|LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Get your bottle openers out for a sensory trip to the Land of the Rising Sun this fall as Japanese Craft Beer launches its first marketing and visibility campaign in the US. With “Drink in a New Language,” the industry association of 22 craft beer producers invites Americans to discover the authenticity, richness and unique flavor profile of Japanese craft beer. With a focus on the West Coast, the campaign kicked-off with a Japanese beer garden party on September 20, 2018 in Los Angeles.
Born in 1994 following industry deregulation that allowed smaller beer makers to acquire brewing licenses, the Japanese craft beer movement has its roots firmly planted in traditional sake making. While German-Bohemian beer styles (alt, kölsh, pilsner) ruled at first in the 1990s and early 2000s, the industry has since widened its product portfolio to include seasonal pale ales, stouts and IPAs, among others, that today will delight both beer amateurs and connoisseurs alike. To be considered craft brewers, Japanese breweries need to produce a minimum of 60,000 liters of beer a year.
Japanese craft beer is ideally positioned to answer today’s demand for low-malt beer in the US. A JFOODO (Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center) February 2018 comparative study among 447 craft beer consumers in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles unveiled that 80% of respondents would want to try it.
“Japanese craft beer boasts unique attributes that are sure to appeal to American consumers,” said Hiroki Oizumi, Director General with the JFOODO. “Beer lovers will discover quality brews of great character that are hand crafted with extreme attention to detail and unique ingredients from all corners of Japan such as yuzu, sansho (Japanese pepper) or matcha.”
“Our craft beer is authentically Japanese,” added Toshiyuki Kiuchi, Vice President of Kiuchi Brewery, known for its Hitachino Nest Beer. “While our beer is inspired by Western traditions, many differentiating factors contribute to making our products unique, including the impact of 190-year-old sake brewing traditions, local ingredients and a dedication to craftsmanship that can only come from Japan.”
“The American market is obviously a top market for Japanese craft beer exports,” concluded Yusuke Miyakoshi, Overseas Sales Manager at YOHO Brewing, famous for Yona Yona Ale and Umami IPA. “We want our beer to inspire Americans to be curious, try new things and realize the care and expertise Japanese craft brewers put into every single can of beer.”
Event Kick-Off in Los Angeles
To celebrate the official launch of the campaign, Japanese Craft Beer threw a beer garden party at The Holding Co. in Los Angeles on September 20, 2018. The immersive event allowed guests to discover the surprising flavors of unique Japanese craft brands and get a taste of the new generation of star products. Participants enjoyed live music by Miss DJ Blizz and a special appearance by celebrity guest Kaley Cuoco.
The “Drink in a New Language” campaign is set to target both industry professionals and consumers across the West Coast. While a good range of products is available in the US, Japanese craft brewers are hoping to gain more visibility and influence, as well as introduce new beer to the market via continuous trade marketing relations, consumer events, PR and social media over the course of the next year.