The Korea Herald


Craft beer association and brewers call on government to allow online beer sales

By Yim Hyun-su

Published : Feb. 8, 2021 - 15:21

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Craft beers at a convenience stores (BGF Retail) Craft beers at a convenience stores (BGF Retail)
The Korea Craft Brewers Association and dozens of brewers have called on the government to allow online beer sales to help offset the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the group said sales of craft beer drastically dropped last year as main sales channels such as restaurants and pubs were forced to close due to social distancing rules.

“Sales dropped by half at the minimum and up to 90 percent in worse cases, forcing staff to take a leave of absence or businesses to be temporarily closed,” the group said.

“We call on the government to take immediate action to provide practical help to the businesses heavily affected by the coronavirus restrictions.”

The group said allowing small-sized brewers to sell beers online is the best measure to help them survive.

Although online sales of alcohol are prohibited, traditional alcoholic drinks such as makgeolli for instance remain an exception after the government revised the liquor tax law to help local brewers of traditional alcoholic beverages.

Sales of craft beer are growing in the country, with industry players such as the Korea Craft Brewers expecting the market to have totaled over 118 billion won last year.

But the group also claimed the recent market growth has benefited only a few companies with distribution channels such as supermarkets and conveniences stores with smaller brewers left behind.

By Yim Hyun-su (