Holgate Brewhouse is hoping to continue its expansion into Asia.
The Woodend brewery hosted some of China’s top craft beer buyers and influencers were in Victoria last week sampling the local brews.
The international delegation also visited popular breweries including Stomping Ground, Temple Brewing, Cavalier Brewing, Four Pillars Gin, Coldstream Brewery, Hargraves Hill Brewing and Capi.
“It was a great opportunity to show the buyers our hotel and brewery,” co-owner Natasha Holgate said.
“We are currently exporting between five and 10 per cent of our beer into Asia.”
China boasts a beer market worth more than $490 billion a year with consumers downing about 50 billion litres of beer each year, more than double consumption of the next biggest market, the United States.
Holgate owners Natasha and Paul Holgate also visited Hong Kong last week to showcase their beers at HK Brewcraft.
“We showcased 11 of our beers including our core range and specialties,” Natasha said.
“Everyone loved the beers and found their favourites. Our Norton Lager has great appeal. It’s easy drinking style is perfect for warmer weather and pairs well with Chinese cuisine.”
Natasha said Holgate mainly exports to Thailand, Philippines, Japan and Malaysia but have also exported to China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
She said the brewing event was a great chance to network with international importers.
“Most importantly we were able to discuss with potential importers,” she said.
“When we started brewing in 1999, we were one of only three craft breweries in Victoria. It’s been amazing over the years to see how many people embrace craft beer and to be part of this growing industry.”
The Chinese craft beer group’s visit to Woodend was part of a state government drive to win a bigger share of the fast-growing Chinese craft beer market.
The state government’s support of Victoria’s craft beer industry was evident last year when premier Daniel Andrews announced a $1.5 million Regional Tourism and Infrastructure Fund contribution to develop a brewing discovery centre and showroom at Holgate in Woodend.
“Once completed we will have the capacity to pursue further export opportunities,” Natasha said.