Report: The Beer market in Japan

About the Report 

Though little known to non-experts, Japan is the world’s 7th largest consumer of beer. A late comer in the market, two of its largest manufacturers are today among the best and largest players worldwide.

After reaching its pick in the mid 1990s, in the last 20 years, for various reasons - including one of the world’s highest taxation rate - industrial beer consumption in Japan has seen a steady decline. However, the market for craft beer is on the grow and very promising. In particular American-style craft beers have become very popular among both brewers and consumers of craft beer.

Though craft beer is very young and there is not such a thing as a “Japanese style” craft beer internationally renown so far, Japanese craft beer producers are being increasingly acknowledged in international competitions.

While the domestic market is quite crowded with international and especially American brands, there is still a huge potential for innovative European brands able to transmit a fresh, fan, unique life style through their beer.

However, in order to succeed on the Japanese market, investment in educating consumers is considered to be fundamental. Only by increasing the beer literacy of their potential costumers high quality European craft beer producers will be able to gain a tiny slice of the Japanese domestic beer market.

About the Expert

Renata Piazza, Independent Sustainability Consultant, Cultural Bridge, Project Manager. Born in Sicily, BA in Japanese Culture (University of Venice Ca’ Foscari), MSc in Politics of Asia (SOAS, University of London), Renata has lived for more than three decades abroad - UK, Spain, Japan - before returning to her homeland in 2020 where she is working in European projects and advising small local companies. Founder and President of Hasekura Program (a best-practices exchange and educational platform) since 2012 Renata has been advising SMEs, start ups, local administrations and academia on social innovation, environmental sustainability and the planning of a socio-economic model fit for post-growth societies.

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