The artisanal beer scene in Japan: 25 years of existence
In almost every decent city in Japan, there is at least one bar specializing in artisanal beer.
Every weekend this summer, at least one if not several craft beer festivals took place – including the Keyaki Beer Festival, based in Saitama, the Oedo Beer Festival, located in Tokyo, and the Craft Beer Picnic, based in Osaka – with fans from all over the world to taste beers.
It should be noted that the strength of artisanal beer is really remarkable when you realize that the Japanese artisanal beer industry did not exist 25 years ago !
It was only in 1994 that the Japanese government relaxed the strict laws governing brewery licensing. Until then, to become licensed, a brewery had to be able to produce 2 million litres of beer per year, an impossible feat without an industrial-scale brewery.
With the change in regulations, breweries only had to demonstrate a capacity of 60,000 litres, allowing new, smaller breweries to enter the market. In 2013, the number of breweries to explode.
In fact, at the very beginning, there was not much knowledge of the business. With the creation of the Craft Beer Association and the promotion of beer festivals, brewers had the opportunity to meet, share their knowledge and develop.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.