The China Baijiu National Qualification Exam is comparatively more difficult than the University Qualification Exam

比高考还要难千百倍,揭秘白酒行业的“国考”                                                                                  View this email in your browser
The China baijiu National Qualification Exam is comparatively more difficult than

the University Qualification Exam

比高考还要难千百倍,揭秘白酒行业的“国考

The China baijiu National Qualification Exam is comparatively more difficult than the University Qualification Exam

又是一年高考时,被国人称之为“国考”的这场考试,每年都会牵动着亿万考生和家长的心。可是除了高考,在中国还有一项考试,每5年才举办一次,而且全国只有200人才能获此殊荣。最最重要的是,不是每年增加200人,而是采取优胜劣汰的形式,全国能够获此荣誉称号的始终保持在200人左右。

神秘而严格的白酒考试
在中国,有这么一群神秘的人,他们一旦进入这个圈子,就必须过着清心寡欲的生活,不能吃任何过于酸甜苦辣咸的食物,不能抽烟,不能使用香水,不能熬夜……他们就是中国白酒行业的“国酒大师”们,靠舌头和鼻子工作的酒体灵魂设计者。

这个圈子的成员在全中国一共有200位左右,而且这个数字每年几乎都是不变的,中国酒业协会每5年才组织一次国酒大师的考试,每年参加考试的不仅有未获得此荣誉称号的品酒师,现有的国酒大师也必须参加考试,末位20名的国酒大师则会被取消这个称号。

因此,要想长久的留住这一称号,就必须保持好状态,一刻也不能松懈,不然下一次的考试就可能被淘汰。

“年轻的时候喜欢这个考试,因为考试才有机会晋级;后来年纪大了,就特别怕这个考试,一方面年纪大了记忆力不如年轻时候,而且万一再落选了那可是特别丢人的一件事情。”苏酒集团(洋河股份)国酒大师酒体设计中心负责人赵国敢如是说。

只可意会不可言传

和其他的考试不同,不仅比能力还要比天赋,普通人每平方厘米舌面上有30-70个味蕾,而超级味蕾者则有70个以上味蕾,这部分人在人群中的比例大概是20%,也就是说要想成为国酒大师,还是需要一定的先天条件的,不是所有人都有这个优势成为国酒大师。

然而国酒大师的炼成,更多的是靠平日积累的经验,平常人只能喝出辣味的各种白酒,到了国酒大师的嘴里,必须能瞬间分辨出是全中国12大香型中的哪一种,另外每个香型还分优级、一级、二级和缺陷酒等;缺陷酒里面还分有糠味,黄水味,橡胶味等多种;而且还要能够用舌头品出酒的度数。然而这些只是考试内容的冰山一角。

相信到这里大家也就可以明白,为什么白酒大师说一种酒比另一种好的时候我们却品不出来。先天优势以及后天的刻苦训练,已经让他们对于味道的感觉远超常人,而这种感觉唯有经过千百次的锤炼才可达到,并且只可意会而不可言传,只能靠自己的一次次品尝。

这种考试的难度超乎想像

关于国考,大家第一想到的肯定是高考,然后还有公务员考试、司法考试、注册会计师、一级建造师等等,可是即便是这样的考试,只需要考一次就够了,而且证书拿到了一辈子受用。

然而国酒大师的考试流程则复杂的多的多,首先是所在工作单位的内部选拔,以苏酒集团为例,2015年制定执行的“千人计划”,从三万苏酒员工里面经过3轮筛选,选拔600位去参加省一级的选拔,然后再到参加全国性的最终考评,历时将近1年的时间。到了省一级的选拔,后面几个月参加考试的同志全部“脱产备考”,就是什么事也不做全力准备这个考试。

据了解,苏酒集团(洋河股份)的这个“千人计划”,光品酒就消耗了5吨多的白酒,这里面最贵的是储存了十几年最好的梦之蓝基酒,每一斤这样的基酒可以说换一部苹果电脑一点都不过分。不仅如此,苏酒集团还花费了数百万从别的酒厂采购不同香型的白酒供大家品鉴、鉴定。

功夫不负有心人,在去年的国家品酒师比赛中,苏酒集团(洋河股份)的品酒师们凭借强劲的实力,前20名占据了9个,前10名占据了5个!

如果说飞行员是用同样重量的黄金铸造的,那么苏酒集团现有的这26位国酒大师,可以说个个都是用珠宝翡翠雕刻出来的。

“胸存匠气”只为做好一件事

走进苏酒集团(洋河股份)的洋河酒体设计中心,绵绵的酒香弥漫在空气中,围坐在工作台四周,身着白色工作服,时而轻轻在鼻尖转动,时而缓缓入口细细品味的,便是身怀绝技的国酒大师们。他们很多人这一辈子其实就只做了一件事情:与酒为伴,与酒共舞。

正如洋河的酒体设计总工程师周新虎所讲:“只有沉浸其中,方知其中之乐。白酒乃人文载体,而酿酒技艺则是一门雕琢这一载体的艺术,更需要用心去做。”

“现在很多人都研究洋河精神而不得,其实归结到底无非就是‘匠心’一词,从全国200位国酒大师中,洋河独占26位,就可看出其中奥秘。”白酒专家评论道。

本文来自网络,观点仅代表作者本人,不代表本协会立场。
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Why China’s Baijiu stocks must be in your portfolio

Why China’s Baijiu Stocks Must Be in Your Portfolio

MAKERS OF THE CHINESE FIREWATER HAVE REBOUNDED ON BETTER CONTROL OF SUPPLY, COST CUT AND GROWING OVERSEAS SALES.

BY : DANIEL SHANE SOURCE: BARRON’S ASIA

China’s market for hard liquor looks like it’s finally over the world’s longest hangover.

President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on excess frivolity signaled the end of the party for makers of baijiu – a rice-based spirit known among Western drinkers as Chinese firewater. The premium hooch, which packs a wallop even in small measures, was a popular fixture at the country’s official shindigs until party pooper Xi called time at the bar.

That left holders of distillery stocks like Kweichow Moutai (ticker: 600519.CN) and Wuliangye Yibin (000858.CN) picking up one big tab. By early 2014, shares in both companies had sunk by around half. With Moutai and Wuliangye up 15% and 10% since the start of the year, respectively, could it be time for another round?

The market’s toasting both stocks as they’ve successfully switched tack from high-rolling officials and dignitaries to mass-market boozers. That transition has been helped by robust cost-cutting and streamlining of distribution channels. Baijiu – not normally a favored tipple outside China – is also finding its way onto more drinks lists overseas.

Kweichow’s most recent quarterly would have had stock holders raising a glass. Sales grew by about 17% year-on-year, a measure ahead of market estimates, while net profit was up 12% to CNY4.9 billion. Operating cash flow, a measure of how much money is rolling into the company, was also strongly positive: it was up more than 250% to CNY7.4 billion, and basically means bottle shops are seeing more demand for booze and so are more likely to pay their bills to Kweichow on time. During harder times the company tends to extend credit to its customers and collects payment later. Finally, the quarter included Chinese New Year, the traditional time for Chinese to eat, drink and be very merry. “The baijiu industry is on track for recovery and Moutai has continued to gain market share,” sums up J.P. Morgan’s George Hsu.

Another observer, SWS Research’s Lv Chang, also fancies a chug of Kweichow. One move the company has done to get more Chinese swigging its high-end Moutai is tweak the price: bottles have come down from over CNY1,000 to around CNY900. That’s still pricey for most drinkers, so the company’s homed in on wealthier urbanites – a demographic that’s on tap in places like Shanghai and Beijing. Thriftier prices mean lower margins, and that means Kweichow has got to keep the drinks flowing. Chang points out that the company improved its distribution and inventory channels. This allows for better control of the supply of its liquor getting out into the market, which means it can keep demand high. For example, in the run-up to Chinese New Year you’d have been lucky to get hold of a bottle of 53% Feitian Moutai – Kweichow’s most premium spirit – because that’s what the company wanted. Throughout the rest of the year, the company plans to release only another 8,000 bottles. Expect demand to spike around Mid-Autumn Festival in September.

There’s plenty to find intoxicating about Kweichow’s stock fundamentals. Its return on equity is close to 30%, which is more than four times higher than some global drinks giants, like Pernod Ricard (RI.FR). Kweichow trades at 20 times earnings, which is in line with its five-year average, but on other metrics the stock looks like a happy hour deal. Its price-to-cash flow multiple is 14 – way below its historical average. Remy Cointreau (RCO.FR), another producer of high-end spirits, fetches a much richer price-to-cash flow multiple of 40 times.

Kweichow also looks flush with cash on its books and is lightly geared. Management haven’t articulated what it plans to do with this stash, other than horde it for now, and investors would surely cheer higher dividends or a share buyback. Kweichow pays out about 30% of its earnings back to shareholders in dividends, but back in the good old days this ratio was 70%. J.P. Morgan’s Hsu says the firm needs to “give the market more color about their plan” for this wad of cash.

 

Kweichow is not the only play on China’s thirst for a stiff drink. Wuliangye, about one third the size of its rival, saw both sales and earnings surprise the market with growth of more than 30% in its most recent quarter. As a result, analysts like SWS’s Chang have upgraded earnings forecasts. The company’s premium liquor, also called Wuliangye, sells at a slightly cheaper CNY640 a bottle. The stock is also a bit cheaper trading at 15 times both forward earnings and forward cash flow. That’s probably down to its much lower return on equity of about 14%. Still, Chang has a Buy rating on the stock as he thinks it will grow sales by double-digits for at least the next couple of years. Chang thinks Wuliangye’s shares can go about 25% higher.

One trend that could leave baijiu makers feeling groggy is the growth of beer and wine in the world’s second-biggest economy. Data shows that brewers and winemakers have taken market share over the last decade or so, although this has slowed down lately. The demographics still look pretty good for spirit makers, though. WHO data shows that Chinese are now among the heaviest drinkers on the planet, more so than traditionally boozy nations like the U.K. and Australia. However, more than half of China’s population refrain from consuming alcohol. Perhaps they just need convincing?

Overseas markets present another growth option for the two distillers. While still pint-size for Kweichow and Wuliangye, both firms reckon they can convince foreigners to down a glass or two. Wuliangye, for example, is promoting its spirits in South Korea. More interestingly, dedicated baijiu bars have begun cropping up in big, cosmopolitan cities including Los Angeles, New York and London. In truth though, the reception looks mixed so far: “Hollywood Boulevard is simply not ready for all that intensity of flavor and aroma,” one sardonic L.A. bar manager was recently quoted as saying. Bottoms up!