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Prince Brewing plans further investment in Cambodia’s growing craft-beer industry

Gareth Johnson

Prince Brewing has further expansion plans in Cambodia’s developing craft-beer industry focusing on high-quality products with a unique brand backed with plans for investment in a ‘long-life’ bottling facility.

Cambodia’s craft-beer market has been undergoing rapid expansion over the last ten years with several breweries now leading the market offering a variety of options as well as combining with high-end food and entertainment options.

There are approximately 20 craft beer or cider producers in Cambodia focusing on the local as well as producing for much larger markets such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore. Leading players in the market include Prince Brewery, Hops, Cerevisia Craft Brewery, and Stone Head Brewery.

Speaking to Cambodia Investment Review, Prince Brewing Founder Mr. Hugo Cai explained the concept behind the Prince Brewing brand ironically first established during the COVID-19 alcohol ban in 2021.

The craft brewery also has an outdoor dining venue.

“We prepared for our opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, which witnessed several rounds of restrictions on alcohol sales. You could say, we started during the bottom trough for the industry, which typically is not conducive for a new brand,” Mr. Cai said.

A current healthy volume of beer according to Mr. Cai reflected that Prince Brewing has established a strong following by focusing on creating not just a great product but also a unique one.

“We are the only company in Cambodia that integrates beer production, sterilization, canning, catering, and leisure. We maintain a high standard in the selection of ingredients, brewing cycle, talents, packaging design, as well as locality,” Mr. Cai said.

Quality-conscious local and international consumers

Prince Brewing’s prices are in the medium to high-end market with costs per 500ml can ranging between $7 to $10 and aiming to attract “a more fashionable, avant-garde and quality-conscious local and international consumer.

According to market research, Cambodia’s overall beer beverage sector is estimated to be worth approximately $1 billion by 2025, coupled with the Kingdom aiming for middle-income status by 2030.

The brewery’s unique branding has separated itself from more designs with advertising also coming via its “brand ambassadors” who attend most events sponsored by the brewery’s parent company Prince Group.

Prince Brewing has a number of craft beer selections.

“We are not doing advertising in the same way as other brands. To us, the best advertisement is to provide the best product. Consumers are becoming more discerning and they now seek high-quality products and beer is no exception,” Mr. Cai said.

Explaining why the Prince Group conglomerate decided to invest in the local craft-brewery sector Mr. Cai said that while demand for local beer is high, no other brewery has managed to bridge the gap in quality.

“Prince Brewing entered the market to provide more varieties for the customer and answer market demand for quality crafted beers,” he added.

Long-term investment in the craft-beer market

Looking to the future Prince Brewing has outlined clear goals stating they were aiming to become an internationally renowned craft beer brand with plans to invest in a ‘long-life’ bottling facility increasing storage capacity to between 6 and 12 months.

“During the pandemic, demand was weak, which made it difficult to increase production. Currently, we only sell fresh beer with a shelf life of between 7 to 14 days in our store,” Mr. Cai said.

The brewery offers activities for non-drinking.

“This year, we will start the installation of disinfection and filling equipment in the factory to launch our mass-produced craft beer with a shelf life of 6 to 12 months to restaurants, bars, and supermarkets,” he added.

The current focus though was on the local market, as well as expansion of the bar portfolio, with a second outlet planned in Phnom Penh in 2023 and a third being touted for Siem Reap after.

These future plans Cai added would be used to “improve our production process, thereby boosting the quality of our beer, as well as get us stocked in more bars and restaurants”.

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