Asahi Group’s History

Long history of corporate culture that cultivates innovation

The Asahi Group has been setting itself new challenges ever since day one. The first such challenge was to develop an authentic Japanese beer. This was followed by the launch of Japan’s first canned beer and the expansion of the Group’s soft drinks brands. Even after the launch of Asahi Super Dry, which drastically boosted the Company’s market share, the Asahi Group continued to strive, working on various innovations throughout the entire value chain process ranging from R&D to sales. Furthermore, as the domestic beer market matured during the latter half of the 1990s, the Company broadened its business portfolio through the promotion of M&As including overseas business expansion. Based on the Asahi Group’s long fostered corporate culture of taking on the challenge of innovation, the Company will continue to take on new challenges towards the establishment of a new foundation for future growth.

the domestic beer market matured during the latter half of the 1990s, the Company broadened its business portfolio through the promotion of M&As including overseas business expansion. Based on the Asahi Group’s long fostered corporate culture of taking on the challenge of innovation, the Company will continue to take on new challenges towards the establishment of a new foundation for future growth.

Establishment and the birth of Asahi Beer

1889

Osaka Beer Brewing Company established by Komakichi Torii, with the goal of producing an authentic Japanese beer.

Osaka Beer brings latest brewing technology from major beer producer in Germany and seeks to develop its own technicians, with the goal of brewing an authentic and distinct Japanese beer to suit Japanese tastes.

1891

Suita-Mura Brewery completed

1892

Asahi Beer launched

"Asahi" (rising sun) was named with the pride of a beer from the land of the rising sun, symbolizing promise and growth as the morning sun rises.

Asahi Beer is an instant bestseller, with demand outstripping supply.

1893

Nishiki Beer (Bayern-style beer) launched

1900

Asahi Beer wins gold medal at 1900 Paris Expo

Receives numerous accolades and awards in Japan and abroad

Asahi Draft Beer in bottles launched

1906

Dai Nippon Breweries, Co., Ltd. launched through merger of Osaka Breweries, Ltd., Japan Beer Brewery, Ltd. and Sapporo Beer Co., Ltd. (President: Kyohei Magoshi)

1907

Mitsuya Brand "HIRANO CHMPANGE CIDER″ launched by the Imperial Mineral Water Co., Ltd.

1909

Citron launched, marking entry into soft drinks market

1930

Ebios, tablets containing nutrients from pure brewer's yeast, launched

1933

Acquisition of Nippon Beer and Mineral Water company, maker of Mitsuya Champagne Cider (now Mitsuya Cider)

From Osaka Beer to Asahi Beer. Further expanding to become a comprehensive beverages brand.

1949

Asahi Breweries, Ltd. established

Asahi Breweries created through the breakup of Dai Nippon Breweries under Japanese post-war economic reforms for decentralization, as part of a push by the occupation government to encourage economic democratization. (President: Tamesaburo Yamamoto)

1951

Established agreements to launch new beverage brands in Japan

Bireley's Orange by General Foods and Wilkinson Tansan by Wilkinson

1954

Acquired stake in Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd. (President: Masataka Taketsuru)

1956

Asahi Cider launched

1957

Asahi Beer (Asahi Gold) launched Label design: Raymond Loewy

1958

Asahi Gold launched. First canned beer in Japan.

New ideas and innovations for beer containers
(from steiny mini bottles to pull-tab cans and aluminum cans).

1964

Asahi Steiny mini bottled beer launched
(Hokkaido Asahi Breweries established).

1965

Convenient pull tab can launched

1966

Black Nikka launched by Nikka Whisky
(President: Masayoshi Nakajima)

1969

Asahi Beer Honnama launched nationwide

1971

Japan’s first aluminum canned beer
(President: Yoshitaka Takahashi)

1976

(President: Naomatsu Enmei)

Start of Reforms

1980

Bireley's trademark rights acquired

1981

Business partnership with

Asahi Kasei Corporation established

1982

Collaborative business agreement with German brewery Lowenbrau established

Brewing of Lowenbrau beers launched under license

(President: Tsutomu Murai)

1983

Collaborative business agreement with Lindeman of Australia established

(Pripps sports beverage jointly launched with Asahi Kasei)

Wilkinson trademark rights acquired

(Mitsuya Coffee launched)

1986

Corporate Identity launched

Corporate mark redesigned

(Asahi Draft Beer launched, promising full-bodied, crisp taste)

(President: Hirotaro Higuchi)

1987

Asahi Super Dry launched

Japan's first dry draft beer with a crisp and refreshing taste (not bitter or heavy)

Revolutionizes the beer industry in Japan, selling a massive 200,000 cases bottles in the first two weeks alone

(Acquisition of Koshu Winery)

(Expansion into Japanese domestic wine industry)

Collaborative business agreement with Bass Brewing,Ltd. of the UK established for importing and sales

(Active development of new beverages)

1988

Skyrocketing sales of Asahi Super Dry leads to shortages of some products

Sets off "dry beer wars" in Japan

1989

Asahi Beer commemorates 100 years in business

Company name changed to Asahi Breweries, Ltd.

New headquarters (Asahi Azumabashi Building) completed

Adjacent beer hall designed by architect Philippe Stark.

The distinctive Flamme d'Or (Golden Flame) adorning the rooftop symbolizes the burning heart of Asahi Breweries leaping toward a new era.

44 meters long and weighing 360 tons

Asahi Super Dry surpasses 100 million cases sold in just three years

1990

Asahi Beer Soft Drinks Co., Ltd. (now Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd.) established

Developing international markets and claiming the top share in the Japanese beer market.

1992

Asahi Beer Food, Ltd. (now Asahi Group Foods, Ltd.) established

Regional beers launched (President: Yuzo Seto)

1994

Sumidagawa Brewing craft brewery established

Expansion into Chinese market

Acquired stake in Chinese breweries; brewing and sales of Asahi brand beers in China launched

1995

Business partnership established with Miller Brewing Company of the US

Import and sales of Miller Special launched

First Tokyo-based craft beer launched

1996

(Company name changed from Asahi Beer Soft Drinks Co., Ltd. to Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd.)

Export sales of Asahi Super Dry in the UK launched

1997

Asahi Super Dry launched in 12 European countries

1998

Asahi Beer reclaims top share of Japanese market after 45-year interval

1999

Brewing of Asahi brand beer expanded to five breweries in China

(President: Shigeo Fukuchi)

2001

Expansion into happoshu (low-malt beer) market

Asahi Honnama low-malt beer launched

Asahi Beer claims top share of Japanese beer and low-malt beer markets

Nikka Whisky becomes wholly-owned subsidiary

2002

Further expansion into comprehensive alcohol beverages company, acquired Daigorou, Kanoka and Cocktail Partner shochu brands and Sainte Neige wine brand

Business alliance with Orion Beer Co., Ltd. established

Acquired alcohol beverages business of Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei Corporation

(President: Kouichi Ikeda)

Expanding into foods to become a comprehensive beverages and food brand under the Asahi Group.

2003

Asahi Food & Healthcare Co., Ltd. established

2004

Beverages company jointly established with Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corporation, the largest Chinese packaged food and beverage company

2005

Expansion into new beer categories

Asahi Shinnama beer launched (new beer category)

Acquired stake in LB Co., Ltd., producer of chilled beverages

2006

Acquired stake in Wakodo Co., Ltd, Japan's largest baby food company

(President: Hitoshi Ogita)

2007

Asahi formed a business and capital alliance with Kagome Co., Ltd.

2008

Asahi acquired the stock of a leading freeze-dried food company, Amano Jitsugyo Co., Ltd.

Enhancing our international business development to establish a new platform for growth.

2009

Acquired stake in Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited, China's second largest brewery

Acquired Schweppes Australia, second largest beverages company in Australia

2010

Agreement established to acquire P&N Beverages Australia Pty Ltd.

2011

Changed to pure holding business structure under Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.

Acquired stake in a major New Zealand alcohol beverages company, Flavoured Beverages Groups Holdings Limited

Acquired New Zealand beverages company Charlie's Group Limited

Acquired Malaysian beverages company Permanis Sdn Bhd (now as Etika Beverages Sdn Bhd)

(President: Naoki Izumiya)

2012

Asahi Dry Zero beer-taste drink launched

Acquired stake in Mountain H2O Pty Ltd.

Established joint ventures for soft drinks with PT Indfood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk, Indonesia's largest food company

Acquired stake in Calpis Co., Ltd.

2013

Established a joint venture with Osotspa Co., Ltd. to manufacture and distribute Calpis brand beverages in Thailand.

Acquired a bottler for the PepsiCo group in Indonesia, PT Pepsi-Cola Indobeverages

2014

Major launch of Asahi Super Dry - Dry Premium beer

Agreement established to acquire stake in Southeast Asia dairy business from Malaysian food company Etika International Holdings Limited

2015

Acquired stake in leading Japanese wine seller Enoteca Co., Ltd.

2016

Soft drinks (refrigerated) businesses consolidated under Asahi Soft Drinks Co. Ltd.

Three food companies, Asahi Food & Healthcare, Wakodo and Amano Foods, consolidated under Asahi Group Foods, Ltd.

Acquired SAB Miller plc's beer business in Europe, including Birra Peroni S.r.l. in Italy, Koninklijke Grolsch N.V. in Netherlands, and Miller Brands (UK) Limited and Meantime Brewing Company Limited in the United Kingdom.

Our History in Video

History of Asahi Breweries' 120 years(7min 54sec)