NEWS

B.C. craft beer, Gangnam style, as local brewer exports to South Korea

11/07/2014 02:10 EST | Updated 01/07/2015 05:59 EST
A brewer in Mission, B.C. says demand is growing for its craft beer in South Korea, where it plans to open a total of a dozen pubs in the country.

Mission Springs Brewery opened two bars in the South Korean capital of Seoul last year — in the city's trendy Itaewon and Gangnam neighbourhoods — and says it will soon open another.

Sales manager Ian Rodgers says he's seen a surge in demand for craft beer in South Korea.

"Our Itaewon store is packed every single night, and there is about maybe four other craft brewery locations around us, it's kind of a little micro-neighbourhood that we have, and they are all really busy," Rodgers told CBC Radio on Friday.

Mission Springs ships anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 litres of beer to Seoul each month, which is around a quarter of the brewery's total production.

Rodgers says it's cheaper to ship the beer than it would be to open a brewery in Seoul, largely because of recyclable plastic kegs that are much cheaper and lighter than traditional metal kegs.

"It's about a 20-litre keg, and the product stays fresh for about a year in it," Rodgers says.

Mission Springs isn't the only B.C. brewery to find a market overseas, as Phillips Brewing exports to Japan and Russell Brewing exports to China.

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