On September 6, BrewDog announced that it had entered into a joint venture with Asahi Breweries. Ltd, the largest of four major brewers in that country, which will see its core beers such as Punk IPA, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice rolled out across Japan from September 2021.
The joint venture, over which BrewDog will retain a controlling interest, will be known as “BrewDog Japan” and is the first of its type for the Scotland-headquartered and now global craft beer company.
BrewDog will operate as a standalone entity with its own sales, marketing and back-office teams and will focus exclusively on the distribution and marketing of key BrewDog brands Japan. And although its beers are currently available in limited locations in the Asian island country this new joint venture will up the scope and scale of the brand in japan considerably
Founded in 1889 in Osaka as the Osaka Breweries, Ltd., Asahi Japan is the leading brewer in Japan. The joint venture will focus initially on growing distribution and awareness of the BrewDog brand in Japan, leveraging its market leading position to rapidly grow BrewDog brands, in particular Punk IPA which already accounts for 70% of BrewDog volumes in the country.
BrewDog has explored a number of strategic options to accelerate the expansion of its business through the fast-growing Asian markets and the new partnership hopes to escalate growth in the region while still retaining its independence.
The joint venture will be run by newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Daisaku Okuda, a 30 year vet in the drinks biz, who has spent the last two decades working in sales and marketing at Asahi. Okuda will oversee a sales and marketing team based in offices in central Tokyo, which will be working closely with BrewDog’s HQ in Ellon, Scotland.
“We’re excited to be growing our presence in Japan and, in Asahi Japan, to be doing so in partnership with one of the most prestigious names in the drinks industry,” said BrewDog co-Founder and CEO, James Watt.
“BrewDog’s beers are now enjoyed in over 60 countries around the world and it’s a great testament to the quality of our beers, not to mention the excellent taste of Japanese beer drinkers, that we have this opportunity to grow further in such a significant market.”
In addition to Japan, BrewDog has a growing presence across Asia. Its beers are enjoyed by customers in China, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia. Currently BrewDog bars can be found in Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Mumbai, with plans to open in New Delhi in the near future.