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Asia/Australia

Australia | Succumbing to wokery, as some see it, the craft brewer Colonial has changed its name, following two years of pressure amid claims it “glorifies and glamorises the colonial process”. As of 7 September, it calls itself CBCo.

Australia | The Tax Office raised the excise by 4 percent on 1 August, leaving Australians with the world’s fourth-highest beer tax behind Norway, Japan, and Finland. Australians now pay 30 percent more tax on beer than their fellow drinkers in the UK.


Myanmar | After more than a year of legal wrangling, Japanese brewer Kirin will sell its stake in Myanmar brewery (MBL), a joint venture with military-owned Myanma Economic Holdings (MEHL), to the brewery for USD 164 million. The decision was announced on 30 June 2022.


Thailand | The onset of covid-19 led to a strong fall in on-premise volume sales of beer in 2020, due to a temporary ban on sales of alcohol, the closure of entertainment venues and the decimation of tourism. Off-premise sales also contracted as consumers switched to spirits.


Singapore | Here we go again. Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) is looking to raise as much as USD 1 billion through the revived Singapore Initial Public Offering (IPO). It could be held later this year, various news agencies reported in May 2022.


China | During the first year of the covid pandemic, domestic beer sales suffered a sharp decline. The on-premise was hit hardest, due to nationwide lockdowns and the cancellation of social and festival gatherings.


Australia | How to explain Coca Cola Europacific Partners’ strategy swings? Only in October 2021 had CCEP announced its exit from beer and cider, which included the sale of its stand-alone craft brewer Feral. The Coke bottler had concluded that achieving scale in beer and cider would require significant investment.


Japan | Kirin Holdings will withdraw from its business in Myanmar and terminate its joint venture with a military-linked partner, it said on 14 February 2022.


Australia | The Australian Hotels Association and the Brewers Association continue to campaign for a cut to the increased excise on draught beer, which came into effect on 1 February 2022. Their campaign is in support of pubs, and clubs, many of which are small businesses that have endured the most difficult trading conditions because of the pandemic.


Japan | It will all end in tears. In December 2021, Kirin filed for arbitration in Singapore to terminate its joint venture with Myanma Economic Holdings (MEHL), a military-controlled conglomerate with ties into industries as diverse as beer, tobacco, transportation, textiles, tourism and banking.


Thailand | Tens of thousands of tourists, escaping the northern winters, are expected to arrive in Thailand as the country reopened to tourists on 1 November 2021 after 18 months of covid restrictions. Vaccinated visitors from more than 60 “low-risk” nations are allowed to enter without having to quarantine.