Japan stories 1: Export and strawberries

Eden is all about connecting with those clever beer drinkers who know a quality brew when they sip it. They could be in London, Timbuktu or the International Space Station for all we care, but the important thing for us is to find them and let them enjoy our beer.

That’s why Eden’s aim this year is to expand our markets, not just across the UK but across the world as well.

To this end Jason took some time out from the mad rush of running a brewery last month to go on an equally hectic whistle-stop tour of Japan, meeting potential distributors and collaborators, as well as fitting in a bit of skiing.

Jason tending the pop-up bar at FoodEx 2017 in Tokyo.

Japan is a growing market for independent breweries, although (for various reasons you can read more about here) the number of micro breweries is nowhere near those in the UK. However, the story is roughly similar: Having been dominated by a few big names for a long time (Asahi, Kirin) there has been a steady rise of smart drinkers looking for something a bit more interesting.

Jason's essential interpreters Asako and Mayumi.

We’ve been working to connect with these discerning Asian drinkers since Jason first visited the country last March and a big focus of this year’s tour was serving beer at the pop-up bar at FoodEx 2017, one of Asia’s largest international food trade shows.

Food and drink of too many different types to describe from all around the world are on offer at the event, one of the more unusual being giant strawberries which you can purchase for the nominal fee of £48 each.

Armed with two very helpful interpreters, a load of beer and an unusually smart appearance (he even wore a tie, although rumour has it he still had his shorts on behind the bar) Jason spent two days making contacts with potential distributors in Japan, as well as from South Korea and China.

Japan: The land where you can buy a giant strawberry for £48.

He even had a visit at the bar from the director of Hitachino Nest, one of Japan’s most successful smaller breweries whose beers make it over to the UK.

We are going to keep in touch with all our contacts out in Japan and beyond, so watch this space for more information on export soon. We are also going to keep in touch with Hitachino Nest, so maybe there’ll be a new collaboration beer on the way at some point!

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