Chinese Beer Market – Imported Craft Beer Data

Chinese beer market is growing. Imported beer sales are up which you can read about in our article discussing Cassels Brewery of New Zealand. For 2019 per person consumption in China was at 29.9 liters. In addition revenue generated per person was US$ 42.53. Now let’s dive in further.

Firstly the Chinese beer market was worth US$60,302 million in 2019. Secondly the Chinese beer market is predicted to grow 1.3% year on year till up to 2023. In conclusion Chinese market is an enticing proposition for brewers.

Man with beer making OK sign
China’s Craft Beer Market Is Growing

The Market Share of China’s Beer Sector 2019

For Chinese statistics, the term beer includes all fermented beverages made from malt. Plus alcohol content over 0.5% including mixed beer drinks.

The continued rise of disposable income within China has increased consumer spending power. Leading to greater demand for premium products including imported/craft beer. In other words helping stimulate growth in the Chinese beer market. Resulting in attractively packaged premium beer changing the alcoholic beverage sector in China.

Although the imported/craft beer market share in China is small. Demand is increasing as China develops a thirst for these products. These beers using quality ingredients with a broad range of unique flavors have gained traction in the new China. These often hoppy, sour and fruity offerings are a world away from the bland domestic beer which the well-known local brands such as Snow produce.

Pouring A Beer With Good Foam
Pouring A Beer With Good Foam

The World’s Biggest Beer Market

China is the largest beer consumer in the world in addition to having the world’s largest population. China is a enticing market for beer makers so that’s why Anheuser-Bush InBev invested in the Chinese craft beer market. Buying the local craft brewery Boxing Cat out of Shanghai in addition to setting up a new craft brewery in Wuhan, China.

The average price per unit of beer in 2019 for China was US$ 1.42. The predicted volume produced in 2023 is 43,971 million liters. With this bullish Chinese beer market brewers want a piece of the action as traditional beer such as the US markets flatten out.

As the Chinese imported/craft beer market continues to grow. You can see more types of imported/craft beer in supermarkets, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs. These beers retail at 13.8 euros per liter in bars on average. Which is considered a premium price. The typical imported craft/imported beer drinker is a young high income professional which has a sufficient disposable income to buy premium beer.

Imported/Craft Beer In South East China

In the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Imported/craft beers are one of the most popular beverages of the young working professional. In 2019 roughly 70% of premium priced beer drank in China was imported. Actually most of it is coming from Europe from countries such as Netherlands, Belgium, UK and Germany.

Chinese Beer Market
The Chinese Beer Market Is Growing

However imported imported/craft beer is now coming from further afield as breweries want part of the Chinese action. With beer coming from Mexico, South Korea and USA according to Chinese customs in 2018. China’s imported/craft beer market is concentrated in the South East regions along the cities and ports.

There are as of 2019; 34 influential imported brands in the Chinese market which include:

  • Germany – Franziskaner, Erdinger and Oettinger
  • Mexico – Corona
  • Belgium – Leffe, Verdett and Hoegaarden
  • Spain – Estrella Damm
  • Portugal – Super Bock and Tagus
  • United Kingdom – Brew Dog and Lost Coast
  • Russia – Baltika
  • USA – Brooklyn, Rouge and Goose Island

The Conclusion

China represent as fascinating proposition to brewers around the world. However, with the market getting more competitive as new players enter. It shall be interesting to see how the market progresses in the next 3-5 years.

With more imported beers brands, new Chinese craft beer brands and the big breweries entering the premium beer market. Is there enough growth for everyone to be successful or will it lead to a period of consolidation?

Neil Playfoot

Neil is a brewer with 25 years international brewing experience. Based out of China (first came in 2010) he works as a brewing consultant helping brewers with their projects and brewing processes. To find out what services Neil can provide your brewery please click here. If you'd like to contact Neil you can email at
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