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|By Matt Hodges
BEIJING Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Low White Sale , Oct. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Hops warriors are drawing frontlines for the fight to conquer China's craft beer market. Matt Hodges pores over the pours.
Foreigners have been flying the flag for craft beer in China. But as it gains traction among locals in top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai - on both the production and consumption sides - a series of potential turf wars may lie ahead.
By the time the sun set on the revelers, barbecues and beer stalls of the 14 microbrewers from around the country that assembled at the Kerry Center Craft Beer Festival in Shanghai's Pudong last month, its days as a mostly foreign affair seemed numbered.
The same goes for China's emerging craft beer market.
There was the Chinese man nosing beakers of craft beer like a professional sommelier. Then there was the flamboyantly displayed tattoo of a Terracotta Warrior on the forearm of a local as he pulled drafts of Hop Warrior, specially made by a foreign brew master and featuring tropically scented hops. The body art suggested a spirit of fearlessness in the face of battle.
But towering over it all was the Buddha-like serenity radiating from Gao Yan, who stood at the other end of the festival on Sept 14, surrounded by fawning acolytes. Gao authored Get Your Own Brew Men's Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Low Grey Sale , the first Chinese book on home brewing.
"The Chinese are definitely going to take over the market," Gao says, pulling a pair of spectacles from his shirt pocket.
"There are already more than 150 home brewers in Shanghai. Maybe in five years we'll see more of them turn into real microbrewers."
Many are hamstrung at present by legal regulations that make it difficult to operate small breweries in China, he says. As he spoke, several men rushed over waving copies of his book.
"They're my fans," he says Nike Air Force 1 Low White Sale , beaming.
"We went from brewing to educating."
Beijing and Shanghai have emerged as breeding grounds for specialty microbreweries in the last few years. Forbes reports their numbers have doubled since 2010 in Shanghai, where a handful of foreigners rank as the captains of industry in this niche market - for now.
Meanwhile, last month's Beijing Beer Geeks Festival became the first craft beer festival in China to see a majority of Chinese breweries, Beijing Today reports. Participants included Panda Brewpub and Tipsy Face Microbrewery.
"The Chinese microbreweries are actually more experimental than those run by expats because they're more into using weird ingredients like ginseng, asparagus, seaweed Nike Air Force 1 Low 07 LV8 Grey Sale , aniseed and Sichuan pepper, which sometimes taste really good - and sometimes taste really bad," says Kathryn Grant, managing editor of the domestic beer magazine Hops.
"It's good, though, because they're coming up with interesting new tastes that you wouldn't find in the West.
"The craft beer culture in China is really interesting right now. It's just starting out Men's Nike Air Force 1 Low Red White Sale , like 10 years ago in the US when brewers started going rogue. It's not just a 'ganbei' (drink to get drunk) culture anymore."
Her free quarterly magazine was published in English in 2011 but went bilingual last year due to popular demand.
"Everybody kept asking us when we were going to do a Chinese version, and now that's bigger than the English one," Grant says.
Its Autumn 2012 edition shines a spotlight on, among other topics, pumpkin ale.
Whereas Shanghai's expatriate craft brewers paint themselves as artisans and beer scientists, Gao comes across more like an unkempt professor.
He hails Master Gao Men's Nike Air Force 1 07 Low Gold White Sale , which he opened in his native Nanjing in 2008, as China's first fully licensed microbrewery for craft beer. But he has yet to see a profit after having invested 5 million yuan ($820,000) in pursuing his dream. Next year will be a game-changer, he says, if he can successfully launch his craft beers nationwide.
"I know we're going to be selling a lot," he says Sale Mens Nike NSW Cortez Flyknit Black Gold , heavily accenting the last two words.
"The market is there. But I want to make sure everything is ready first."
He has already released a bottled beer called Baby IPA. IPA is a generic term for pale ale that dates back to the India Pale Ale brewed in 19th-century England.
Craft beer began bubbling up through the cracks in China about five years ago. But it may still account for as little as 0.01 percent of the domestic beer market - the world's largest with 50 billion liters consumed in 2011 alone.
In contrast, it makes up 6 percent of the Australian beer market and 12 percent of the US market, according to New Zealand's Leon Mickelson, who helped organize the Kerry Center festival in his role as brew master at its onsite brewery, called simply The Brew.
"What is most exciting for me is being in the world's largest market for beer, which is also the largest untapped market for craft beer Sale Men's Nike Air Presto Uncaged Ultra White Grey ," he says. "To be one of the first pioneers here is so rewarding. Every day we're moving forward."
Most Chinese still drink cheap, pale and watery local brands like Tsingtao, Yanjing or Harbin. But young white-collar workers in cities like Beijing and Shanghai are increasingly exposed to premium beer at annual celebrations like Oktoberfest and the Kunshan Beer Festival.
"We're definitely seeing a trend switch, where locals are getting into different styles of beers," says Michael Jordan, the American brew master at Shanghai's Boxing Cat Brewery. "Using local ingredients is part of the story."
Jordan and Mickelson seem as much a binding force for Shanghai's foreign microbrewers as Gao is for the Chinese home brewers.
"A lot of the craft brewers here know each other and support each other. It's a real beer community. That's unique Sale Nike Air Presto Uncaged Ultra Black ," Jordan says.
"The typical Chinese mentality is more like: Why do you want to help your competitor? But we're all small operators, so we have to build this together.
"I think there is some animosity among home brew
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