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Young Master brewery steps into mainland

Hong Kong’s Young Master brewery is to expand its footprint into Mainland China with the first stop Shenzhen.

The craft brewer’s founder Rohit Dugar says the company will focus first on Southern China, setting up both a self-owned distribution network for its beers and its first taproom on the mainland – a contemporary beerhall named “Goon Goon 灌館”, due to launch late this month.

Rohit Dugar

Founded in 2013, Young Master aims to create a world-class craft beer culture in Asia by injecting original thinking, bold flavours and disciplined brewing techniques into its beers. It operates two brewing facilities including, the latest one in Wong Chuk Hang commissioned in 2016, which features a bottling and a canning line.

The Young Master brewery group owns and operates several craft-beer focused venues in Hong Kong, including The Ale Project, Second Draft and Alvy’s, creating an ecosystem around its equally celebrated beer program, something it plans to replicate in select cities around the region.

Dugar says Young Master wants to take advantage of the burgeoning popularity of craft breweries across Asia. It already ships its beers to Singapore and aims to build a network of taprooms “designed for the growing community of ‘craft-curious’ beer lovers in select cities across Asia”.

Shenzhen has been chosen for the first mainland taproom because it has one of the youngest populations in China.

Young Master 1842 Island IIPA

“Its thriving design and creative culture coupled with proximity to our home base, is the perfect place for our maiden China launch,” says Dugar. “The decision to further expand across the region is driven by the near universal thirst across the region for distinctive world class beers that are made by fiercely independent brewers like us.”

Goon Goon will open at Upperhills in the Futian district, featuring a convivial space drawing inspiration from the Bauhaus design aesthetic popular in post-war Hong Kong. The venue will serve a full range of the brewery’s beers and a food menu that “reimagines beerhall cuisine in its local context”.

“It presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase exciting, high-quality beers that are locally rooted in their design and brewed close to the doorstep of “craft-curious” consumers in the region,” Dugar says.

“We plan to take our ethos of ‘designing distinctive beer from scratch’, to Shenzhen, Singapore and hopefully far beyond over the next five years.”

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