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circle is open, with the support of capital and the share of big companies.
This summer, the craft beer circuit ushered in a new round of “warming up”.
From the bistros in the streets and lanes to the boutiques of various countries on taobao.com, local craft brands have frequently come out of the circle. The entry of HEMA, meituan and dingdong has pushed craft beer towards the direction of mass consumer goods.
In May this year, the year-on-year sales of HEMA craft beer increased by 369%; Dingdong shopping launched its own craft beer brand “1972 farm” in June. It has been on sale for two weeks, with a single product sales of 16000 cans a day. With the help of its own craft brands, the sales volume of dingdong buycai craft beer in June increased by more than 200% compared with the same period last year.
Along the way, the popularity of craft beer has not decreased. Under the heat, the elimination matches within the industry are also being staged at double speed.
Ding Dong buys vegetables at “1972 farm”. Source: Weibo
Just in summer, where does the wind of craft beer come from
Li Li works in an Internet company in Beijing. The craft bar is a regular meeting place for him and his friends. He has been to every craft bar in Dongcheng District, such as Dayue beer, jinga, youhang draft beer and cosmos.
Craft beer is more fashionable than Baijiu, more casual than cocktails, and craft bar is cleaner and more comfortable than large stalls for night snack. Rich flavors can meet everyone’s different needs. For young people like Li Li, craft beer represents a new social style of relaxation but not indulgence, style but not misconduct.
Beijing Dayue beer. Source: public comments
Before the mass production of craft beer, whether it was Qingdao, Budweiser, Harbin, Yanjing or Carlsberg, the beer produced and brewed by these large factories with unified process standards was called “industrial beer” or “industrial lager”. Subject to the cost and batch production mode, the wort concentration and hops flavor of industrial beer are relatively low, and the liquor taste is light and the taste is relatively single.
Craft beer was born of beer lovers’ boredom of industrial beer.
The so-called craft brewing emphasizes the integration of wort concentration, hops flavor and more brewers’ individual tastes. Compared with industrial beer, craft beer has low output, high cost, long production cycle and more complex flavor.
In the 1970s, the United States began to popular home brewed craft beer to replace traditional industrial beer, thus cultivating the world’s largest craft beer market.
China’s craft beer enterprises only began to appear in batches around 2008.
Master Gao baby fat IPA. Source: Jingdong commodity page
After ten years of development, the cognitive education of craft beer to consumers has seen the dawn.
A very famous Furi strawberry fruit beer in craft beer, which is a mixture of white beer and strawberry juice
With the continuous popularity of craft brewing, consumers gradually find that it is not a simple “Gui ti” of industrial beer. The price ranges and consumption scenarios of the two are different, and harmony but difference may be a better industry ecology.
At present, the pattern of China’s beer industry is stable, with the sales volume of the top five enterprises accounting for more than 90%. The industry is in a mature stage, and its development tends to stagnate.
Distribution map of China’s beer industry. Source: Minsheng Securities Research Institute
According to the data of the National Bureau of statistics, from 2013 to 2020, China’s beer production showed a downward trend, while the demand for high-end beer represented by craft beer increased against the trend.
According to the analysis of tmall beer trend white paper, the market growth rate of craft beer in China in 2021 has been far higher than that of the overall beer industry, with sour beer, fruit beer and IPA increasing by 45%, 35% and 19% respectively.
With the continuous optimization of the product structure, craft beer has provided a new market growth point for the beer industry, and grasping this tuyere may mean the possibility of reshuffling the beer industry.
Eight immortals cross the sea, where is the way to craft beer
Craft beer with high quality, multi flavor and high social attributes meets the diversified and personalized needs of young consumers, conforms to the characteristics of middle-class consumption upgrading, and is a new direction of consumption upgrading.
Craft bistro. Source: Baidu
However, at the same time, the penetration rate and consumption of craft beer in China are still relatively low.
According to the Research Report of Zheshang securities, the penetration rate of craft beer in China was only 2.2% in 2020, which still has a lot of room for improvement compared with the penetration rate of 12.3% in the United States. The overall craft beer industry still maintains the characteristics of small, scattered and chaotic. Craft beer “has categories but no brands”.
The rapid growth of market share, low market penetration, and the lack of leading brands have brought about the continuous popularity of craft beer track.
Since 2013, craft beer has continued to receive capital attention. With the help of capital, the leading independent craft brewers began chain operation, producing bottled / bottled beer and developing online sales. Leading breweries have also launched high-end beer products one after another, and craft brewing has begun to enter the traditional industrial beer channel.
After 2021, the financing obtained by independent craft manufacturers has continued to increase, and hundreds of millions of yuan of capital has entered the market, helping the commercialization and branding of craft brands. According to incomplete statistics, in 2021 alone, the financing of craft beer brands exceeded 1 billion yuan.
In July 2021, the craft brand xuanbo beer announced that it had completed the pre-A round of financing of 50 million yuan. Four months later, xuanbo obtained tens of millions of yuan of a round financing.
Another craft beer brand, panda craft brewing, has completed four rounds of financing in total. The investors include Challenger capital under Tang Binsen, founder of Yuanqi forest.
Panda craft. Source: Panda craft official website
Not only that, but big breweries have also come to an end, either incorporating or developing their own, in an attempt to start brewing as soon as possible
The American brewers Association’s definition of craft brewing is that its annual output should be less than 6 million barrels; The second requires craft breweries to maintain a high degree of autonomy, and non craft brewers or corporate institutions should not hold more than 25% of the shares. Under this definition, the “broken circle” of many craft beer is a paradox.
Rules and boundaries are still being explored. Besides the rules of capital, there are also craftsmen competing to speak out. The development of craft brewing in China is in the ascendant, and there is still a long way to go.
 Analysis on the competition pattern and market share of China’s beer industry in 2021 five brands account for 90% of the beer industry, prospective industry research institute
 Development status of China craft beer industry, COFCO nutrition and Health Research Institute
Author: Brenda; Source: Xiaguang Agency (ID: globalinsights), reprinting has been authorized. Reprint authorization and media cooperation: Jennifer (wechat: 15151447934);
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Craft beer enters the knockout
《2021年中国啤酒行业竞争格局及市场份额分析 五大品牌占据啤酒行业九成》， 前瞻产业研究院
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