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Royal Adelaide Club takes iconic SA brands to China

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South Australian businesses including Coopers Brewery and Yalumba Wines will showcase their products to a potential audience of millions at an event in China next month being driven by the team behind Adelaide’s Royal Croquet Club.

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The Royal Adelaide Club – a $3.4 million joint venture between Australian Trade Alliance and The Social Collective (operated by RCC’s co-founders) – will occupy a 8000sqm site at the Qingdao Beer Festival, an annual celebration in the Shandong Province described as the “Asian Octoberfest”.

However, Royal Adelaide Club director Tom Skipper said the festival celebrated “a great deal more than just beer”.

“The Royal Adelaide Club is hosting delegates from around the globe and proving the perfect setting to showcase the very best that South Australia has to offer,” Skipper said.

“Through business matching we aim to foster the already strong bi­lateral trade links between Australia and the world.”

It was announced yesterday that Coopers Brewery, Yalumba Wines, Mori Seafood, Cleanseas Seafood, Stehr Seafood and Adelaide University will represent South Australia at the Royal Adelaide Club during the month-long festival, which attracts around four million people.

The club will also present 15 Adelaide Fringe performers, including electronic band Bag Raiders, Adelaide DJ/producer Motez and disco duo The Swiss.

The two-level space will be much bigger than that of the Royal Croquet Club, which has occupied Victoria Square during recent Adelaide Fringe festivals.

However, spokesperson Jade Robran told InDaily that the ground-level area of the Royal Adelaide Club would have a similar feel, with the RCQ’s boombox stage even being shipped over for the event. It will feature a number of different spaces, including a large beer garden with a rustic, Australiana design, a grill restaurant and a sandy beach area.

The Royal Adelaide Club entrance.

The Royal Adelaide Club entrance.

The upper-level space will present a “VIP experience”, including a purpose-built restaurant showcasing fresh Australian seafood cooked by chef Luke Brabin, a former apprentice of Cheong Liew.

“It’s targeting the young, funky Chinese market that has money to spend on the good things in life,” Robran said.

“It will be very similar to what is on offer at The Birdcage at Flemington during the Spring Racing Carnival … unlike anything China has seen before.”

Coopers Brewery executive chairman Glenn Cooper said the company would use the event to educate Chinese people about crafted beer, while Justin McCarthy, director of the Australian Trade Alliance, said he hoped participating SA businesses could encourage their trade partners “from all over China or South-East Asia and beyond to come and experience the best of what South Australia has to offer.”

The Royal Adelaide Club is a bold step forward for the global ambitions of the team behind the Royal Croquet Club, which is not expected to return to Victoria Square next year following ongoing wrangles with the Adelaide City Council.

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