Asia Brewers Network

Carlsberg Malaysia begins brewing Sapporo beer

7th February 2024

In December 2023, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Berhad inked a License Agreement and Distributorship Agreement with Sapporo Breweries Limited to brew and manufacture Sapporo Premium Beer.

The license commenced on January 1, 2024 and the Malaysian arm of the Danish multinational brewery now undertakes the production, sales, marketing, and distribution of the beer across all channels in the country, including duty-free zones. The agreement spans a five-year contract with an automatic renewal option for three years, unless either party provides written notice of non-renewal.

In neighbouring Singapore, Carlsberg Singapore Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiary, Maybev Pte. Ltd., acquired distribution rights for two of Sapporo’s beers, Sapporo Premium Beer and Yebisu Beer. Carlsberg Malaysia’s distributor agreement in Singapore will also be effective for five years and started from January 1, 2024, with an automatic renewal option for one year, unless either party provides written notice of non-renewal.

Stefano Clini, the managing director of Carlsberg Malaysia, expressed optimism about the collaboration, describing it as a “beneficial journey” aligning with Carlsberg’s goal of elevating premiumization. Clini anticipates that Sapporo Premium Beer will complement their premium beer offerings in the market, and he looks forward to introducing locally-brewed fresh Sapporo Premium Beer to Japanese beer enthusiasts in the coming months.

Carlsberg Malaysia is actively working with key stakeholders to facilitate the smooth transition and execution of Sapporo beer in both Malaysia and Singapore.

In 2022, now former Carlsberg Group CEO Cees ‘t Hart highlighted a significant investment in the Shah Alam brewery in Malaysia. ‘t Hart expressed pride in Carlsberg Malaysia’s resilience and strength in navigating challenges during the pandemic, emphasizing Malaysia’s role as a key growth driver in Asia for the Group.

Despite being a Muslim-majority country, Malaysia permits the sale of alcohol to non-Muslims, contributing to the projected annual growth of 5.10% (CAGR 2024-2028) in the beer market, amounting to US$297.3 million in revenue for 2024. Singapore’s beer market is also expected to grow with a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.84% over the same period, reaching US$255.3 million in revenue in 2024. Both countries impose some of the highest tax rates on alcohol globally.

Article by:

Andreas Arphan

Andreas Arphan


Hailing from the world of public relations Andreas now provides PR consultancy and editorial services across the region as well as enjoying some of Asia’s finest craft beers from his home base in Malaysia.

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