Or in this case for us, the bard’s, “I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety” from Henry V for all the drama that’s engendered from us re-publishing a small press release a few Fridays ago that we thought may make a mildly amusing weekend 1 minute read.
The press release announcing a launch of a hemp beer out of China called “Angry Tiger Beer” was suitably fuzzy, as is any information of out of that nation..
Here’s how the PR started….
The launch of Angry Tiger Beer coincided with the start of China’s Lantern Festival, which began over 2000 years ago and is commonly known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day and the climax of the Chinese New Year Celebration.
The launch was a joint collaboration between NSAV and its China Joint Venture Partner, the Blue Candy Brewery, which presently has 134 employees and an annual production capacity of 30,000 kiloliters.
Expansion plans call for an annual production capacity of 100,000 kiloliters.
China is the world’s largest consumer of beer.
It was accompanied by the following photo
Well.. never has a name more suited the reaction it received from a couple of our more irate readers.
We won’t surmise why they are so angry. But it seems the main bones of contention were .. where the hell is the Blue Candy Brewery, here in America we can’t find any reference to it ( it is China we pointed out , there’s a lot of things you can’t find out, for example how many human rights lawyers have mysteriously died in military hospitals with liver disease over the past year) but these things aren’t important when there’s an undocumented brewery on the loose.
The second complaint was somewhat more understandable- why have they plastered Angry Tiger labels all over what appear to be Tiger beer bottles. Again having lived in China for a decade this doesn’t seem that difficult to work out, it’s what the Chinese and the rest of Asia call marketing.
But…remembering now that we are back in the fully transparent land of trumpeconomics we though we’d better get to the nub of all this and save western civilization from the steady march of Chinese hemp beer… or not as the case may be.
First stop was NSAV. Who are they? what are they? and where are they?
One simple google search reveals http://nsavholdinginc.com/management/ and CEO James Tilton who we promptly badgered for a while.
Here’s his Bio
Mr. James A. Tilton has more than twenty years of experience working with publicly traded companies. He has been the CEO and President of six publicly traded companies since 1995.
Mr. Tilton has negotiated numerous acquisitions for the public companies that he has headed up. These acquisitions spanned the globe and include the U.S., U.K. Belgium, France, Vietnam, and China. He also has extensive business and marketing experience in the Far East and through Metallic Building Company, a subsidiary of NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS), for whom he marketed pre-engineered building materials in China. Mr. Tilton also assisted Star Brite, a division of Oceans Bio-Tech (NASDAQ: OBCI) in establishing a sales distribution system in China for its chemical products.
Mr. Tilton, since 1995, has been President and CEO, of China Food and Beverage Company (OTC: CHIF), From 2000 until 2014, he was the president and CEO of Twistee Treat Corporation, an ice cream franchise company.
He’s probably relatively busy so it did take a little while for him to get back and we posed the two main questions to him along with a number of other questions to his business partner based in Shanghai.
As with all things Chinese 100% verification isn’t easy so we will leave it up to you, dear reader, if you think the answers pass muster.
One thing we will say upfront about the press release is…..
A) It probably would have been better to taken a bit more care with the presentation of the sample bottles. We imagine that job was outsourced to another company and in order to please the client the solution arrived at was more style over substance. Probably a lesson learnt for NSAV.
B) A clear explanation that the Angry Tiger moniker, quickly explained by Tilton to us, was called thus because the Chinese govt are still yet to let you use the word hemp in F&B products.
The Chinese gov’t won’t allow us to use hemp in the name. Hence, Angry Tiger Beer. First samples were bottled and shipped to Shanghai at the end of Chinese New Year, which has been PR’d.
It may have been advisable in the press release to mention this.
Again a lesson hopefully learnt.
BLUE CANDY BREWERY
Does it exist ? Is the question we have been asked.
Without any editing here are the two pieces of information we’ve been supplied.
Tilton also stated that the, The Blue Candy Brewery, is entirely Chinese owned and we infer from this that NSAV have no holding in The Blue Candy Brewery and are working only as partners on this particular project.
Now operating brewery profile
Brewery is now operating for the construction in 2012, the end of 2012 put into operation, the production capacity of 30,000 kiloliters per year. With automatic refrigeration air compressor system, a coal-fired boiler, brewing feed water is equipped with a 20 tons per hour reverse osmosis water treatment equipment. Fermentation work with 20 stainless steel fermentor, 4 stainless steel cans; filter system has a set of automatic high concentration dilution system, a plate and frame filter; two sets of perfect CIP cleaning system. Sugar section with three pots of bad, raw materials crushed by wet grinding. The packaging workshop is equipped with two production lines, one for 24,000 / hour beer beer production line and the other for 1.8 bottles / hour of the cans production line; all aspects of the production process have a complete laboratory for testing, timely supervision of product quality Inspection, substandard products never factory.
Company employees 134 people, with a sound department management, sales on the division of labor clear; market area fixed, and with after-sales service staff, at any time to visit customers in order to market problems in all aspects of timely treatment. Quality with a complete laboratory and quality control department, the production of technology research and development centers and production scheduling center; strict financial management system, a clear division of labor, the negative positions.
In short, the brewery has a sound management system, and on this basis, continue to be improved to make it a scientific management process.
The only other reference we have been able to find regarding the brewery is this information at Investors hub, dated 2 November 2017.
There’s also this TM filing…….
TradeMark Tiger Hemp Beer = FILED Date Oct.13,2017
Tilton also mentions that NSAV is now a trademark dispute with Heineken, over their Tiger Beer tag line / moniker.
Tilton told CLR this week.
NSAV’s slogan is “GET THE EYE OF THE TIGER”. The rock band Survivor owns the copyright to the song, THE EYE OF THE TIGER from Rocky 3. A few years back, they tried to trademark it for beer, but failed because they simply don’t sell beer.
Heineken wrote a letter of protest to the U.S Trademark office, but if you go through the documents, it seems that on February 5, the trademark office attorney, Midge Butler wrote us that she found no conflict. Great for us for now. Maybe you can look through the file. All is public. Little old NSAV taking on giant Heineken.
Here’s the USPTO letter date 12 December 2017.87645609
I think we’d apply the word grey at the moment having perused all the documents.
We did also forward to Mr Tilton the following questions on 15 March 2018 that have been forwarded to his Shanghai business partner, Ms Zheng, and as yet we are awaiting a reply to the following from Ms Zheng.
A) The product is now launched – is it available via wholesalers and retailers in Shanghai. If so who are those retailers and wholesalers?
B) Is the beer available in other cities around China and in HK & Macao.. will it be available internationally and if so in which countries. Are there any distribution deals in place ?
C) The hemp used in the beer is i presume harvested and processed in China. Are you able to provide any further details with regard to how the company decided to source the hemp and managed that process?
D) I’d be very interested to learn more about Blue Candy Brewery
i) Are they based in Shanghai ?
ii) Do they have a website ?
iii) What other branded beers do they produce ?
iv) Is the brewmaster a local or foreign national ?
v) Would the brewmaster be available for an email interview? ( in Hong Kong and Beijing , with regard to craft beers my experience has been that most brewmasters are American and Australians)
E) The product “Angry Tiger Beer”
i) How did the concept for the product first get introduced and was the initial approach from yourselves to Blue candy or Visa Versa?
ii) Has the branding been managed in China or the US ?
iii) Is there a story to the brand name?
iv) is your intended market just the Chinese domestic market or an international market?
V) can people buy the beer now?
F) We would love to interview your JV partner Ms Jane Zheng – would she be available for an email interview. ?
At which point, as with all things China, things are as clear as mud!
There’s a lesson in here for all of us in here
A) Cannabis Law Report: Note to self.. never report lightweight hemp beer story out of china as example of why they will run the world hemp market in the next 10 years..mea culpa.
By the way , we still stand by our argument that the Chinese will corner the world hemp market and you’ll be drinking Chinese hemp beer in the USA sooner than you think.
B) NSAV: If you are selling into the US market it’s probably wise to be a little more transparent and, as with all things China, micro-management is the key.
The bottles issue will leave most in Asia with a “what’s wrong with that” look on their face. But remember us gweilos / laowei are a weird bunch and take offence to this sort of thing.
C) Reader / Investor?: It’s simple . It’s China, nothing is what it seems and if it is what it seems it probably isn’t what it seems. Trump is training you up for this at the moment and he’s doing a great job. We suggest following his twitter feed would be a great learning tool for those wanting to invest in China.
As he says in the Art of the Deal…“I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.”
You can choose to believe that or not !
On a general note we are beginning to note a sharp distinction between the cannabis and the hemp markets as 2018 moves forward.
In the world of cannabis “marijuana” there has been and still is a black market economy. But there is an almost honor amongst thieves approach, whereas, and this isn’t directed at NSAV, the usual tribulations of American hypercapitalism are much more in evidence in the hemp market than the former sector.
Actually NSAV , although they may upset and annoy some, will appear like angels once mainstream corporate America gets its hooks into the hemp industry.
We will of course update this article if and when we receive answers from Shanghai and / or Blue Candy.
We’ll leave you with the Bard again
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.