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Article | June 30, 1995
American brewers exporting more to Japan
It may not balance U.S. imports of automobiles, but U.S. brewers are becoming ever more important as production and packaging houses for beer brands in Japan.
In early June, Pabst Brewing, Milwaukee, WI, joined other brewers in brewing and packaging beer under contract with a Japanese company. Suntory, Ltd., Osaka, Japan, said to be the country's leading whiskey distiller, has contracted with Pabst to produce and package Surfside beer for Japan's summer season. Milwaukee's Miller Brewing, has already been producing Suntory Blue beer for the company, reports Chicago Tribune columnist George Lazarus. Lazarus states that even with shipping costs, it can be cheaper to produce canned beer in the U.S. for Japanese consumption. In fact, he says, such brands often undercut the prices of Japanese brews. In part, he attributes the cost disparity to the high cost of aluminum for beer packaging in Japan (see p. 60). Japan was the premier export market for U.S. brewers last year, receiving 1.8 million barrels or 25% of all beer exports. Last year, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO, produced and shipped Kirin Ice beer to the Japanese brewer of the same name. PW was unable to get Pabst or Miller to comment.Learn about packaging innovation at The Packaging Conference in Orlando, February 3-5, 2014
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