Demand for high-quality craft beer provided in draught format will account for 30% of the booming Chinese craft beer market by 2020, according to new analysis by Petainer, the market leader in innovative PET packaging.  The move from bottles comes as Chinese craft breweries build their brands, increase their volumes and accommodate the changing taste of the Chinese beer-drinker.

China is now the largest beer market in the world.  In 2015, the Chinese drank almost twice (about 43 billion litres) the amount of beer as the Americans, who downed about 23 billion litres.  Over the past five years, the craft beer sector in China has grown over 250%, with over 1000 craft breweries now established in the country.  Although the sector accounts for just 0.5% of the overall Chinese beer market today, the growth trend is set to continue and with it the volume of beer produced by breweries.

Chris McEwan, Group Business Development Director, said: “As in many other markets around the world, China’s craft brewing market is booming as Chinese beer lovers demand greater choice and the taste of ‘fresh’ quality draught beer.  This is a trend that we believe is set to continue over the next five to ten years as more craft brewers enter the market.”

The move towards draught presents new challenges for breweries who may have to start using kegs for the first time.  They need to make sure they use a product which is easy to fill and handle at the brewery, and which is fully compatible with on-trade dispensing systems.  To preserve the quality of the beer, the keg must also provide UV protection and a long shelf life of at least nine months. 

Breweries should also ensure they supply the beer in kegs which are lightweight and simple to use in bars and restaurants and do not take up unnecessary space in terms of storage when empty. 

Carl Setzer, Founder & Brewmaster of Great Leap Brewing, the market leading craft brewery in Beijing, said: “The Chinese craft beer market is growing, and more and more beer is now in draught which means that the industry has to find a cost-effective, efficient way of transporting it over long-distances whilst ensuring the taste and quality is maintained to the highest standard.  One-way PET kegs are proving to be the ideal solution for delivering our beer in perfect condition.”

Petainer will be showcasing its market-leading one-way 20 and 30 Litre petainerKeg™, which is increasingly being used as a low-cost alternative to traditional steel kegs by brewers around the world.  In addition to significant cost of ownership and sustainability benefits, it provides enhanced product protection, making sure that the beer is as good as the day it was brewed for up to a year.

Petainer is to exhibit at this year’s Craft Beer China 2017 Conference & Exhibition (CBCE) which is taking place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre, from 17 to 19 May.  Petainer will be sharing the stand with KHS, its official distribution partner in the region.

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