The history of Japan’s oldest brand is irrevocably linked with the small icy village that inspired its creation over 130 years ago. The Sapporo star, a symbol of the pioneering spirit, has come to represent the profound link between the fortunes of the place and the beer.

1876 was the year the town of Sapporo, then a just a small frontier settlement in northern Japan, became home to what is now Japan’s oldest brewery.

Located in the shadows of rugged snow-capped Sapporo mountains, it was here that legendary Japanese brewer, Seibei Nakagawa, found what he considered to be the purest ingredients for the crafting of his signature brew. From these humble beginnings a beer was born that came to define the tastes of a nation. Its growth and popularity mirroring the fortunes of the place that inspired its creation.


Sapporo is the oldest brewery in Japan – founded in 1876.  Kirin followed in 1888, and a year later, Asahi Breweries (originally the Osaka Beer Brewing Company) in 1889, with the launch of the Asahi Beer brand in 1892.  These three mighty beer brands still dominate the Japanese beer scene today, and were all established within 16 years of each other.