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The entrants are ready to fight.
The sultry midsummer is coming, the sun is unbearable during the day, and the heat is hot.
After sunset, people came out slowly. Three or five friends met at the stalls. The sizzling barbecue, spicy crawfish, and refreshing and sweet ice beer poured into the glass, filled with white foam, and drank it up with their heads up. Happy! Comfortable!
Summer without beer is incomplete. Without the history of beer, it is incomplete. Beer has accompanied human beings for thousands of years. It has witnessed the historical evolution of different countries and nations, and also affected the changes of dietary structure and human constitution. When it meets the industrial revolution, it sets off a wave sweeping the world.
This article will talk about how people drank beer as water in the middle ages and how industrial beer occupied the world. In China, the largest beer market in the world, beer has experienced a regional war from “one city, one beer” to a scuffle between Chinese and Western forces, and finally produced a situation of “five powers competing for hegemony”. In recent years, drinking refined beer has become a new trend lifestyle. This kind of expensive and bitter beer is gradually becoming hot.
Through this article, you can quickly and comprehensively understand how beer brings clean water and heat to human beings, how refined beer realizes the “Renaissance”, and what are the popular culture codes that can sweep the world behind it. When capital rushes in and brands are rubbing their hands, the competition of refined beer track becomes more and more intense. On the one hand, it is in the golden track of rapid growth, But on the one hand, there are many difficulties in development. Whether it can move from a niche concept to mass consumption depends on how it stirs up this foam in the beer Jianghu.
From “refined beer” to “industrial beer”
Yuval herali, the author of a brief history of mankind, raised a thought-provoking question: did humans domesticate wheat or did wheat domesticate humans?
Ten thousand years ago, wheat was just the most common weed, but now there are countless wheat fields with undulating waves all over the world. Wheat can be said to be one of the most successful plants in the history of the earth. Human beings work for it, hoe grass, drive insects, and even are forced to settle next to it.
Malt, the main raw material of beer, is the soul of beer. Brewing a kilo of beer probably requires 2-2.5 kilograms of grain. In the ancient society with low social production level and low grain output, beer brewing is very extravagant and a waste of food.
Food is so precious, why are humans still keen to consume a lot of food to make wine and drink?
In addition to the addictive nature of beer, there is another main reason. Alcohol has the effect of disinfection and sterilization. In the dark middle ages, when plagues spread and wars continued, Europeans dared not drink dirty water and could only drink a lot. At the end of the 17th century, brewing beer even consumed half of Britain’s grain.
At that time, every household brewed wine, which was actually “refined beer”, because it was difficult to control the temperature, time and ingredient ratio of raw materials in the fermentation process of beer. The beer produced by decentralized small workshops had great fluctuations in taste and unstable quality. Occasionally, it tasted good, but many times the taste was indescribable, and people also drank it hard. After all, food and safe water sources were precious.
In the early stage of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, a large number of workers poured into the city, the population expanded, gathered and lived, and there was a huge demand for beer. Workers who work for a day need a lot of low-cost and stable beer to alleviate the fatigue of the day and provide a certain source of heat.
After the 19th century, the automated production line of the industrial revolution greatly increased the beer production; In 1865, Pasteur discovered and proposed pasteurization, which extended the shelf life of beer; In 1873, the invention of refrigerator and industrial refrigerator made beer have enough low temperature for its fermentation and storage; The development of railway, sea transportation and shipping has also expanded the market of beer, making beer transported to all parts of the world in a short time.
So more than a hundred years ago, the era of “industrial beer” with mass production and stable quality came. Merchants pursue profits. In order to reduce costs and reduce the amount of malt in grain raw materials in large-scale production, the malt concentration decreases and the taste becomes faint. It gradually evolved into what drinkers call “water beer” today. More than 90% is water, and the alcohol concentration is between 2.5-5%. It has a single taste, light and drinkable, and foam is less and easy to dissipate.
According to the global sales data of various beer companies and the sales ranking of 2021 based on the statistics of global data consumer, China Resources snowflake ranked first in the world in terms of sales volume. The overall beer sales volume in 2021 was about 11.056 million kiloliters.
From the perspective of global beer consumption distribution, China is the largest beer market in the world. In 2020, the global beer sales reached 187.698 million kiloliters, of which China’s beer sales were 42.694 million kiloliters, accounting for 22.7% of the global beer sales, making it the world’s largest beer consumer.
In China, beer is an imported product, and it has been widely sold and consumed for only a few decades. However, it has experienced from regional war to the scuffle between Chinese and Western forces, and finally produced the giant of “five powers competing for hegemony”. Now, there are new variables in the market.
From “one beer in one city” to “five strong competition”
In 1900, due to the construction of the Middle East Railway, a large number of foreign immigrants entered Harbin. In order to meet the living needs of foreigners, a Russian named ulubrewski smelled the business opportunity and built a brewery in Harbin – ulubrewski Brewery (the predecessor of halbin brewery), becoming the first brewery in China.
Three years later, the British and Germans jointly established the Anglo German beer company in Qingdao, which was the predecessor of the later Tsingtao Brewery. More than 100 years ago, as an imported beer, it was described by the Chinese people at that time as “the color is like horse urine, and the taste is the same as soup and medicine”.
After the founding of new China, China’s beer industry began to develop. In 1949, there were only seven or eight breweries in China, and the annual output of beer was only 7000 kiloliters. By the end of 1978, China’s annual beer production had reached 400000 kiloliters, more than 50 times that of the early days of the founding of the people’s Republic of China.
In the 1980s, under the background of reform and opening up, the establishment of breweries swept the country, and local beer brands rose. At that time, almost every city had its own unique beer brand, which can be said to be “one beer in one city”. In 1988, there were as many as 813 beer manufacturers in China, and even penetrated counties and towns.
This “beer war” can be described as a hundred schools of thought contending and blooming everywhere. There are Harbin beer, Jiafeng beer and Yalujiang Beer with full stamina in the northeast, five-star beer, Beijing beer and Great Wall beer in the North China, Yellow River beer and Wusu Beer with mutton kebabs in the northwest, Tsingtao beer, Libo beer and Nanchang beer in the East China, Pearl River beer and Jinwei beer in the South China, and blue sword beer in the southwest Dali Beer, Lhasa beer I believe that many people who have experienced the 1980s have their own favorite local beer brands.
China’s beer production increased from 22.31 million kiloliters in 2000 to 49.83 million kiloliters in 2013. In these 13 years, the growth rate reached 123.35%, during which there was only one decline in 2012. Since 2014, beer production has entered a downward channel, falling from 49.83 million kiloliters in 2013 to 35.62 million kiloliters in 2021, with a total decline of 28.5%. It fell back to 35.62 million kiloliters in 2021, basically equivalent to the level in 2006.
With the growth of China’s beer production, there are many “big fish eat small fish” annexation, acquisition and reorganization events, and hundreds of local beer brands have disappeared from people’s sight and life. Today, China’s beer market is in the “five strong competition” situation of China Resources snowflake, Qingdao, Budweiser InBev, Yanjing and Carlsberg. In 2020, the market share accounted for 31.9% of China Resources, 22.9% of Qingdao, 19.5% of Budweiser InBev, 10.3% of Yanjing and 7.4% of Carlsberg.
With the main group of beer consumption gradually transitioning to the post-90s and post-00s, under the influence of the drinking habits of the new generation of consumers, the beer pattern, which had been stable for many years, began to loosen. In recent years, drinking fine brewed beer has become a new trend lifestyle. This kind of beer with mellow taste, diverse taste and strong aroma, but more expensive, is gradually becoming popular in China.
Brewed beer: the revival of traditional beer
The source of all popularity is retro.
The English name of fine brewed beer is “craft beer”. The literal translation of “craft” means “handmade”, which means hand brewed beer, which can be extended to home brewed and home brewed. Translated into “refined brewing” in China, it sounds like a “tall” feeling. In fact, it’s just homemade wine. There must be relatives and friends in your circle of friends who make sweet rice wine and red bayberry wine every year. It can be said that it has the same method as the homemade beer made by foreigners.
There is no unified and authoritative definition of refined beer in the world, and the American brewing Association’s production capacity and capital operation standards for refined brewers are generally quoted:
·Small: small breweries with an annual output of no more than 6million barrels;
·Autonomy: if it is not a refined brewer or a company institution, its share cannot exceed 25%;
·Tradition: the flavor of most beer brewed by brewers should be obtained from traditional raw materials and fermentation processes.
In short, it is to protect those small distilleries that are hand brewed and unique, but have a small output. In terms of taste, compared with industrial beer, refined beer has more mellow taste, variable flavor, higher wort concentration and fresher taste.
In recent years, with fresher and richer flavors and stronger malt flavor, refined beer has become popular among young people in first and second tier cities in China, who pursue freshness. Later, the circle has gradually expanded. However, in general, China’s refined beer market is still in the initial stage of small, scattered and chaotic competition, and the domestic market share is less than 3%. Whether it can move from a niche to mass consumption remains to be seen.
Stones from other mountains can be used to attack jade. We can first review how craft beer rose in the United States and spread to the world, and explore its popular password.
In 1920, the United States issued the famous “prohibition order”. By 1932, there was no distillery in the United States. However, people’s demand and desire for alcohol can hardly be confined. At that time, many people secretly hid at home to make wine, and smuggling and illicit manufacturing were rampant.
In 1978, after the United States announced the legalization of home brewing, the self brewing culture has risen since then. The hippie movement in the United States can be said to be the main thrust of the trend of fine brewing beer. Hippies advocate a return to nature and a casual life. They cultivate vegetables in cities, make their own wine, and are self-sufficient, launching the “return movement”. The hippie movement has brought rock music, environmentalism, liberalism, fine coffee, and fine brewed beer to the United States.
From the perspective of cultural roots, refined beer is full of diversity, personality and niche from the beginning. It pursues natural and traditional brewing methods, advocates thousands of possibilities of hand brewed beer, opposes single industrialized taste, opposes excessive commercialization, and returns to slow life. Refined beer is the carrier of this value.
Due to cultural differences at home and abroad, the domestic concept of returning to craft and opposing industrialization of refined beer may not be well known, but it is obvious that cities with consumption power are the more suitable soil for refined beer. After all, the price of refined beer is much higher than that of industrial beer.
According to the research of “consumer preference analysis of refined beer” by China Agricultural University, there is a positive correlation between consumers’ consumption of refined beer and personal consumption level. Consumers with a monthly average consumption of more than 4000 yuan are the main consumers of refined beer; Consumers whose daily monthly consumption is less than 2000 yuan rarely have the habit of buying refined beer.
The definition of refined beer is not unchanging. We can’t directly copy foreign standards and add them to the market with Chinese characteristics. We don’t have to be constrained by the amount of production. A brand that achieves a balance between large-scale production and the mellow taste of whole malt and hops may be able to walk out of the unique road of Chinese refined beer brands.
Capital enters the market, and the storm rises again
Although the number of consumers is still small, the trend has taken shape. Where young consumers gather, there is capital. According to the analysis report of Zheshang securities, the consumption of refined beer in China in 2020 was 960000 kiloliters. At present, the market share of refined beer is less than 3%, but many players and capital have entered.
According to enterprise survey data, in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the number of new brand registrations of refined beer reached 1258, 1683 and 2668 respectively. By the end of 2021, there were more than 5000 existing enterprises related to refined beer. According to incomplete statistics, since 2021, a total of 20 financing events have occurred at the craft beer track. In 2021 alone, the financing of refined beer brands exceeded 1billion yuan.
In addition to many niche fine brewing brands, beer giants have also begun to layout fine brewing tracks and seek new growth points. Budweiser beer acquired the refined brewing brands Boxing cat and Goose Island in 2017; Carlsberg took a stake in jinga, a fine brewing beer enterprise; In 2019, China Resources beer acquired several high-end beer brands under Heineken through the acquisition of Heineken China business in recent years; Tsingtao Beer launched IPA, classic 1903 Sen and other high-end products of refined brewing categories; Pearl River beer launched a variety of fine brewed beer such as Pearson, red el, etc; Yanjing Beer launched the “Yanjing Eight Sights” and “Lion King Shitao” series of fine brewed beer.
In addition to the competitors focusing on the beer industry, catering retail platforms such as Haidilao, miyue ice city, Yuanqi forest, Starbucks, Wanglaoji, HEMA, meituan have also entered the market. According to public data, the sales revenue of Haidilao’s own brand of refined beer reached 250million yuan in 2020; HEMA’s 28 day fine brewed fresh beer launched in 2021 successfully won the first place in HEMA’s Omni channel beer category.
Above all, at present, there are four types of players entering the craft beer track: independent craft brands, traditional beer giants, catering chain stores, and retail platforms. Therefore, the competition of the craft beer track has become more and more intense. On the one hand, it is in the golden track of rapid growth, but on the other hand, there are many difficulties in its development. Every year, a large number of small craft beer manufacturers go out of business, with the following difficulties:
① The capital investment of fine brewing beer is large, and the production cost is high;
According to insiders, in addition to the investment in fixed assets, a qualified distillery also needs to be equipped with filling equipment of 20million-30million yuan and brewing equipment of nearly 30million yuan. In addition to the working capital that the distillery should hold, on the whole, entrepreneurs need at least hundreds of millions of yuan of capital reserves to invest and build factories.
② OEM mode leads to product homogeneity and lack of unique taste;
Large regular distilleries need a full set of licenses such as production licenses, which takes a long time and costs high. In order to save production equipment and technical costs, most small and micro fine brewing brands choose factory OEM production. However, the OEM mode is very easy to be flooded by homogeneous products, and its own R & D ability is insufficient, so it is impossible to make unique and differentiated tastes, and the brand is difficult to obtain its own loyal users.
③ Independent refined beer brands are difficult to enter offline catering channels;
Offline catering stores and other existing drinking channels are the main consumption scenes of refined beer. However, in the “beer war” of the law of the jungle in the past few decades, all the brands that won were struggling in the thorny sales channels, and tried their best to “monopolize” the catering and retail channels. It is very unlikely that they want to snatch food from them and divide the channels.
Therefore, many independent fine brewing beer brands can only adopt the way of self built channels, self-supporting bars, pubs and specialty stores, and can also better create a drinking environment and spread the fine brewing culture, which has brought about an increase in investment costs and operating pressure. With limited initial funds, small and medium-sized fine brewing brands are easy to be eliminated.
Refined beer brands pay more attention to “space” and “social”. For example, vanbeer refined beer not only lays out online and offline channels, but also lays out offline “refined beer Experimental Bureau” bistros and refined beer intelligent retail machines; Steam bear brewing is expanding its own community stores; Jingdu fresh wine also emphasizes the combination of new retail + community scenes; Seventeen doors, which focuses on Chongqing characteristics, is also a combination of online shopping malls and offline experience stores.
④ The cultivation of consumers is insufficient, and consumers have low awareness of the category of refined beer.
For the general public, beer has long played a supporting role in “quenching thirst with food”. With its refreshing taste and low price, there is no pressure on wallet and brain when consumed.
However, fine brewed beer wants to be the protagonist. It is suitable for a small amount of pure drinking. It is like “tasting wine” like wine. Take a shallow sip, so that your mouth can fully contact the wine body and feel the level and complex taste of the wine. Beer needs to be tasted, which is difficult for Chinese people with Baijiu culture flowing in their bones.
The domestic refined beer market is mixed and lacks industry standards. In the face of dazzling products, it is difficult for consumers to distinguish between good and bad quality. As long as they are labeled with refined beer, the price can be increased by three to five times, and ordinary consumers have no way to judge.
However, it is an indisputable fact that the sales of domestic industrial beer have declined. In the potential incremental market of fine brewed beer, entrants are gearing up for a war.
Each party has its own advantages. Independent brewing brands have core circle recognition, more independent and changeable flavor advantages, and more flexible market response. Traditional beer giants, catering chain stores and Internet retail platforms occupy their own channels and consumption scene advantages. However, there is still a long way to go for refined beer to change from the circle business of a group of lovers and enthusiasts to the mass consumer category of commercialization and brand operation.
In 2011, Gao Yan, the first person to drink refined beer in China, published the book “drink your own beer”, which spread the culture of homemade beer to China. In the book, he described the feeling of drinking refined beer for the first time:
“The first sip of the drink made me feel that a grand carnival was held in my mouth, and many taste buds that I didn’t know existed were all active: at the tip of the cold tongue, I felt a trace of sweetness, and my cheeks were instantly filled with an unspeakable full fragrance; then I went down, and I felt bubbles bursting in my upper jaw, and the bitterness on the sides of my cheeks inspired me; after swallowing, my lips and teeth remained fragrant, and the aftertaste was long.” Such a description inevitably makes people eager to try brewed beer, imagining how it subverts the feelings of taste buds and the picture of alcohol dancing with the soul.
In the future, I believe that China’s beer market must be a hundred flowers bloom, diverse coexistence, it is difficult to use a standard to unify it. Just like the widely discussed consumption upgrading and consumption degradation, the Chinese market is large enough that the so-called upgrading and degradation may occur at the same time in different regions, populations and scenes at the same time.
In the hot summer night market, people who eat barbecue crayfish need a few bottles of fresh and greasy big green sticks, which are full of fun; In the bar, the urban beauty with exquisite makeup sips the fine wine with changeable taste and tastes it carefully.
Beer is also accompanied by the warm memory of youth, the farewell dinner after graduation, the night chat on the playground lawn, and the victory banquet of the competition Between clinking glasses, foam overflowed, and memories and familiar tastes rushed together.
It is human nature to be fond of the new and tired of the old, but when it comes to taste, it is particularly nostalgic. Maybe the refined beer needs to soak the memory of a generation before it can truly become popular.