Skip to main content

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Brewed in Japan

The Evolution of the Japanese Beer Industry

Spanning the earliest attempts to brew beer to the recent popularity of local craft brews, Brewed in Japan presents the first English-language exploration of beer’s steady rise to become the “beverage of the masses.” Alexander underscores the highly receptive nature of Japanese consumers, who adopted and domesticated beer in just a few generations, despite its entirely foreign origins. He also sheds light on the various social, cultural, and financial influences that combined to make beer Japan’s leading alcoholic beverage by the 1960s. Japan’s beer market is now among the most complex on earth, and it continues to evolve. Visit the author’s website at

316 pages

Table of Contents

Introduction: Beer’s Evolution into a Japanese Commodity

1 Foreign Influences: The Origins of Japan’s Beer Brewing Industry, 1868-1906

2 Keeping Up Appearances: Maintaining Beer’s German Authenticity, 1906-36

3 Brewing Self-Sufficiency: Beer, Empire, and the Wartime Command Economy, 1937-45

4 “The Taste of Home”: Beer as Postwar Japanese Commodity, 1945-72

5 Learning from Japan: “Orion Beer” and Okinawan Consumer Identity, 1945-72

6 Indigenous Brews: Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Beer’s Continuing Evolution

Conclusion: Biiru no Nihonka – The “Japanization” of Beer

Appendix: Data on Japan’s Beer Brands and Their Manufacturers, 1869-1949





Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press