Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

As a haven for craft beer enthusiasts, Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture has cultivated a thriving beer culture that is not to be missed. With a diverse array of local breweries and beer bars, Yokohama offers a delightful selection of craft beers that showcase the creativity and expertise of its brewers. Whether you’re seeking traditional styles or adventurous flavors, Yokohama Beer has something for everyone. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of another Japanese alcoholic beverage Yokohama Beer, where passion, craftsmanship, and a love for beer come together to create a truly exceptional drinking experience.


What is Yokohama beer?

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

Everyone in the local area knows Yokohama Beer, a popular beer brand. The company, Yokohama Beer Co., Ltd., founded in December 1994 and incorporated in 1997, produces this renowned beer. Yokohama Beer is a Japanese drink that offers a crisp and refreshing brew known for its clean taste and smooth character. It belongs to the category of pale lagers, which are lighter beer styles characterized by their pale color, mild hop bitterness, and balanced malt flavors. Brewers often utilize traditional lager yeast strains and specific combinations of malted grains and hop to achieve the desired flavor profile. There is a balance between the refreshing citrus scent and the bitterness of the alcohol.

Yokohama beer History

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

Yokohama Beer has an interesting historical connection to Kirin Beer, one of Japan’s largest and most renowned beer companies. The story dates back to the late 19th century when Yokohama was a thriving port city and a gateway for international trade in Japan. In 1869, Alexander Matheson, a Scottish businessman, established the Spring Valley Brewery in Yokohama. This brewery, known as the predecessor of Kirin Brewery, was the first-ever Western-style brewery in Japan. Matheson aimed to introduce Western-style beer to the Japanese market and cater to the growing demand among foreign residents and international traders in Yokohama.

However, due to financial difficulties, Matheson decided to sell the Spring Valley Brewery in 1885. The brewery was acquired by a group of Japanese businessmen, including the founder of Kirin Brewery, Eiichi Shibusawa. The acquisition led to the establishment of the Japan Brewery Company, which would eventually become Kirin Brewery. Under the new ownership, the brewery in Yokohama remained operational and played a pivotal role in advancing the Japanese beer industry. The knowledge and techniques gained from the Spring Valley Brewery acquisition greatly contributed to the subsequent success of Kirin Brewery, propelling it to become one of Japan’s leading beer companies. Yokohama Beer, building upon this rich history and tradition, emerged in Yokohama as the birthplace of beer brewing in Japan. Drawing inspiration from this heritage, the beer company specializes in standard styles influenced by British, German, Czech, and American brewing traditions.

Difference between normal beer and craft beer

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

Craft beer and normal beer differ in various aspects. Experts produced normal beer from large-scale commercial breweries, while they brewed craft beer from smaller, independent breweries that prioritize quality and innovation. Craft beer is often made using traditional and artisanal methods, allowing for experimentation and greater control, while normal beer production relies on automated systems. The craft beer emphasizes high-quality ingredients, resulting in a wider variety of flavors and styles, as craft brewers incorporate specialty malts, hops, and adjuncts. Craft beer also fosters a strong connection to local communities, supporting local businesses and events. In contrast, normal beer production has a broader market reach but may lack the same level of community engagement.

What is the beer made by Yokohama Beer?

Yokohama Beer’s standard lineup includes British, American, German, and Czech beer. It consists of beers that draw on the style of the country.


A Czech-style premium beer with a beautiful golden color. It is an easy-to-drink beer with a rich malt flavor, elegant aroma, and bitterness derived from Czech aroma hops, and a pleasant aftertaste of hops.


A white beer with a fruity aroma with hints of banana and vanilla derived from German yeast. It has a mild taste with little bitterness and is popular with people who don’t usually drink beer.


German Düsseldorf traditional amber beer. It features the aroma of roasted barley likened to freshly baked biscuits, and the fresh, slightly sweet aroma of yeast. The bitterness is modest and the beer has a plump taste.

Pale ale

American-style pale ale. It is a beer characterized by a clean and light taste with a refreshing aroma and bitterness reminiscent of hops derived from citrus.

How to enjoy Yokohama Beer?

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

To enjoy Yokohama Beer in Japan, you can visit local breweries like Yokohama Brewery, and Kirin Yokohama Beer Village. Take brewery tours, sample unique beers, and learn about the brewing process. Attend beer festivals for a diverse selection of craft beers and a lively atmosphere. There was a German festival called “Frühlings Fest” held on April 28, 2023 to May 7, 2023 that celebrates the arrival of spring, and it is a tradition to spend a spring day with family and friends enjoying German beer, food, and performances by German orchestras. Explore beer bars and craft beer establishments in Yokohama, where you can try Yokohama Beer and other local and international brews, receiving guidance from knowledgeable staff. Enhance your experience by pairing Yokohama Beer with the city’s rich cuisine, including street food, seafood specialties, and fusion dishes, to discover exciting taste combinations.

Yokohama beer FAQ

What is the Yokohama known for?

Yokohama is home to several craft breweries and beer bars that produce and serve a variety of craft beers. The prefecture has a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous local breweries that offer a wide range of beer styles.

What are the popular Yokohama Beer breweries to visit in Yokohama?

You can explore several popular breweries that offer a taste of the local craft beer scene. Notable among them is Yokohama Brewery, situated in the city center, where you can sample their wide range of craft beers, including their flagship Yokohama Lager. For a unique experience, Thrash Zone Yokohama is a must-visit with its rock and punk-inspired ambiance, brewing its own beers on-site, and featuring a rotating selection of experimental brews. Additionally, Kirin Village, an establishment by one of Japan’s major beer companies, offers guided tours providing insights into the history and brewing process of Kirin Beer.

Where to buy Yokohama beer?

Kirin Brewery Yokohama (キリンビール 横浜工場)

Kirin, one of the major beer companies in Japan, has a presence in Yokohama with the Kirin Brewery. This brewery complex offers guided tours where you can learn about the history and brewing process of Kirin Beer. It also has a beer hall where you can taste their beers and enjoy a meal.

Address: 1 Chome-17-1 Namamugi, Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-8628, Japan
Phone number: 045-5038-250
Hours open: [Tues-Sun] 10:00-15:00; Closed on Mondays

Babel Bayside Kitchen (バベル ベイサイド キッチン)

Here, 18 types of craft beer from Japan and overseas are available. Also, the beer lineup changes all the time, so you can enjoy different craft beers every time. Yokohama’s delicious craft beer is accompanied by meat dishes. The restaurant’s specialty grilled dishes are grilled over charcoal for a fragrant and juicy finish

Address: Yokohama Bay Quarter 2F, 1-10 Kinkocho, Kanagawa Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone number: 050-5890-0281
Hours open: 11:00-23:00 (LO 22:00) Open on Sundays


The warm woodgrain interior has a simple and calm atmosphere, so many people recommended it for dates and girls’ nights out. You can also rent out projectors and DJ booths for free and use them for private parties with all-you-can-drink. They have the 8-tap colorful craft beers made in Japan, such as Shonan Gold and Yokohama craft beer.

Address: B1F, 2-12-5 Minamisaiwai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone number: 050-5594-7882
Hours open: [Monday-Thursday, Saturday] 15:00-23:45 (LO 23:00) [Friday only] 15:00-5:00 (LO 4:30)

Final Thoughts

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

Drinking Yokohama craft beer in Japan is a great opportunity to sample the unique tastes and varieties that Yokohama has to offer, as well as the local craft beer scene. You will get the chance to learn about the passion, creativity, and artistry that go into making Yokohama’s beers. Whether you visit neighborhood breweries, participate in beer festivals, or tour beer bars and craft beer enterprises.

We hope that this article has given you valuable information about Yokohama Beer and its culture. So go ahead and pour yourself a glass of this beer. Enjoy its unique flavors, and set out on a lovely adventure into the world of Japanese artisan beer. Cheers!

You can check some Japanese dishes below that we know you would like to try too.

Yokohama beer (横浜ビール)

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