A group of individuals from different fields – advertising, design, IT, pub owner, backpacker, business manager – decided to band together and form a company. The unifying thread? Their common love for craft beers. Thus was born Beerepublic. Their goal is to import, promote and make craft beers available to the Chinese market through their online website (www.beerepublic.me) and their retail store on the third floor of Mr. Box.
Welcoming us to the retail store that day was the pub owner in the group and a face familiar to many of us – Dan, the former owner of 7 Club. Dan showed us around the store, pointing out the selection of predominantly European beers which included the likes of Chimay, Lindemans, Franziskaner and Warsteiner. He explained that Beerepublic works directly with beer distributors in Europe, America and Japan to keep prices very low, often lower than what you’ll find on Taobao. For example, a bottle of Duvel is 15.90RMB on Beerepublic’s website and 23RMB on Taobao. Cost of delivery is already included in the price of beer, and for orders in Hangzhou the beer will reach you the next day after you place your order. They also deliver to Shanghai, Suzhou and Wuxi. There’s no need to fool around with messy, hard-to-open Taobao style packaging since Beerepublic’s cleverly designed cardboard packaging is low-waste, minimalistic and opens with ease. When the company is fully up and running, they expect to carry 300-400 beers from around the world.
Prices at the retail store are about 5RMB higher than on the website, but for the higher cost you can consult with their staff to learn about new beers. The website is slickly designed and has a full English version. Buying beer will also earn you points which you can use to redeem free beers.
In summary, Beerepublic offers a curated selection of the finest beers in the world at prices lower than Taobao and you can collect points towards free beers. It almost sounds too good to be true, but this group of people really love craft beer and they want you to experience it too. So check it out! For online orders, they accept Alipay, bank transfers or cash on delivery. In August, they will be releasing a mobile app version to make ordering even more convenient.