Carlsberg has acquired a minority share in Beijing-based Jing-A Brewing Co., the micro brewer reported on its website on Friday. Under the agreement the Chinese brewer that runs a bar and a restaurant in the center of Beijing’s nightlife district will remain in control of producing its craft and specialty beers and developing its brand, while Carlsberg will distribute its beers. A Carlsberg spokesman said this was a “small investment” without disclosing financial details of the deal.
Co-founders Alex Acker and Kristian Li brewed their first batch in 2012 with “a couple 20 liter buckets, a handful of ingredients and a dream to brew the best possible beer in China.”
“We had no idea that over the next six years we’d be able to open two award-winning bars, travel to share our favorite creations at beer festivals, and bring home over a dozen medals from international beer competitions in Asia and Europe.”
As a reference to the polluted air in China’s capital, the brewer has created a Double IPA Airpocalypse in addition to its Worker’s Pale Ale, and its Galactic Haze IPA.
“Over the past year, we’ve found ourselves increasingly pulled out of the brewery and into the back office. As a result we’ve been exploring funding options that would support Jing-A’s future development, while at the same time allow us to bring focus back to what we love most – brewing craft beer in China. Today we’re excited to announce that to that end, we’ve received investment from Carlsberg as a minority partner to fuel Jing-A’s next chapter,” Acker and Li said in their statement.
“With this new partnership, we continue to retain full control of Jing-A while receiving support where we most want it – state of the art brewing/lab facilities and a solid distribution network. We’ll be able to take the quality of our beers to the next level – including popular seasonal and small-batch beers from our brewpub – and make them more widely available to beer lovers in Beijing and throughout China. It will be the same people doing it, driven by the same passion and creativity – now with more support for quality, innovation, and distribution. We’re very excited for this next step in our journey, and look forward to sharing more beer with you along the way!” the duo concluded.
In March 2017, after AB InBev bought Shanghai-based craft brewer Boxing Cat (inside.beer, 4.3.2017), Forbes listed Jing-A amongst the five best craft breweries in China. According to the article Jing-A is “consistently a favorite of sophisticated beer drinkers in Beijing.”