Sapporo isn’t anything new here in the states. The Japanese brewing company began exporting beer to the USA in 1964. According to a report yesterday, the company plans to build a brewery here in the USA. Sapporo Holdings LTD says it will likely open a new brewery by the end of 2024 somewhere on the West Coast.
“I would like to have a production base on the west coast,” Hiroyuki Nose, vice president of marketing for Sapporo Breweries, told the Taipei Times. “We make and import most of [the beer we sell in the USA] from Canada and there are logistical costs. This is a challenge for us.”
Hiroyuki Nose, who is tagged to become the president of Sapporo at the end of the month, suggested that Sapporo may also look at acquiring a brewery or expanding its contract manufacturing efforts in the USA. A more robust presence on this side of the Pacific would not only save on transportation costs but also allow the company to better penetrate the $116 billion beer market in the USA.
Some of Sapporo’s flagship product (Sapporo Premium Beer) that the company sells in the USA is brewed stateside through contract manufacturing agreements. The rest is brewed in Canada and Vietnam. According to Wikipedia, here in the states, Sapporo’s beer is contract-brewed by City Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin. That large brewery, formerly owned by old G. Heileman Brewing Company, has contractual agreements with many other brands (Montucky Cold Snacks, Guinness American Blonde, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and so on).
Sapporo owns California-based Anchor Brewing, which it purchased in 2017. The report in the Taipei Times makes no mention of any further plans to acquire other craft breweries in the USA.