Canadian firm Russell Breweries has opened a “test” craft brewery in eastern China to attract consumers to the sub-category. 

The company claims the facility is the first brewey in the region to produce “premium small-batch beers made to North American craft brewing standards”. Construction of the brewery in the city of Hefei was completed by the firm's partner in China, Russell Breweries Inc. China, it said yesterday (2 October). 

"China is the world's largest beer market, however craft beer is still in its infancy,” said Benjamin Li Yu, Russell Breweries' interim CEO.  

“We see a significant growth opportunity in this segment. Changing consumer preferences are propelling a type of craft beer revolution, and China is on track to become the next craft beer powerhouse.”

Russell Breweries is currently on the hunt for a new CEO, after Brian Harris stepped down last month. The company has faced a number of high profile departures this year, including its president, COO and co-founder Andrew Harris in June.

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