Craft beer: it’s not just for American hipsters anymore. In a move that signals Japanese breweries’ interest in attracting customers with new kinds of brews, Kirin Brewery Co., the country’s second-biggest brewer, is acquiring an approximately 25% stake in Brooklyn Brewery.
The two companies will form a joint venture in January 2017 to launch the brand in Japan, with plans to expand to Brazil as well. The two are also looking into possibly starting a restaurant business, and creating original products for Japanese customers.
As Bloomberg notes, Kirin and its fellow Japanese brewers have been trying out specialty brews as craft beer’s popularity grows in Japan. The industry is looking for something to turn around sagging sales in the country since 2001.
“The current beer market is in a transition period,” Takayuki Fuse, president of Kirin Brewery Co., said in a briefing in Tokyo. “We need to vitalize the market, need to make it attractive, or there’s no future.”
by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist