Sapporo East meets WestMonday 7th of December marks the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While this devastating attack is remembered for all the wrong reasons, it serves as a reminder of the steps taken since the end of WW2 towards relative peace between Japan and USA. Since WW2, shared cultures have been adopted. Sapporo, Japan’s oldest beer, exemplifies this as the brewery champions its “East meets West” philosophy.
Much like last weeks Beer of the Week, Quilmes, Sapporo has roots in German beer production. Aged 17, Seibei Nakagawa left Japan to pursue an education in brewing at the Berlin Beer Brewing Company. After honing his brewing skills, Nakagawa returned to Japan as the Head-Brewer of Kaitakushi Brewery. Here in 1876 the first Sapporo Lager was brewed.
Sapporo is now brewed across the world. Notably, Sapporo is one of USA’s top imported beers. This has largely been credited to Sapporo’s roots in traditional German brewing according to Sapporo USA Director of Marketing, Jiro Okhawa. Coupled with the explosion of Japanese cuisine in the USA, Sapporo has gained a valuable reputation. Its recognizable gold-star label and head turning angular metal cans make Sapporo instantly recognizable in Western and Eastern society.
“East Meets West”With international success comes a mixing of cultures. Sapporo prides itself in a “culture sharing” mentality in its “Return the Favor” campaign. Sapporo are keen to highlight ordinary Japanese people who embrace American culture in their lives. One such person is Johnny, a young Japanese rocker who has dedicated himself to becoming a rock star. Fusing the rip-roaring sound of western rock and roll with the gentle music of traditional Japan, Johnny produces a truly unique sound, embodying the East meets West ideology championed by Sapporo.