AB InBev brings state-of-the-art brewery to Viet Nam, eyes markets further afield

Monday, Jun 08, 2015 09:00

by Thu Ngan

Ricardo Vasques, General Manager of AB InBev Viet Nam. — VNS Photo

BINH DUONG (Biz Hub) — Global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) recently opened its first brewery in Viet Nam as part of its strategy to tap the rapidly growing potential of the country and Southeast Asia.

"In a short span of just one and a half years, our pioneering beer production base for Viet Nam has been transformed from a mere idea into reality, from barren ground into a state-of-the-art brewery," Ricardo Vasques, General Manager of AB InBev Viet Nam, said.

"Our brewery strives to enrich local communities. With continued support from the local government, we strongly hope to contribute to the country's prosperity and join in the momentum of future economic growth in Viet Nam."

The brewer of popular brands like Budweiser and Beck's said it had chosen the southern province of Binh Duong to set up the brewery because of its strategic geographical advantage and positive investment environment.

The company's first brewery, built on an area of 100,000sq.m in the Viet Nam Singapore Industrial Park, has an initial capacity of 500,000 hectolitres a year, which is likely to be doubled based on market demand.

During an interaction with the media, the company said choosing Viet Nam for its first brewery in Southeast Asia was an important step since it was among the biggest markets in Asia along with South Korea, Japan, China, and the Philippines.

"Asia Pacific is now the third largest zone of AB InBev in terms of volume, and Viet Nam is considered the next turning point for us in Southeast Asia," Michel Doukeris, Zone President, Asia Pacific, said.

"It has a strong beer culture, a friendly business environment, very competitive labour force and is strategically located within the ASEAN region to reach the world's first-class active trade centres.

"We continue to invest in expanding our footprint here and the establishment of the Viet Nam brewery will further boost growth and enable us to better serve the over 90 million consumers in Viet Nam."

According to AB InBev, at first its products will be sold domestically to meet local demand before being exported to regional countries. The company believes that by bringing the quality and experience of Budweiser to consumers, there is further room for it not only to grow Budweiser in Viet Nam with this facility, but also to further grow production in Viet Nam for the local market. In addition, because of the privileged position Viet Nam has geographically, and HCM City as a distribution hub for the rest of Southeast Asia, products produced here will also be exported to other countries, including ASEAN markets (Laos, Cambodia, Philippines) and other countries that include even India in the future.
AB InBev's state-of-the-art brewery in Viet Nam . — VNS Photo

Different places but consistently superior quality

AB InBev said it has many breweries worldwide. However, only a few are certified to brew Budweiser because of its rigorous brewing process. And AB InBev Viet Nam brewery is one of these few. In this brewery, Budweiser and Beck's will be brewed freshly.

When it first had the idea of setting up a brewery in Viet Nam, the company wanted to bring local consumers a world-class beer experience by using the most advanced technologies and practices.

"At AB InBev, we are determined to ensure the same superior quality in our products regardless of the production location," Doukeris said.

"We have a strict and unchanged brewing process for Budweiser that's been followed for 139 years ensuring enjoyment of the beer in 80 countries worldwide.

"The quality of beer we offer is not only due to the advanced equipment but also the ingredients, and we have the best imported ingredients to produce superior quality products for Vietnamese consumers."

Besides, they had Michael Kraemer, Budweiser's Head Brewmaster from the US, and other colleagues come to certify the process of brewing Budweiser in Viet Nam for the best quality, he said.

Talking about the Budweiser brewing process, Kraemer said for a brewery to qualify to produce Budweiser, it has to fulfill a long list of requirements and be able to have consistency in its production output. So the challenge is to be able to have every single detail in the brewing process working within Budweiser's strictest criteria.

"Samples of beer brewed here are sent to the US for quality assurance. The quality of the raw ingredients – malt, hops, rice – are quality controlled to the highest standards, the same standards we have around the world."

The company had trained its employees to ensure the quality of process, he added.

Budweiser is the most iconic American beer brand with 139 years of history and is renowned in 80 countries. Beck's is the most favorite German beer brand.

Before the brewery was set up, the two beers had been imported to Viet Nam. — VNS

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