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Japanese retailers tap into craft beer

The rising popularity of craft beer in Japan is causing retailers to rethink their on-shelf offerings.

Following a short-lived period of popularity during the 1990s, craft beer is back in fashion in Japan and retailers experimenting with new offerings are reporting widespread demand.

According to the Japan Times, convenience store chain Lawson has doubled its craft beer portfolio to 11 brands, domestic and international, while Aeon now stocks 90 craft beers in its 250 stores.

“More and more people have started enjoying their unique taste,” said a spokesman.

An easing of brewing restrictions in 1994 gave rise to a craft beer rising but, poor in quality, it didn’t last long.

Japan’s major brewers are cashing in on craft beer’s rise too – as are AB InBev and SAB Miller etc – particularly as sales of beer continue to fall in Japan and brewers seek to boost profits.

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