SYRACUSE — Empire Brewing Company’s founder says they are designing a new, unique east meets west beer.
During a trip to China, David Katleski met a founder of the Jingwei Tea Company, and despite a language barrier, the two saw potential for collaboration.
“We walked away with just an amazing friendship and partnership,” Katleski says.
Using premium aged black tea from one of China’s Soither Provinces, Empire came up with a unique tea-based beer idea called Two Dragons. Craft brewing has been extremely popular in the US, but is still uncommon in China.
Katleski and local economic development officials believe the beer’s unique taste has authentic flavor that will appeal to craft beer fans here in the US – and new audiences in China.
“There is a huge opportunity there for us and hopefully we can get there before anybody else,” Katleski says.
“Made in America is a powerful brand in China. They are looking for products that are not only made in the US, but the “I Love NY” brand is one of the most iconic there is in China,” says Centerstate CEO spokesman Rob Simpson.
Empire will also make another eastern expansion. In April, Katleski says they will break ground on a new brewery in Cazenovia with a 75,000 barrel capacity, a tasting room and a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.