Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Craft Breweries in the Earthquake Zone

Here is a quick update on the situation of some of the Japanese craft breweries in areas affected by last week’s 9.0 earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. (note: most of this information was taken from the Japan Craft Beer Association web site; that page has now been removed from the site).

Chateau Kamiya reports no significant damage (3/13)
Towadako Beer will resume operations today (3/13)

Baeren: the staff and facilities are safe, and will reopen somewhat on March 14
3/16 update from Baeren siteshipping conditions uncertain until recoverynot so much damage to buildings and facilities
Ginga Kogen Beer: no trouble except for some power outages
Iwate Kura Beer (Sekinoichi Shuzo): fermentation tanks were destroyed; cannot brew for about a month (3/15)

Aqula: the company store and staff are safe (3/13) 
Tazawako Beer: no damage in the plant  (3/13) / will be closed from March 14 to March 20 (3/14)
reopened April 9th (4/16)  
Kohan no Mori Beer will reopen in 16 days / all staff safe and sound (3/14)

Inawashiro Beer is not ready to resume operations (3/13) / from another source: seem to resume brewing next week(3/14)
Michinoku Fukushima Beer: some plumbing leaks and other damage (3/14)

Hitachino Nest (Kiuchi Brewery) will resume work in about one week (3/13)
The sake brewery was damaged. The brewery is now bottling water to help meet emergency needs.They are hoping to organize a special event to raise money those who have lost their homes and loved  ones. (note: this information on Hitachino Nest was taken from a report on beernews.org
Update3/16: Kiuchi has put up photos of the damaged brewery on its web site: SEE HERE 
Chateau Ushiku: no significant damage (3/13)

Nasu Kohgen Beer: some  brewing equipment needs repair (3/13)
Tochigi Micro Brewery: not much damage (3/13)

Kawaba Beer: no damage at all (3/13)
Ozenoyukidoke: facilities are safe (3/13)

IKSPIARI Harvestmoon: sales suspended until March 21; equipment withstood the earthquake (3/13)

Shiga Kogen Beer: all is safe (3/13)

Sankt Gallen Brewery: safe and operating as usual (from company web site 3/16)

Baird Beer: "very little damage from the earthquake and numerous aftershocks." (3/18)
See brewer Chris Poel's posts on the Baird Beer blog from March 18 HERE and from April 11 HERE.


  1. Where is "Shinagawa-ken"? ;-) Thanks for the info! Do you have an updated link to the JCBA page by any chance?

  2. Um... "Shinagawa-ken" is located somewhere between my addled brain and the wandering fingers that hit the keyboard :)) It should, of course, be Kanagawa-ken. Thanks.

    Unfortunately, the JCBA page that had the brewery information has been taken down.

  3. From Bryan Harrell’s Brews News for April/May 2011:

    While reports have not come in from all the small brewers in Japan, the following is based on the information received so far. Locations are listed from north to south.

    In Aomori Prefecture, two small breweries have reported no damage, but have been affected by electricity blackouts.

    In Iwate Prefecture, three small breweries have reported no damage, and are continuing operations as usual. However, Iwate Kura Beer has reported a ruptured fermentation tank, which will cause them to stop operations for about a month. However, there were no injuries to any personnel.

    Three breweries in Akita Prefecture report no damage or injuries, but one reports losing 100 liters of beer from an open fermenter, while another notes that lack of gasoline has prevented them from making deliveries.

    In Miyagi Prefecture, the Tori-no-Umi microbrewery reports that their facility in Watari-cho has been entirely washed away by a tsunami.

    In Fukushima Prefecture, two breweries report that operations will continue, and one will find ways of obtaining gasoline to make deliveries.

    In Ibaraki Prefecture, the makers of Hitachino Nest Beer report some damage to facilities, but they expect to be back in operation within a week. Ushiku Beer reports they will be affected by electrical blackouts in the coming week, but are continuing operations. Shimotsuma Beer is taking a break from operation for inspections, but haven't said when operations will restart.

    In Tochigi Prefecture, two small breweries have reported no damage, and expect to continue operations. In Gunma Prefecture, two small breweries report no damage. In Chiba Prefecture, the Harvest Moon brewery closed for a few weeks, but no damage was reported. In Nagano Prefecture, Shiga Kogen Beer reports that they haven't sustained any damage to their facilities.

    There was even an earthquake as far south as Shizuoka Prefecture on Tuesday, March 15. Baird Beer located there reports that there was no damage to their facilities, and they are continuing operations as usual.