Carlsberg acquires minority stake in Chinese craft brewery Jing-A

CHINA – The Danish brewery group, Carlsberg has acquired a minority stake in Beijing based micro-brewery Jing-A Brewing Co for an undisclosed amount.

According to a report by Inside Beer, Jing-A will remain in control of producing its craft and specialty beers and developing its brand, while Carlsberg will distribute its beers.

Founded in 2012 by Alex Acker and Kristian Li, Jing-A produces a wide range of craft beers for the Chinese market, including Flying Fist IPA, Tuhao Gold Pils, and Koji Red Ale.

It operates a bar and a restaurant in the center of Beijing’s nightlife district and the investment by Carlsberg will help in building the brand across the country.

“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.

Today we’re excited to announce that to that end, we’ve received investment from Carlsberg as a minority partner to fuel Jing-A’s next chapter,” said Acker and Li in a joint statement.

The company said the partnership will enable them receive support as well as – state of the art brewing/lab facilities and a solid distribution network in enhancing its business operations.

In China, where young rich consumers are emerging…

“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.

We’re very excited for this next step in our journey and look forward to sharing more beer with you along the way,” added the company.

Carlsberg is not the only global brewer that is eying the Chinese market, but AB InBev, maker of brews like Budweiser, Bud Light and Corona is also on an expansion spree in China.

As part of their strategy to buy leading craft breweries around the world, AB InBev acquired Shanghai’s craft brewer Boxing Cat.

Last year in November, Heineken finalized the US$3 billion merger deal with China’s top brewer China Resources Beer.

Potential in strong beer sales in China is attributed to upcoming young consumers and according to analysts, growth in the sector can only come from selling higher-end brews as tastes shift towards the premium end of the market.

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