Asian market froths over Bundaberg brewer’s beer

Bargara Brewing CompanyBundaberg’s Bargara Brewing Company is continuing to take its beer to the world with recent sales to South Korea going well and promising prospects in China.

Bargara’s Asian export agent, Australian Sustainable Food Company, will be presenting the brewers beers to retailers at a Trade and Investment Queensland-Austrade event in Vietnam in April.

Less than three years old, Bargara is already finding success in major markets in Asia with the assistance of the Government’s global business agency Trade and Investment Queensland.

Bargara co-founder and CEO Jack Milbank said the company’s export program started last year when a group of Korean businessmen, who were visiting Bundaberg on other business, tried some of the company’s local brews and decided they had to get them to Korea.

“With TIQ’s help we were able to follow up the lead and by September last year we were selling our Thirsty Turtle Bright Lager, Rusty Roo Red Ale and Drunk Fish Pale Ale in 140 hypermarkets around the country,” Mr Milbank said.

“Demand in Korea has been strong and we’ve just had to send another container load of the Drunk Fish Pale Ale to keep up with the demand.”

The company is finalising its distribution into the craft beer market in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City with a Mexican-style beer flavoured with Australian lemon myrtle rather than the more traditional lime.

“We’ve called it ‘Sombrero’ and they love it in Vietnam but we were thinking we might have to come up with a more Australian name, like ‘Akubra’, just to make sure there’s no confusion about where the beer comes from,” Mr Milbank said.

TIQ will also be assisting with Bargara Brewing Company’s selection of the best Chinese distributor following an initial exploration of the market by way of a recent craft beer mission organised by Austrade.

“We’re also keen to get into the high-end gift market in cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore selling products such as beer aged in 100-year-old rum barrels,” Mr Milbank said.

Read more on Queensland’s food and agribusiness sector or contact Trade & Investment Queensland to find out how to expand your business opportunities.

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