According to the Korea Craft Brewers Association, the domestic craft beer market was valued at 118 billion won ($90 million) in 2020, up 47.5 percent from a year earlier. Exports of GS Retail's beer soared from $90,000 in 2020 to $340,000 in 2021, reaching $560,000 in the first half of 2022. The franchise has increased the number of exported beer brands from six types in 2020 to 15 in 2022.
GS Retail started exporting about $30,000 worth of Seoulite Ale, a craft beer known for its light and clean taste, to Taiwan in 2019. Gyeongbokgung Royal Pride I.P.A., a handmade beer developed by domestic craft beer maker Kabrew and GS Retail, was one of the best-selling items overseas in the first half of 2022. Gyeongbokgung has a less bitter taste than regular beers.
GS Retail's export target in 2022 was set at $1 million. "Our differentiated craft beer items are even exported to Europe, which is the home of beer, and recognized for their quality," GS Retail official Kim Eun-joo said in a statement on August 3.
Other famous domestic beer products include Jeju Wit Ale, Jeju Pellong Ale and Jeju Geomeong Ale. They are exported to thousands of stores, bars and restaurants in Britain, Germany and France. Jeju Wit Ale is a wheat beer made of tangerine peel and has a refreshing taste. Jeju Geomeong Ale is a dark brown beer that offers a taste of chocolate wheat malt. Jeju Pelong Ale has a bitter taste with the scent of refreshing citrus.
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