One swallow does not make a summer for Japans brewers

One swallow does not make a summer for Japan's brewers

Domestic shipments of beer and quasi-beer drinks in Japan delivered a healthy year-on-year rise last month, according to recent figures.

The country's five leading brewers released data yesterday (14 February) showing that shipments of beer, third-category beer and happoshu in January leapt by 13% on the same month in 2010. Total sales hit 22m cases (one case contains 20 63.3cl bottles), with regular beer shipments up 11.3% to 11m cases.

Shipments of third-category beer, which benefits from a lower price-point in Japan, climbed by 15.5% to 7.1m cases, while happoshu low-malt beer saw sales rise by 13.3% to 3.9m cases.

Although the figures suggest that the beer market in Japan is on the mend, local press noted today that the numbers were the third lowest set for the month of January.