Brewdog teams up with Budweiser China as part of its expansion
BrewDog is set for a major expansion into China following a joint venture partnership with AB InBev subsidiary Budweiser China.
The ‘BrewDog China’ joint venture, which is due to leverage Budweiser China’s sales and distribution network, will take BrewDog brands such as Punk IPA, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice across the country from March 2023 and will involve the production of the beers beginning in Q1 this year in Budweiser China’s brewery.
The long-term agreement will focus on expanding the BrewDog brand across Greater China and allows the Scottish brewer to capitalise on rapid market growth in the country.
The beers will be locally produced by brewers in China in collaboration with BrewDog’s global brew master in a deal that sources within the industry have called a “hugely non-craft motivated move and more a display of power and prowess than anything else”.
Industry sources also added how it shows Brewdog is “desperate to either float or sell and will do whatever it takes”.
China currently accounts for less than 1% of BrewDog’s overall sales, but under the new partnership, BrewDog aims to achieve significant multiples of its existing Chinese volumes, and leverage Budweiser China’s distribution network so that BrewDog can grow an “international business”. The parties anticipate that the JV will be fully operational by the end of Q1 2023.
James Watt, founder of BrewDog, said: “This is a genuinely transformational partnership which is going to bring BrewDog to every corner of the world’s biggest beer market. Over the past few years we’ve established local production in the US, Germany and Australia. In Budweiser China, we have found a partner that shares our growth vision for BrewDog.”
The deal marks BrewDog’s second joint venture in Asia following the announcement of its partnership in Japan with another brewer in September 2021. BrewDog has also confirmed it plans to open several new hospitality venues in China by 2026, building on its sole Chinese bar in Shanghai and adding to its existing international network of more than 110 bars.
Additionally, an affiliate of Budweiser China and BrewDog have revealed plans to partner to expand BrewDog in South Korea, with options to collaborate in other Asian markets.