Sales of Greene King IPA have reportedly sky-rocketed in China following last month’s ale-filled state visit to Britain by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
No one could have imagined that when Xi paid a visit to prime minister David Cameron’s favorite local pub, The Plough at Casden in Buckinghamshire, he would almost instantly become the poster boy for British brewery Greene King, reports The Guardian.
Xi’s recent trip to the UK was heralded as the beginning of a “golden era” of relations between London and Beijing although we’re not quite sure if this is what they meant…
“It has just gone berserk. It’s unbelievable,” said Peter Bloxham, a Beijing-based British businessman who imports Greene King beers into China. “Within two days of the great bar scene…people from all over China were ringing: agents, restaurants, bars, hotels. They wanted this beer.”
“You couldn’t pay for the promotion. It would cost you a fortune,” added Bloxham. “We are now completely out of stock in our warehouse in Beijing of everything to do with Greene King.”
The IPA is the British prime minister’s pint of choice, which is why Xi also decided to give it a try. “He absolutely loved it, really, really enjoyed it,” said pub owner Steve Hollings. “The president wanted another one, but he was told they didn’t have time – they were on their way to Chequers for a big banquet.”
Meanwhile in Beijing, bars have been trying to cash in on the Xi-Cameron drinking session by using images of the two leaders, beverages in hand.
“Come and drink beer here. We have the same Greene King beer that Xi Dada drank,” reads one sign.
Even in remote Xinjiang, some 2,000 miles from the capital, business is booming.
“Before, we were selling about 100 liters each day. Now we can sell as much as 200 or 300 liters,” the landlord of one pub in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, was quoted as saying to Tianshan Net.
“Bring me another glass of IPA beer – the one that Big Daddy Xi drank!” a patriotic and thirsty customer shouted.
Apparently Xinjiang beer aficionados said that the IPA had a “floral aftertaste” and is as good as the local brew, Dawusu.
China’s sudden love for Greene King is good news for the Suffolk-based brewery, which was founded in 1799.
Bloxham in Beijing said his company normally imports 6,000 bottles of Greene King IPA into China each month. To keep up with the sudden demand he will up that to at least 80,000 bottles.
Back in Suffolk, a Greene King spokeswoman said that Chinese tourists have even started visiting the brewery itself. She said: “We are thrilled that more people in China are enjoying Greene King beers following President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the UK.”
As British etiquette dictates, the next time that David Cameron is Beijing, he really has to return the favor and pay a visit to Xi Dada’s favorite baozi shop. The brand could use some help if it is going to complete its ambitious steamed bun research center, especially after cockroaches were found scurrying around two locations last month.
Watch the rowdy evening out at the pub that started it all:
Just two lads enjoying a bromantic night out over some fish and chips, and a pint of ale.>> http://shst.me/cdv
Posted by Shanghaiist on Friday, October 23, 2015
By Daniel Paul