From Munich to Macau: How to market a high-end beer in Asia

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Neuschwansteiner is importing its luxury marketing via its own gourmet product division

HONG KONG — Restaurant group Fook Lam Moon has brought Neuschwansteiner Edelmärzen into the Cantonese market via its own gourmet product division, Fook Lam Moon Fine Foods.

Neuschwansteiner Edelmärzen, a March-beer (German: Märzenbier) from Bavaria, is entering Asia for the first time.

The products does not look like conventional beer. Packaged in a lavish, dark 0.75-liter champagne-like bottle, it is named after the Neuschwanstein castle and said to have been highly popular at the court of King Ludwig II in the 19th century.

The brand was founded by Christian Seitz, who acquired the trademark rights to 'Neuschwansteiner' in 2010. He plans to promote it in Macau and China in the following months, also via Fook Lam Moon affiliates.

In Europe and the Middle East, Neuschwansteiner is only available in high-end hotels and restaurants. Distribution companies in Kazakhstan were also established prior to the Asian launch.

According to its brewery, the pureness of the luxury beer is "guaranteed" by the famous German Reinheitsgebot, a Bavarian purity law dating back to 1516. It is then further enhanced by a three-step refinement process called the Méthode Royale involving ice freezing.

Why Hong Kong, and why enter the market through a single traditional Cantonese culinary group instead of targeting, say, the craft-beer connoisseurs or the German expat community?

The reason is, unsurprisingly, to maintain exclusivity.

"We wanted to create a brand that people around the world would covet, just as they do Neuschwanstein castle," said Seitz. "It is more than a beer. It is a lifestyle drink".

"Neuschwansteiner’s consistency and its refinery process go hand in hand with Fook Lam Moon’s dedication to quality ingredients and sophisticated cooking techniques," added Duncan Chui, director of Fook Lam Moon (which means "good fortune arriving at your door").

The full-bodied Neuschwansteiner is best paired with fried or spicy items prevalent in Cantonese cuisine, a convenient suggestion by Fook Lam Moon’s sommelier.

This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.

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