Lion Brewery Co has started selling its craft beer in Cambodia from September 2019, said Will Julius, Lion Brewery Co General Manager – Asia Pacific, in an interview with Mini Me Insights.
Lion Brewery is a British heritage craft brewery reborn in London and Singapore and is known for its Straits Pale Ale (ABV 4.5%) and Island Lager (ABV 4.7%). Its mission is to produce exceptional tasting beer specifically for the warmer climates of Southeast Asia.
Julius said Lion Brewery is in talks with distributors and importers in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines to make its craft beer available in more markets in the region.
The key criteria for expanding into a new market is to find the right partner, said Julius. As a new start-up and being 8 months, Lion Brewery does not have a large team. So it is important to ensure the partner shares the same value and goal, added Julius.
Strict quality control with a concern for the environment
Lion Brewery “does not cut any corners in their brewing in terms of sourcing high-quality ingredients and avoiding any and all chemicals throughout the brewing and filtration process”, explains Julius. The company is also trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible by minimising its carbon footprint and reducing plastic.
Singapore is a major market for Lion Brewery
Singapore is a key market for Lion Brewery and Straits Pale Ale is the company’s best-seller, if only by virtue of the fact it has a 6-month head start on the Island Lager, explains Julius. Island Lager was released in June 2019. Julius attributes the success of Lion Brewery’s craft beers in Singapore to the fact the beers are designed for drinking in the tropical climate. Consumers find the beers very refreshing without losing any integrity of flavour, said Julius.
Consumers deserve more beer choices
As the Lion Brewery Co General Manager – Asia Pacific, Julius feels “there has been a real growing awareness from consumers in Singapore that they deserve more choice when it comes to beer; not just the same bland commercial lagers available at every bar.”
The passion and creativity of other craft beer brewers in Southeast Asia is also helping to drive the scene. Julius added that the “beers created in this region are considered really high in quality and on a par with what’s being done around the world.”
Plans for experimental beer
Lion Brewery “wanted to start with their flagship beers that were very approachable, and bridged the gap between being very flavourful yet still easy to drink and sessionable,” said Julius.
The next step is to create beers that are a bit more experimental. He disclosed the company is “planning some collaborations with other breweries in the region, and to play around with the tastes of Southeast Asia and infuse them into these fun brews.”