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Craft going draft in China’s booming brew market

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock
Demand for draft beer will account for almost a third of the booming Chinese craft beer market by 2020, according to new analysis. 

Compiled by Petainer, a PET packaging manufacturer, the report has identified that the growing move from bottles to draft comes as Chinese craft breweries build their brands, increase their volumes and accommodate changing local tastes.

China is now the largest beer market in the world, a trend that became apparent in 2015, when the Chinese drank around 43bn litres—almost twice as much as Americans, who downed some 23bn litres.  

Over the past five years, China’s craft beer sector has grown over 250%, with more than 1,000 craft breweries now operating in the country.  Although craft now accounts for just 0.5% of the overall Chinese beer market, the growth trend is set to continue, along with rising volumes of beer produced by domestic breweries.

As in many other markets around the world, China’s craft brewing market is booming as beer lovers demand greater choice and the taste of ‘fresh’ quality draught beer​,” said Petainer’s Chris McEwan.  

This is a trend that we believe is set to continue over the next five to 10 years as more craft brewers enter the market​.”

The move towards draught presents new challenges for breweries, which may have to start using kegs for the first time. Craft kegs must be suitable for filling and handling at the brewery, and should be fully compatible with on-trade dispensing systems.  

To preserve beer quality, kegs must also provide UV protection and a shelf life of at least nine months.

More and more beer is now in draught, which means that the industry has to find a cost-effective, efficient way of transporting it over long-distances while ensuring the taste and quality is maintained to the highest standard​,” said Carl Setzer, founder and brewmaster of Great Leap Brewing, a market-leading craft brewery in Beijing.  

One-way PET kegs are proving to be the ideal solution for delivering our beer in perfect condition​.”

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