Craft beer from the Land of the Rising Sun

Written by Dean Irvine for

Shigeharu Asagiri loves beer so much he has even brewed it by the light of the moon.

He’s not a bathtub hootcher with vampiric tendencies, but the boss of Japanese microbrewery Coedo and a man committed to putting his craft beer on the map, no matter what it takes.

His nighttime brewing activity came just after the earthquake that rocked Japan’s Tohoku region last March led to frequent blackouts at his brewery just outside Tokyo.

From those difficult days and dark nights, Coedo has continued to make some award-winning beers that are helping to put the spotlight on interesting microbrews from Japan.

Earthquakes and blackouts aside, it hasn’t been easy for Coedo, founded in 1997 by Asagiri’s father-in-law. It wasn’t until prohibitive laws against small commercial breweries were repealed in 1994 that a microbrew scene in Japan could emerge.
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