The Future of Craft in Asia – and other important things!

With an insatiable thirst for beer knowledge that is only closely rivaled by his yearning for the perfect dumpling, it was only fair that we bundle our mate Foxy on a $180 scoop flight and let him loose at the 2018 Alcohol Strategies in Asia conference last week.

Given his industry experience across the past 20 odd years, our co-owner, Foxy – or Jamie as he sometimes prefers to be known – was was asked to sit on a panel and discuss the future of craft across the region.

He looks to be in full flight and holding court in the picture above (and with a cheeky Social Beast at his feet!) but thankfully, he did let the others speak… So here’s a couple of things Foxy picked up from the conference.

  • Education levels of Asian consumers are on the rise. Right now there is an education gap, but across the region there is now established Cicerone training opportunities and a strong uptake from bar staff and craft breweries who will drive the education.
  • 18 months ago you’d be hard pressed to find anything outside of a Lager, Pale Ale and a Stout… now it’s clear that the variety in beer styles and potency levels is on the rise.
  • From a broad market penetration perspective, the Asian market is placed roughly where we were in Australia 5 or so years ago. Craft products, be it beer, wine or spirits are emerging, and the big boys are trying to work out how they hold their market share.
  • Direct to consumer sales is a major opportunity in Asia, with the density of living creating more opportunity for direct fulfilment – which makes the online sales, and ‘uber beer’ direct from the brewery a significant player.
  • Finally – and very importantly – if you’re looking for a dumpling in Singapore, head straight to Hokien St Hawker market, and slide in to Hiong Kee Dumplings. Tell them Foxy sent you… (they may not remember him, but please don’t mention that to Foxy!)