Yebisu Beer, Tokio Brewery No. 1, Meguro, Tokio, c. 1900.
Nippon Beer (Sapporo Beer), c. 1950.
Okura Kumi (Okura Partners), Ginza, 1921.
“The Sapporo Beer Joint Stock Company was the first beer brewery ever established by the Japanese themselves.
“In 1876 the Hokkaido Colonial Government concluded after investigation that the soil of the Hokkaido was suited to the cultivation of both hops and barley, the materials for beer brewing, and encouraged their cultivation among its inhabitants. The Hokkaido Government established at the same time a beer brewery in Sapporo, which was the origin of the present Sapporo Beer Company.
“Later on, the Hokkaido Colonial Government was abolished and the beer brewery in Sapporo was sold to Mr. Kihachiro Okura. In 1888 Mr. Okura with Baron Eiichi Shibusawa and Mr. Soichiro Asano made it a joint stock company with the capital of 70,000 yen, Baron Shibusawa becoming its president.
“This company was also greatly favoured by the sudden increase of the demand for beer after the Japan-China war, owing to the general prosperity of the post bellum trade and commerce. In 1896 the company … sold its products not only at home but also exported to Korsakoff, Vladivostok, Fusan, Port Arthur, Tairen, Tientsin, Shanghai, Manila and Singapore.
“In 1899 the company had its capital again increased to 600,000 yen. In the following year the company increased its capital to 1,000,000 yen, and made provisions for brewing on a large scale, and at the same time paying much attention to the improvement of the quality of the articles. Of the company’s products, the most reputed is its black beer.
“In 1906, the amalgamation of the Sapporo Beer Co. into the Nippon Beer Co. (Tokyo) and the Osaka Beer Co. resulted in the formation of the Dai Nippon Beer Brewery. The three signature beers continuing to be produced are Yebisu, Sapporo and Asahi.”
– Japan To-Day: A Souvenir of the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition in London, published by the Liberal News Agency (Tokyo), 1910