Chinese Thirst for President's Pint Spurs UK Beer Sales

By Ella Wong, November 10, 2015

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Oh, Xi Jinping. Whether he’s catching up on House of Cardsbreakfasting on baozi or letting Taiwan’s president call him ‘Mister,’ he just seems like the kind of cool, laidback guy you’d want to grab a beer with. Or at the very least, you want to drink the very IPA that Xi enjoyed on his state visit to the UK last month. That’s apparently the rationale behind soaring Chinese demand for Greene King; Xi was photographed sipping a pint of the British brew at David Cameron’s local pub, giving the brand publicity “you couldn’t pay for,” Peter Bloxham, who imports Greene King to China, told the Guardian.

So great is Chinese thirst for the British beer that not only has Greene King stock been drunk dry in Beijing, but Bloxham is planning to import more than 10 times the normal monthly shipment of 6,000 bottles.

A bar in Beijing tries to lure customers with a sign advertising "the same Greene King beer that Xi Dada drank." (Image via Daivd Moser)

“It has just gone berserk,” said Bloxham. “Within two days of the great bar scene … people from all over China were ringing: agents, restaurants, bars, hotels. They wanted this beer.”

Indeed, drinkers in Tianjin are reportedly offering to pay double the price for a pint, while a punter from all the way in Xinjiang was quoted as saying, “Bring me another glass of IPA beer – the one that Big Daddy Xi drank!”

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