WS：Wine & Spirits 酒誌
Chris：Mr. Christopher Liang 梁梓灝先生
Chris：我們的威士忌是來自我們位於愛爾蘭多尼戈爾的自家釀酒廠制造的。原材料都是使用當地採購的愛爾蘭大麥，並用傳統的銅元蒸餾器蒸餾而成的。我家的「超奇」威士忌都是嚴格小批量生產的，而在原始橡木桶中陳釀至少3年。兩款暢銷產品是藍標和黑標，分別代表了我們對調和威士忌和單一麥芽威士忌的詮釋。作為一家相對年輕的釀酒廠的 A 級合作夥伴，我們為迄今為止所獲得的獎項和榮譽特別感激，其中包括愛爾蘭最佳威士忌和舊金山世界烈酒大賽的雙金獎。近年來，隨著越來越多的釀酒師重新與 19 世紀的傳統愛爾蘭蒸餾傳統建立聯繫，世界各地的人們又開始回歸正宗愛爾蘭威士忌的味道。
Chris：自從2018年，當本人加入了格拉斯頓（Gladstone）酒莊的董事會，我司成功將一家精品家族葡萄園改造成為了紐西蘭頂級長相思和黑皮諾生產商之一。2021年，我們的葡萄園甚至被紐西蘭政府媒體評為國家葡萄酒產商的先驅之一。 近两年，隨著疫情的過去，我們樂意見識到紐西蘭和鄰國澳洲的國內銷售有所增長。 然而，整個東北亞市場在很大程度上仍然未開發，因此我們希望與策略合作夥伴迅速合作，透過APEC更廣泛的銷售管道分享格萊斯頓的喜悅。
Chris：我們的礦泉水品牌Phenomenal Bewater的構思有兩個目標，第一個目標是成為APEC中最純淨、最美味的水，第二個目標是成為最永續和ESG友善的水之一。我們所有的水均經過日本專利逆滲透技術處理，並採用100%鋁罐包裝，材料來自美國Ball Corporation。我們的水於2021年在越南推出，很快就成為人們的選擇，並在越南、新加坡和馬爾代夫的許多國際酒店廣泛用作室內便利設施。作為我們罐子在亞太經合組織的國際專利持有者，以及多項健康及生活时尚獎的獲得者，我們的概念的未來是光明的，特別是在遠東新興市場。
Chris：近幾年，我們確實對一些進展感到榮幸和感激。我們的水品牌 Phenomenal Bewater已獲得監管部門批准，並於今年第一季向公眾銷售，目前可透過香港一些最高檔的雜貨店購買。其次，我們最新年份的葡萄酒在今年的品嚐會上仍然保持著90%的評級，特別是我們的黑皮諾酒系列。最後，我們位於多尼戈爾的愛爾蘭釀酒廠受邀擔任愛爾蘭威士忌協會副主席，這在愛爾蘭威士忌領域是一個重要影響力的職位。此外，數據顯示，今年英國、美國和澳洲對我們產品的消費量有所增加，而台灣、韓國和日本等新興市場的興趣也有明顯的增加。
WS：您對 2024 年有何展望？
Chris：上個月在法國舉行的TWFA2023會展，Phenomenal Bewater 被選為全球最大的旅遊零售和免稅會議之一的獨家水贊助商，我們預計，隨著全球旅遊業和國際商務旅行的恢復，飲料業務將迅速復甦。由於來年我們的重點市場仍以 APEC 為中心，隨著該地區適應疫情後的消費環境，我們預計月均銷售額將增長50%。從願意在葡萄酒和烈酒上消費的人來看，APEC與北美一樣是最大的飲料市場。
Chris：隨著聖誕節和其他節日的到來，我們的團隊正在為尊敬的客戶計劃一些禮品套裝和飲料籃。 此外，我們與台灣的Rakuten Girls的合作預計將顯著提高我們產品的主流知名度。最後，我們努力透過一兩項榮譽來展示我們組織的管理技巧和對ESG理念的關注。
Mr. Christopher Liang is a wine enthusiast and avid collector for over a decade. In recent years, he has expanded his passions to become WSET certified for wines as well as a qualified Whisky Ambassador, Gin Ambassador, and a Sake Sommelier respectively. He is also a brand ambassador for an award-winning New Zealand vineyard and a founding partner of a best-in-class Irish Distillery. Last year, he has added a boutique gin brand from Scotland as well as some of the purest waters in South East Asia to his portfolio of beverages. With APEC under his helm, he is based between Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. A bold entrepreneur at heart, Christopher is committed to promote and develop the enterprise into a top ten renowned organization in APEC. Formatively, Mr. Liang also holds numerous qualifications including credentials from Cornell, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities.
WS: Wine & Spirits
Chris: Mr. Christopher Liang
WS: Could you tell us more about your whiskies?
Chris: Certainly, our Whiskies are distilled in traditional copper stills using locally sourced Irish Barley in our own distillery based in Donegal, Ireland. Silkies, as they are called, are small batch productions aged at least 3 years in virgin oak casks. Our two bestsellers are Blue Label and the Black Label which represent our interpretations of Blended Whisky and Single Malt Whisky respectively. As a Class A partner for a relatively young distillery, we are proud about our awards and accolades to date which include Best in Class Whisky and Double Gold from the San Fransico World Spirits Competition. For several years now, people around the world have gravitated back towards the taste of authentic Irish Whisky as more distillers are reconnecting with the traditional Irish Distilling Heritage of the 19th Century.
WS: And a few words about your wine brand, Gladstone?
Chris:: Having been involved at the board level of Gladstone since 2018, we successfully transformed a boutique family-owned vineyard to become one of New Zealand’s top producers of en primeur Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs. Our vineyard was even featured by government media in 2021 as one of the vanguards of the New Zealand Wine Industry. We are glad to say that with the pandemic behind us, we are seeing increases in domestic sales in New Zealand and our neighbors Australia. However, the entire Northeast Asia marketplace remains largely open for expansion hence we hope to work swiftly with strategic partners to share the joy of Gladstone across a greater variety of sales channels in APEC.
WS: What is so special about your water brand?
Chris: Our water brand, Phenomenal Bewater was conceived with two directives, the first to become the purest and tastiest waters in APEC and the second to become one of the most sustainable and ESG friendly one. All our waters are treated with patented reverse osmosis technologies from Japan, and packaged in 100% aluminium cans with material sourced from Ball Corporation in the USA. Having launched in Vietnam in 2021, our waters quickly became the people’s choice and was widely available as an in-room amenity at many international hotels throughout Vietnam, Singapore, and the Maldives. As international patent holders for our cannisters in APEC, and winner of several Wellness and Lifestyle Awards, the future is bright for our concept particularly in the emerging markets the Far East.
WS: What are your most memorable achievements this year?
Chris: There are several developments for which we are indeed honored and grateful for. Our water brand, Phenomenal Bewater received regulatory clearance to be marketed to the general public during the first quarter of this year, and is now available through some of Hong Kong’s most upmarket groceries. Secondly, our latest vintages of wines are still consistently in the 90% grading from this year’s panel tasting, particularly our Pinot Noirs. Lastly, our Irish Distillery in Donegal was invited to hold the office of the Vice Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association, a rather influential position in the domain of Irish Whiskeys; and data shows increased consumption of our product in the UK, USA and Australia this year, while interest is increasing from emerging markets such as Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
WS: What would be your future expansion plans for the drinks business?
Chris: We hope to consolidate our base of operations in the Freeport of Hong Kong, but have set up regional offices in Japan and Hainan respectively, which will be particularly helpful as travel retail and international travel resumes normality. We hope to maintain our character as a boutique producer of world class quality products and welcome investor interest as we seek international growth opportunities, particularly in our home territory of APEC; a region of solid year on year growth and increasing demand for fine wines and spirits.
WS: What separates you from other drinks importers and distributors?
Chris: While we classify ourselves as an importer and distributor for drinks, we differ in that we hold equity interest in each of the brands that we carry and sell. This means we receive upstream support from the manufactories themselves and possess market making flexibility in terms of MOQs, trade price discussions and official marketing support from the brand themselves. We are already in talks with our spirits distillery about a limited-edition release with custom labelling for the Asian market, which would do quite well at charity auctions or a gentleman’s collectible.
WS: What is your outlook for 2024?
Chris: Coming back from TWFA2023 in France last month, where Phenomenal Bewater was selected to be the exclusive water sponsor at one the world’s largest travel retail and duty-free convention, we anticipate the drinks business to recover rapidly as global tourism and international business travel resumes. As our focal market is still centered on APEC for the coming year, we anticipate a 50% increase in our average monthly sales as the region readjusted to a post-pandemic consumer environment. Along with North America, APEC is the largest drinks market by demographics willing to spend on wines and liquors.
WS: Have you got any surprises coming up for year end?
Chris: With the festivities of Christmas and other festivals coming up, our team is in the process of planning some gift sets and drink hampers for our esteemed clients. Moreover, our collaboration with Rakuten Girls from Taiwan is expected to significantly raise the awareness of our product offerings to the mainstream. Lastly, we endeavour to showcase our organization’s management finesse and ESG focus with another accolade or two.