I have spent a combined time of almost 6 months in China, and the only American beer I have ever consumed was Budweiser. I’ve never seen Bud Light, Miller, Miller Light, Coors, or Coors Light outside of up market Beijing and Shanghai bars., and even those establishments may not carry them. This isn’t to say that they aren’t elsewhere (they’re probably at Wal Mart too) but they seem to be nowhere near as popular in China. The most popular beers are Tsingtao, Harbin, and Snow, and most restaurants only offer one of these brands in bottle form. Budweiser as a beer does have a footprint, however European and other Asian beers, such as Tiger, Kingfisher, and Chang are also much more common than American beers. But as we know, SAB Miller and AB InBev own numerous brands around the world, and as it so happens, CR Snow, the largest brewer by volume in China, is SAB Miller’s main Chinese brand. However, in my experience, Snow is the least common and worst tasting.
CR Snow has been affiliated with Miller for over twenty years, and as stated, is the largest brewer in China, controlling 30% of premium brewing and 21% of total market share. However this is a recent development, seeing as in 2010 Snow’s sales volume grew 16%. Stemming from this, growing CR Snow’s market leadership was laid out as one of Miller’s primary international goals, and as such Snow only continues to grow, given that in 2014, it had healthy growth in Zhejiang, Sichuan, and Anhui provinces. The latter is one of the poorest provinces in China, therefore to see marked improvements is very positive. CR Snow also acquired Kingway Brewery Holdings Limited in 2013 for around $850 million. This obviously boosted market share and brand recognition as well. In 2011, Miller also purchased 49 percent of Jangsu Dafuhao Breweries and 100 percent of Shanghai Asia Pacific Brewery from Heineken Asia Pacific Brewery Co Ltd. Genrally speaking, Inbev ‘wins’ in America, while Miller ‘wins’ in China.
Beer continues to grow in China, and while American brands don’t have recognition, American brewing companies are alive and well through their subsidiary breweries.