Craft Beer that isn’t just a trend – COEDO Brewery

Craft Beer that isn’t just a trend – COEDO Brewery

COEDO is a craft beer brand that represents Japan. It is served at restaurants that are particular about beer, and can also be found at eateries outside Japan. The brewery is located in Higashi Matsuyama, in the central region of Saitama prefecture. Built in 1970’s, the beautiful building was formerly a training center for a major company.

“The foundation of the company comes from an organic farming company that my in-laws started. They were interested in agriculture that was gentle for both the environment and people. COEDO beer got its start from a desire to make beer made from barley that avoided the damaging cycle.” Shigeharu Asaka, president of Koedo Brewery)

They began making beer in 1996. Initially, many small breweries were popping up around the country due to less stringent regulations. “Kawagoe is often referred to as “koedo” and is a tourist spot. We initially started the business as part of the tourism. We began making beer using locally grown sweet potatoes and the business took off thanks to the local beer boom.”
But small scale brewing required a skilled craftsman. Yet many local breweries treated their products as souvenirs rather than “food products” and were run by unskilled staff.

While their uniqueness attracted attention at the beginning, many eventually earned negative reputations for having a taste that was too distinct and sometimes not necessarily delicious. The local beer boom faded away and COEDO could not avoid the impact. Realizing the importance of making a change, president Asaka visited European pubs which were making their own beer, to figure out the future of COEDO beer.

In 1997, COEDO beer invited legendary braumeister Christian Mitterbauer, 4th generation beer maker, to Japan so that the brewery staff at COEDO could learn the art of beer making from him. After studying under his tutelage for 5 years, COEDO beer evolved from a local souvenir to a premium craft beer.

“We revisited what it meant to be local and handmade, and reflected that appeal in our beer. Until then, we were too concerned about the major brands. But we realized that it was important to allow our individuality to shine through considering our scale. Taking special care in the brewing the beer and communicating that. We put a lot of effort in quality control so that our customers could enjoy delicious beer at its peak.”

Growing from a local beer to a premium craft beer, it’s clear the strategy was successful. They’ve received good reviews in global competitions and have become popular among beer enthusiasts. During our tour of the brewery, we observed each craftsman taking special care in making the beer. They will always remain true to their origin no matter how popular they become.
“We want to remain a beer that is supported by the local community.”
The dedication to beer making will continue.


COEDO Craft Beer Brewery
1352 Otani, Higashimatsuyama-shi, Saitama 355-0008
TEL 0570-018-777