Asahi Breweries, Ltd. (アサヒビール株式会社, Asahi Bīru Kabushiki Gaisha?, TYO: 2502) is a leading brewery and soft drink company based in Tokyo, Japan.
As of January 2014, Asahi, with a 38% market share, was the largest of the four major beer producers in Japan followed by Kirin Beer with 35% and Suntory with 15%.
Asahi was founded in Osaka in 1889 as the Osaka Beer Company (大阪麦酒会社, Ōsaka Bakushu Kaisha?). During the First World War German prisoners worked in the brewery.
In 1990, Asahi acquired a 19.9% stake in Australian brewery giant Elders IXL which has since become the Foster's Group.
In 2009, Asahi acquired the Australian beverages unit Schweppes Australia.
In early 2009, Asahi acquired 19.9% of Tsingtao Brewery from Anheuser-Busch InBev for $667 million. The sale made Asahi Breweries, Ltd. the second largest shareholder in Tsingtao behind only the Tsingtao Brewery Group.
In July 2011, Asahi acquired New Zealand juice maker Charlie's and the water and juice divisions of Australian beverage company P&N Beverages.
In August 2011, Asahi acquired New Zealand's Independent Liquor, maker of Vodka Cruiser and other alcoholic beverages, for ¥97.6 billion. In May 2013 its New Zealand operations expanded with the purchase of retail chain Mill Liquorsave.
The company's primary beer, from 1957 through the late 1980s, was Asahi Gold (overtaking Asahi Draft, its original formula, which remains in production).
In 1987 Asahi introduced Asahi Super Dry a product that transformed the modern beer industry in Japan. Asahi Super Dry is described as a highly attenuated lager without the heavier malt flavors of competitors products, with a crisp, dry taste reminiscent of some northern German beers. This highly successful launch led to a significant rise in consumer demand for dry beer and in turn to a dramatic turnaround in Asahi's business performance, surpassing Kirin in terms of both sales and profitability.
Other beers produced include:
- Asahi Draft – Lager (first produced in 1892)
- Asahi Gold – Lager (former flagship product; first produced in 1957)
- Asahi Stout
- Asahi Z – Dry lager
- Asahi Black – a 5% abv dark lager
- Asahi Prime Time – German Pilsener style lager (only available in Japan)
Asahi Beer Hall
Asahi Breweries' headquarters in Tokyo were designed by French designer Philippe Starck. The Beer Hall is considered one of Tokyo's most recognizable modern structures.
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- ^ Palmer, Daniel (December 25, 2008). "Asahi acquires Cadbury's Schweppes, Coca-Cola still eligible to make counter offer". Australian Food News. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ^ "Asahi buying Tsingtao stake". The New York Times. February 3, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ^ Fujimura, Naoko; Withers, Tracy (July 4, 2011). "Asahi Group to Purchase Charlie's, P&N Water, Juice Units". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ^ Kachi, Hiroyuki (August 18, 2011). "Asahi to buy Independent Liquor". The Australian. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ^ McBeth, Paul (May 20, 2013). "Independent Liquor buys Mill chain for undisclosed sum". Scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ^ Oliver, Garrett (2012). The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. p. 503. ISBN 978-0-19-536713-3.