Carlsberg buys minority stake in Beijing craft brewery Jing-A
Jing-A started brewing in 2012 'with a dream to brew the best beer in China'. It now runs the 京A brewery in Xingfucun and the flagship 京A Taproom.
Its beers include Flying Fist IPA, Mandarin Wheat, Koji Red Ale, Tuhao Gold Pils and The Airpocalypse Double IPA.
The craft brewery says the investment from Carlsberg will allow it to develop the company and ramp up distribution.
Craft brewing: ‘Bringing focus back to what we love most’
Jing-A Co-founders Alex Acker and Kris Li – ‘two North American guys and long-time Beijingers with a passion for great beer’ - say growing the brewery has been an ‘incredible journey’ to date.
But it has also required a shift in focus.
“There’s a saying in this business that if you want to be a brewer, don’t start a brewery – and that definitely has some truth to it,” they say.
“Over the past year, we’ve found ourselves increasingly pulled out of the brewery and into the back office.
“As a result we’ve been exploring funding options that would support Jing-A’s future development, while at the same time allow us to bring focus back to what we love most – brewing craft beer in China.”
The duo say the investment from Carlsberg will allow them to take their beers ‘to the next level’.
“With this new partnership, we continue to retain full control of Jing-A while receiving support where we most want it – state of the art brewing/lab facilities and a solid distribution network.
“We’ll be able to take the quality of our beers to the next level – including popular seasonal and small-batch beers from our brewpub – and make them more widely available to beer lovers in Beijing and throughout China.
“It will be the same people doing it, driven by the same passion and creativity – now with more support for quality, innovation, and distribution.”
The name Jing-A comes from the Chinese character 京, meaning capital, which is the mark that can be found at the beginning of all licence plates in Beijing.
Carlsberg in China
Carlsberg started exporting beer to China 150 years ago, before officially beginning business in Greater China in 1978.