A champion of Scotland’s craft beer sector has been invited to Beijing to take part in the judging for the country’s ground-breaking Chinese Craft Beer Awards this week.
Chris Miller, director at the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland was invited to join the international panel of judges in Beijing after hosting the Chinese brewer and president of Panda Brew, Kurt Xia, at the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards last year.
Miller said: “The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland was a key supporter of the Scottish Beer Awards, and we were delighted that our friend Kurt of Panda Brew was able to attend last year at our invitation.
“Last year, building on the model we helped establish with the Scottish Beer Awards, the Chinese Craft Beer Awards attracted 150 entrants. This year that number has more than doubled as China’s appetite for craft beer continues to develop. I’m delighted and deeply honoured to have been invited to be one of the judging team.”
Mr Miller, who joins judges from the USA, Singapore, London, Taiwan and Hong Kong, added: “I’m hugely excited about what China’s new wave of craft brewers have been creating.”
In 2014, he co-founded the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland as the public-facing arm of JW Filshill International, which exports craft beer and spirits. Mr Miller is also a non-executive director of the social enterprise beer, Brewgooder, along with fellow Craft Beer Clan director and JW Filshill chief executive, Simon Hannah.
Last year the Craft Beer Clan exported more than one million bottles of Scottish craft beer to new markets including the UAE, Japan and South Korea. In the past few months it has also secured new business for more than a dozen Scottish craft distillers to export to Denmark, Japan and the Middle East.
Mr Miller highlighted the support given by Scotland Food and Drink and Scotland Development International in helping to promote Scottish craft brewers and distillers on the global marketplace.
After his judging in Beijing, Mr Miller will travel to Shanghai where he will showcase Scottish brewers at the hugely popular Food Hotel China (FHC) expo, as part of the UK’s Department for International Trade Beer & Cider Pavilion.
Working in collaboration with Panda Brew, the Craft Beer Clan’s Chinese import partner, Mr Miller said the Shanghai expo would be a “fantastic opportunity to showcase Scottish craft brewers”, including Keith Brewery, Stewart Brewing and Williams Bros.