How to crack Asia's burgeoning craft beer market

In line with growing affluence across Asia, demand for improvements in the quality and variety of beer continues to climb, with recent research showing double – and in some cases triple – digit growth in sales of craft beer expected for the region.

The traditional beer-consuming powerhouses of Vietnam and The Philippines have seen the largest growth in the establishment of microbrewing operations. Whereas Thailand has seen a significant growth of brewers heading overseas to brew and import their beer back into the kingdom to circumvent strict microbrewing and distribution regulations.

South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore are also all experiencing solid growth in the premium beer sector.

In Southeast Asia alone the 2017 estimated value of the locally brewed retail market was USD134 million, which is expected to climb to over USD400 million by the end of 2021 (SE Asia Microbreweries Insight Report 2018-2021).

It’s no wonder then that the SEA Brew Conference & Trade Fair, Asia’s premier industry gathering, continues to be the must-attend event for the regions’ burgeoning craft brewing community. And 2019 is set to deliver even more for attendees.

Covering all aspects of beer production and distribution, the 2019 conference programme sees globally renowned brewers and marketers addressing topics as diverse as brewery set-up, export and product branding across 3 presentation tracks; Brewery Operations, Ingredients, Distribution & Marketing.

Featuring a host of presenters from Asia and beyond, as well as technical experts from the supply industry, standout sessions include Stu McKinlay of Yeastie Boys fame, exploring the controversial topic “Export is Dead”.

Then there’s Dick Cantwell from Magnolia Brewing Co. who will be guiding us though “The BA Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery: The Lost Chapters”. Whilst Fourpure Brewing Co’s Tom Lowe will delve into “London Pouring! How Fourpure Made It”.

Continuing to evolve to meet the changing demands of the industry, this years’ event sees greater emphasis placed on case-study and best practice led presentations. There will also be increased interactivity, through panel discussions and round tables, plus a lot more networking opportunities – both during and after the formal conference. And of course, the ever-popular sensory sessions will return – always a highlight for those looking to get hands on experience with ingredients and flavour profiles.

The programme will also play host to the third Annual Asian Craft Beer Associations Forum, extending its influence on fostering experience sharing and cross-border cooperation throughout the region. In addition, there’s a focused series of pre-conference workshops, catering to those looking for a more in-depth understanding of processes and ingredients.

Also a platform for buyers who are looking to fast-track their businesses expansion and to capitalise on the upward trend in Asia, SEA Brew provides the ideal opportunity to view the latest offerings in brewing and dispensing equipment, supplies and education – all in one location.

Development of the accompanying Trade Fair has seen the floorspace grow to over 1500sqm, allowing for 50 booths along with 3 dedicated zones to enhance both learning opportunities and all-important networking. A key feature will be the Demo Area, providing leading-edge suppliers a platform to demonstrate their offering where the conference breaks will be staged, ensuring a captive audience.

Now in its fifth year, SEA Brew 2019 will be held 26-27 September in Bangkok, Thailand.

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