands of lager. Budweiser China is part of a group majority owned by AB Inbev, the world’s largest brewer.

BrewDog will open nine bars in China, adding to one in Shanghai. The company has 110 bars worldwide.

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Watt said: “We are very excited about further expansion into China. This is a truly transformative partnership that will bring BrewDog to every corner of the world’s largest beer market, from a truly bespoke craft brewery that will help ensure the quality of our beers.”

He added: “Chinese drinkers love craft beer, but the sector is still very young.”

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