The Brewers Association (BA) Export Development Program (EDP) recently traveled to Shanghai, China to promote American craft beer and provide education at and around the China Craft Beer Conference & Exhibition (CBCE). BA President & CEO Bob Pease delivered the keynote address at CBCE, participated in a panel discussion on the state of the craft beer industry, and presented a seminar on craft beer culture.
While in Shanghai, the BA hosted an American craft beer and food pairing dinner at POP American Brasserie. Among the 43 attendees were 18 members of the media, 11 current importers of American craft beer and 5 representatives from the USDA. While many communications with the USDA happened over email and paper, sharing an educational dinner table is invaluable to both the EDP program and the USDA. Attendees enjoyed a phenomenal menu arranged by BA Executive Chef Adam Dulye and POP American Brasserie Chef David Chauveau. The goal of the menu was to demonstrate that small and independent craft beer can pair with any cuisine. As such, the menu reflected a few American classics woven in with a touch of classical French style, utilizing flavors and techniques common in Shanghai cuisine and highlighting the versatility of craft beer and food.
The trip also allowed the BA to assess market conditions and in particular the development of proper storage and handling practices. Cold chain and respect for proper shelf life remain a work-in-progress in certain international markets, including China. That said, things are changing. As trade and beer drinkers have gained more exposure to craft beer, they are demanding quality and freshness. A handful of importers have responded and introduced some elements of cold storage and shipping. Compared with the BA’s previous visits to China, improvements have clearly been made. A focus on quality will remain a core element of the BA’s educational and promotional campaign in China.
The BA will look to engage Chinese trade and media again in 2018 through participation in at least one craft beer festival. The BA will also meet with and host Chinese importers and other trade at the next Great American Beer Festival® and Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®.
The BA EDP appreciates the support members with this activity and looks forward to continuing the promotion American craft beer in the near future.
China Craft Beer Conference & Exhibition