A champion of Scotland’s craft beer sector has been invited to take part in judging the ground-breaking Chinese Craft Beer Awards.
Chris Miller, director at the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland and a veteran of the sector, has joined an international panel of judges in Beijing.
It comes after he hosted the Chinese brewer and president of Panda Brew, Kurt Xia, at the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards last year.
Mr Miller said he was “deeply honoured” to have been invited to judge the Chinese Craft Beer Awards and that the role allowed him to “further highlight the world-class reputation of Scotland’s craft brewers”.
He said: “The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland was a key supporter of the Scottish Beer Awards, and we were delighted that our friend Kurt of Panda Brew was able to attend last year at our invitation.
“Last year, building on the model we helped establish with the Scottish Beer Awards, the Chinese Craft Beer Awards attracted 150 entrants. This year that number has more than doubled as China’s appetite for craft beer continues to develop. I’m delighted and deeply honoured to have been invited to be one of the judging team.”
Mr Miller, who joins judges from the US, Singapore, London, Taiwan and Hong Kong, added: “I’m hugely excited about what China’s new wave of craft brewers have been creating.”
Mr Miller is widely credited for building Harvieston into a major player in the craft-brewing sector.
In 2014, he co-founded the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland as the public-facing arm of JW Filshill International, Scotland’s premier exporter of craft beer and spirits, helping the likes of Williams Brothers Brewing Company and Stewart Brewing access new export markets.
He is also a non-executive director of the social enterprise beer, Brewgooder, along with fellow Craft Beer Clan director and JW Filshill chief executive, Simon Hannah.
Last year the Craft Beer Clan exported more than one million bottles of Scottish craft beer to new markets including the UAE, Japan and South Korea. In the past few months it has also secured new business for more than a dozen Scottish craft distillers to export to Denmark, Japan and the Middle East.
Mr Miller highlighted the support given by Scotland Food and Drink and Scotland Development International in helping to promote Scottish craft brewers and distillers on the global marketplace.
After his judging in Beijing, Mr Miller will travel to Shanghai where he will showcase Scottish brewers at the hugely popular Food Hotel China (FHC) expo, as part of the UK’s Department for International Trade Beer & Cider Pavilion.
Working in collaboration with Panda Brew, the Craft Beer Clan’s Chinese import partner, Mr Miller said the Shanghai expo would be a “fantastic opportunity to showcase Scottish craft brewers”, including Keith Brewery, Stewart Brewing and Williams Bros.
The Craft Beer Clan’s own Clan Brewing Company would also be taking part in the FHC expo, said Mr Miller, tapping in to the growing global demand for craft beer aged in whisky barrels.