15 Japanese Beer Brand: Must-Try Choices For All Beer Lovers

Japanese beer brand are now dominating the industry, especially among beer lovers who love to explore. These brands vary wildly, from unique craft beers to simple, mass-produced beers. 

15 Japanese Beer Brand

Whether you live in Japan or not, you can easily get the many options offered by the Japanese beer industry as there are over 1,200 breweries in the country. Our guide below covers the best Japanese beer brand options for beer lovers, so try them out today!

The Best Japanese Beer Brands For Enthusiasts 

1. Sapporo 

Founded and Besed In
  • 1876
  • Sapporo, Hokkaido
Number of Active Beers 5
Most Famous Beer Sapporo Premium Beer
Other Well-known Brews
  • Sapporo Pure
  • Sapporo Premium Light Beer
  • Premium Black Beer



Although the national alcoholic beverage in Japan is sake, beer has become very popular in the country. You can mostly find Japanese beer in places like a restaurant rather than every day bars, or you can order them online. This is probably why some beers are very popular globally while others are limited to Japan. 

At the top of our list is Sapporo, known as the oldest beer company in Japan. It is also the number one Asian beer brand in the United States and was first brewed in 1876 by Seibei Nakagawa. Today, the headquarters of the brewery is in Tokyo, but it has five breweries in Japan and others in Canada and Wisconsin.

The Premium Beer is the most popular in the United States, and it is called Sapporo Draft in Japan. It also owns the Yebisu brand and Sleeman Cream Ale. Other top Sapporo brews include the Sapporo Pure, Sapporo Premium Light Beer, Premium Black Beer, and Sapporo Reserve Beer.

2. Asahi 

Founded and Based In
  • 1889
  • Sumida City, Tokyo 
Number of Active Beers 7
Most Famous Beer Asahi Super Dry
Other Well-known Brews
  • Asahi Draft
  • Asahi Gold
  • Asahi Black



Next on our list is Asahi, a leading brewery in Japan that boasts beers dating back to 1889. The company’s first popular beer was Asahi Gold, which came after Asahi Draft that is still being produced today. Now, Asahi Super Dry, which was released in 1987, is the flagship beer and is available in different countries. 

The Asahi Super Dry lager is a light-bodied lager that is made with rice. The lager is dry and refreshing, but it balances a sweet bready note with grassy hops and toasty maltiness. It is a very light beer that only tastes of sweet lager malt. 

3. Kirin Ichiban

Founded and Based In
  • 1888
  • Nakano-ku, Tokyo 
Number of Active Beers 4
Most Famous beer Ichiban
Other Well-known Brews
  • Kirin Light
  • Kirin Lager


Kirin Ichiban

Kirin beer is a leading brand in Japan, made by Kirin Brewery Company. It was first the Japan Brewery which was established in 1885, before becoming Kirin. The Japanese beer brand only uses the first press of the wort, which is called Kirin Ichiban Shibori in Japanese. 

The most famous beer from the brewery is called Ichiban, a pure malty lager that works great with Japanese food. The Kirin lager beer is full-bodied with a smooth and refreshing taste. Another option is Kirin Light

4. Orion 

Founded and Based In
  • 1957
  • Urasoe, Okinawa 
Number of Active Beers 40
Most Famous Beer Orion Draft Beer
Other Well-known Brews
  • Orion Pale Lager
  • Orion Mugi Shokunin



You should also try out beers from Orion if you want to enjoy Japanese brands. The brewery is newer than other options on our list, and while it was founded in 1957, it started making its beers in 1959. It used to make German-style beers, but once it switched to the American style, it became very popular in Okinawa.

The Draft Lager is its most popular option. The pale lager has a mild and crisp taste as it was brewed in a semitropical climate. The Orion beer is versatile and can be paired with a wide range of dishes, including Okinawan cuisine. The cult favorite is made with malts, rice, starch, corn, and hops. 

5. Yebisu 

Founded and Based In
  • 1890
  • Sapporo 
Number of Active Beers 5
Most Famous Beer Premium Yebisu 
Other Well-known Brews
  • Kohaku Yebisu
  • Yebisu Beer



Yebisu is a famous beer Japan that is also made by Sapporo. The beer is so popular in Japan that it even has a museum called the Museum of Yebisu Beer. It gets its brand name from the Japanese mythological god of fortune, and the beers are made with ingredients from the Sapporo Breweries Collaborative Farms.

All the Yebisu beers follow the Reinheitsgebot or Bavarian Purity Law, as they are all German-style beers. Premium Yebisu is the most popular from the brewery, a fantastic session beer that has fewer bubbles and balanced hops. Also, try out Orion Premium Draft

6. Echigo 

Founded and Based In
  • 1995
  • Niigata Prefecture 
Number of Active Beers 30
Most Famous Beer Koshihikari Echigo Beer
Other Well-known Brews
  • Echigo Pilsner
  • Echigo 90 Days Stout
  • Echigo White



Echigo is known as the first microbrewery in Japan and has become very popular in the global market since it started exporting its beer abroad. The microbrewery emerged with the liquor tax law in 1993. This reduced the minimum amount of beer production, leading to the emergence of microbreweries like Echigo. 

The Koshihikari Echigo Beer is a rice beer that is made with Koshihikari, a premium short-grain rice in Japan. The lager is very smooth and light-bodied, with a soft, toasted, and honeyed taste. Echigo Koshihikari offers a bit of hop bitterness with a malty flavor.

7. Baeren 

Founded and Based In
  • 2001
  • Kitayama
Number of Active Beers 24
Most Famous Beer Baeren Classic
Other Well-known Brews



Baeren is a popular brand in Japan that stands out for its German-style beers. The brewery has a wide range of award-winning beers and fantastic beer restaurants in Japan. They are located in Nakanohashi and Zaimoku-cho. The brewpub is a fantastic spot for hiking in Japan too, making it easy to enjoy a beer after a hike.

The Baeren Classic is a Dortmunder Export Lager that is very popular in Japan, with a clean and light taste and a well-balanced character. The well-crafted brew is tasty and refreshing with a strong malt presence, while the hops offer a slight touch. 

8. Yoho Brewing

Founded and Based In
  • 1996
  • Nagano
Number of Active Beers 5
Most Famous Beer Yona Yona Pale Ale
Other Well-known Brews
  • Tokyo Black
  • Aooni IPA
  • Suiyoubi No Neko


Yoho Brewing

Yoho is a well-known Japanese craft beer company and was founded in 1996. Since then, it has become a renowned craft beer brewery, especially globally. Their beers have been attracting a lot of attention around the world, so you can buy them in the USA. In 2020, it was named the sixth-largest beer company in Japan.

Yona Ale is the most famous beer from Yoho, a medium-bodied American ale made with a lot of Cascade hops. The malt beer won the Gold Medal at the International Beer Competition from 2000 to 2008. It features a full citrus flavor and balances the bitter hops with the malty sweetness. 

9. Lucky Brew

Founded and Based In
  • 1995
  • Fushimi, Kyoto
Number of Active Beers 3
Most Famous Beer Lucky Dog
Other Well-known Brews
  • Lucky Cat
  • Lucky Chicken


Lucky Brew

Lucky Brew is a popular Japanese beer company made by the popular Kizakura Brewery in Japan. The brand features three beers and is made in Kyoto. The Lucky series is made with the famous water in Kyoto, which is also used to make sake. The beer is made to offer great fortune and prosperity to its drinkers. 

Its most famous beer is the Lucky Dog, but other options include Lucky Cat and Lucky Chicken. The Lucky Dog is a session IPA with a fantastic citrus aroma from the Citra hops, while the Saaz hops offer some bitterness. 

10. Kyoto Beer

Founded and Based In
  • 1995
  • Fushimi, Kyoto
Number of Active Beers 8
Most Famous Beer Kyoto IPA
Other Well-known Brews
  • Kyoto White Yuzu Ale
  • Kyoto Kuromame Ale
  • Kyoto Matcha IPA


Kyoto Beer

Kyoto Beer is another beverage brand that is made by the Kizakura Brewery in Japan. The beer company emerged after the regulation for beer brewing changed in 1994. All the beers are made with quality ingredients and fresh water from Kyoto. The company is also a Japanese sake brewing company.

Kyoto IPA (Unpasteurized) is the first authentic IPA from Kizakura, made with Chinook, Cascade, Citra, and Simcoe hops. The beer offers a citrusy and fruity aroma from start to finish, with deep bitterness and a fruity aftertaste. 

11. Kawaba 

Based In Gunma-ken Tone-gun
Number of Active Beers 7
Most Famous Beer Kawaba Snow Weizen
Other Well-known Brews
  • Kawaba Pearl Pilsner
  • Kawaba Sunrise Amber Ale



Another leading beer company in Japan that you should definitely try out is Kawaba. The brand is under the Denen Plaza Kawaba Brewery and is home to seven active beers. It offers a wide range of beers, from hefeweizens to ales and bocks. 

The Weizen is the most famous beer under the Kawaba brand. It is known as a winter beer and is brewed with wheat and malted barley. It has a very unique flavor due to the yeast used in the brewing process and has a light, fruity flavor. It is one of the top wheat beers made in Japan. 

12. Hitachino Nest

Founded and Based In
  • 1996
  • Ibaraki
Number of Active Beers 15
Most Famous Beer Japanese White Ale
Other Well-known Brews
  • Hitachino Nest Lager
  • Hitachino Nest Pale Ale
  • Hitachino Nest Weizen


Hitachino Nest

Hitachino Nest Beer is a well-known brand in Japan that is made in Kounosu, a Japanese village. The name of the village means “nest,” and it combines its brewing with traditional sake brewing styles. The first beer was made in 1996 after the Japanese law reduced the number of beers a brewery can make.

The Hitachino Nest White Ale is the most famous beer, and it is a Belgian Ale. The beer is sweeter than most Japanese beers and features a low ABV. This is also a good choice for those that are new to Japanese beers. 

13. Rydeen

Founded and Based In
  • 1992
  • Niigata
Number of Active Beers 4
Most Famous Beer Rydeen IPA
Other Well-known Brews
  • Alt
  • Weizen



Rydeen is under the Hakkaisan Sake Brewery, and it was founded in 1922 based at the foot of Mount Hakkai. Spring water flows through the mountain, and this is what it uses to make its sake and beer. Although this beer company is well-known for its sake, it also features different kinds of beer.

The most popular is the Rydeen IPA, which is an herbal, complex, and crisp Japanese IPA. It is mostly sold at Japanese markets and Asian grocers. The IPA is clean, drinkable, and aromatic, with floral and citrus notes. 

14. Minoh 

Founded and Based In
  • 1996
  • Osaka
Number of Active Beers 50+
Most Famous Beer Minoh Pale Ale
Other Well-known Brews
  • Osaru IPA
  • Stout



Minoh Beer was founded by Masaji Oshita, a liquor shop owner in Osaka, in 1996. The founder was focused on adding more beer varieties in Japan, and since the brewing laws changed in 1994, he founded a small craft brewery. The beer company features a very rich selection of beers. 

The Minoh Ale is the most famous beer from the brand, featuring a thirst-quenching character. The English ale has a classic style that balances bitterness with a sharp taste and full aroma. It is brewed with American hops. 

15. Suntory 

Founded and Based In
  • 1899
  • Osaka
Number of Active Beers 9
Most Famous Beer Suntory The Premium Malts
Other Well-known Brews
  • Suntory Rich Malts
  • Suntory The Lager



Suntory is a well-known brand in Japan that makes different kinds of beverages. Although it is well-known for its award-winning whiskies, it also offers a fantastic selection of beers. The brewery started making beer in 1963 with natural underground water. 

Premium Malts is the most famous beer from the brewery, and it offers a clean finish. It is a highly drinkable beer too, and pairs with a wide range of foods. The light flavor offers a bit of sweetness. Beer lovers in Japan also enjoy their whiskies. 


If you’re interested in delicious beer from top Japanese beer brands, we’ve compiled the top choices in our complete guide.

Here’s a brief summary:

  • Sapporo is the best beer brand and the oldest in Japan, and it is well-known for the clean and crisp Sapporo Beer and Sapporo Black Beer.
  • Asahi is a leading brand that is based in Tokyo and known for the Super Dry Lager that is surprisingly made with rice.
  • Kirin is a popular brand, with its flagship beer featuring the same name, known for using only the first wort in the brewing process.

You can easily get Japanese beers at liquor stores, restaurants, and bars. They are also available for sale online, or you can buy them whenever you’re in Japan. 

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