Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King staff battle to quench thirst for their beers in China

Premier  Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and UK Prime Minister David Cameron enjoy a pint of Greene King IPA.
Premier Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and UK Prime Minister David Cameron enjoy a pint of Greene King IPA.

Brewery staff in Bury St Edmunds are battling to meet a surge in demand for beer sales in China.

Shipments of Greene King’s IPA have been increased after the Chinese Premier Xi Jinping joined Prime Minister David Cameron for a pint in a UK pub.

Global media footage of the Chinese leader supping a pint of Greene King’s IPA in a Buckinghamshire pub while standing at the bar with Mr Cameron have helped send demand for the ale soaring across China.

A Greene King spokesperson said: “We are thrilled that more people in China are enjoying Greene King beers following President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the UK.

“We are working hard with our distribution partners in China to meet the current demand, by increasing shipments out to the country.

“Our brewery in Bury St Edmunds, the home of Greene King, regularly welcomes Chinese visitors and we look forward to welcoming many more in the future.”

Greene King's IPA

Greene King's IPA

But Greene King is not the only UK business to enjoy success from the Chinese fondness for British beer.

The Government has just announced it has signed a trade deal with China for £100 million of barley grown by UK farmers. Sales of British barley are booming in China driven by the growing demand for beers and ales.

Tim Froggett, senior lecturer in marketing at Anglia Ruskin University, who specialises in the beer industry, said: “From a marketing perspective, Greene King would have been hard pressed to plan such a campaign.

“Sports group Nike spends $2.75 billion annually on this form of ‘demand creation’, which is 10% of its revenue.”

Related:

Bury St Edmunds brewery named as a leading employer of apprentices

Record year for Bury St Edmunds pub group