Vancouver, BC, Canada: Consumers in this part of the world are very label conscious. Reading the ingredients of a product in grocery stores has almost become a national obsession. So, it goes to follow that Vancouver, the home of “Healthy Living” and recognized World Brand Excellence by the likes of yoga apparel giant Lululemon and early adopter Hootsuite (a brilliantly successful .com) the arrival of Japan’s #1 Beer as “Made in China” has really made a stir.

In a easily recognized and ever popular “Big Bottle” the change-up came sometime after the devastating 2011 tsunami crippled the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor. Learn more about Fukushima and the 2011 tsunami event. Japan got hit hard.

This was a major event… Japan is still in the recovery of this. But life goes on.

Asahi is a 100 year-old Brand. Born out of the Osaka Brewing Company the Beer was introduced in america to win “Best Beer” at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. That is interesting…especially for BC and the West Coast where Craft Beer is significant to the Trade. With an Authentic Origin that is Craft, the Osaka Brewing Co. “Asahi” became the asahi Brewing Company of Tokyo – Their Experience and Technology resulted in the creation of what we call “Super Dry” and it is Brewing Perfected.

With Agricultural Awards for the handling of the raw ingredients to reduce the bruising of the Hops, Precision production standards and organization that the Japanese are famous for this is a Product and Brand representative of a nation that knows “hardship”.

China is a country where many are living in Hardship. News Lines are full of information surrounding various industry “bad practices”, “pollution” and “health safety” concerns. No wonder Chinese Nationals and Regional Asia people from Korea and other countries avoid good produced in China.

So why is this format of Asahi Brewed there?

Well, in-part because the world is round and we all have to do our part. The past is behind us and Asahi has entered China with their feet on the ground to put themselves in a Leadership Role. The Brewery is a Japanese Organization operating in China using the Asahi Code of Corporate Conduct. The Social Responsibility of Asahi is reaching beyond the boarders of Japan to pioneer reform and bring to China the very standards we in the west expect and by our choices command.

Canadians will not tolerate contaminated goods. Here in Canada, we have one of the best food and safety inspection agencies in the world. we could join the Anti-China sentiment and discontinue the import of this product but that would do nothing to contribute to the more important matter of making the world a better place to live.

And Beer does that? You might ask. Asahi is a global company with global distribution. They offset their footprint with a reforestation program. They use solar power in their plants. They have water management systems that make sure the Product is “Clean”. While their nation is a nation of strength the Brand is proudly displaying their ability to make change in their own back yard by placing a Brewery in China. The Beer may be a little more bitter than the Aluminum Can package product and draught beer that is brewed in Japan but we attribute that slight variation to “Bottle Bruising”. Reasonable?

The recipe and raw ingredients as far as we know is the same. And the “Yeast”… Asahi yeast gets the credit for bringing out the Aroma and Karakuchi Taste. Anyone who claims the beer doesn’t have aroma has a nose problem and should not be trusted for their opinion. Asahi is Brand that developed the technology for “Dry Beer”. The Japanese do good business and it will not hurt China one little bit by having this shining example “of what a company should be doing” on their soil.

We applaud Asahi for their execution in this, the intelligence to place production in a logistical cost and energy saving position related to the glass bottle. which is also a safe and well managed component of this product. The consumer stands a better chance of getting a dirty bottle from Champagne or mouse droppings in their Belgian craft befor ever finding a spec of contaminant in a bottle of Asahi as exported from Taiwan as is the smaller 330ml Bottle and then there are the Cans. Famous for Vending Machines, Japan exports the Cans because Aluminum and steel production is a benchmark of Japans industrialization.

We understand the objection to “Goods Made in China”. Just like we don’t want our children working in the basement of a toy factory. Asahi on the other hand. They have stood up to do something about it. The Japanese have invaded China time and time again but this time…Now – The Japanese are doing a bold and noble thing. They are putting there reputation  as the #1 Beer in Japan. A Product that holds a Gold Medal Standard as the “Best Import Lager 2014” to show the world what it is going to take to make change. Asahi has risked it all. The Backlash is severe. Some restaurants have Boycotted the entire collection of cans and bottles because of the brewery relationship in China.

So the next time you reach for a Lager – Give Asahi a try for it’s taste. The way it goes down. The easy non-bloating 5% session-able flavour that goes great with BBQ and Steak. Asahi is Japan’s # Beer for more than it’s Country of Origin.

Asahi is #1 because it is one of the Best Lagers in the World. Beer guys know this. Girls like it too!

We all know China needs to see change,,. The world welcomes change. We think Asahi has done a good thing by going out on this limb. Bravo Asahi Brewing Company – Finally, a “Big Brand” with a Heart. Show ’em how it is done…

Which begs the question? What ever happened to the Vancouver Asahi Baseball Team… while there is no relation to the Brewery we wonder if there are any decedents of this bit of BC’s history around to tell a tale or two?

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