Japanese craft beer is definitely not a term that is that widely known in the beer world. Besides the big five beer industries (Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory, and Yebisu), the craft beer industry of Japan did not exist 26 years ago. However, since its creation, it has grown rapidly and became a leading industry of the craft beer market in East Asia.

To help you find the best Japanese craft beer in Japan, we have prepared a craft beer in Japan essential guide, that you should give a quick read, including thisĀ reviewbrewery guide.

Yona Yona Ale
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Yona Yona Ale is one of the most popular craft beer in the Japanese market. It has a citrus flavor combined with floral and a touch of spice. There is a slight sweetness combined with the bitter taste of hops which makes it easier to drink than most. The alcoholic content is 5.5 percent, and you should be able to find it in most convenience stores throughout the year.

Swan Lake Beer
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Made by the same brewery that won two World Beer Awards (2000 and 2006), they are famed for their consistency in creating high-quality craft beers. A touch of caramel adds a certain sweetness when combined with malts, the smoke of roasted hops and a nutty aroma. Definitely a memorable taste that beer lovers should try.

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Kiuchi- the company that made this ale- originally started making traditional Japanese sake, it wasn’t until they began producing beer that they became so popular internationally. The beer has a relatively amber color with a caramel taste that is similar to the Black-Forest gateau and chocolate. This ends with a moderately bitter finish which makes it easy to drink. Suitable for beginners of Japanese craft beers!

Sankt Gallen Shonan Gold
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

The brewery of this beer is said to be the original pioneers of Japanese craft beers. Upon drinking, you will notice a strong hint of orange and grapes which creates a cooling drinking sensation. Try out their stout created coffee beans that had been excreted from elephants as well for something truly different!

Hitachino Nest White Ale
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Hitachino Nest White Ale is brewed in Belgian style with a refreshing mix of orange peel, nutmeg, and coriander. You will notice a wheaty flavor with a strong nutmeg spice, ending with a crisp, herbal taste. Give this a try for a distinct taste in Japanese craft beers.

Minoh Beer
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Minoh Beer has various awards for boasting the best IPA and stouts in the country. Their beer is famed to not possess and filtering or heating process while brewing which makes the beer significantly fresher than usual.

Suruga Bay Imperial IPA
The 9 Best Japanese Craft Beer you Must Try in Japan

Baird Brewery’s Suruga Bay Imperial IPA stands out for its distinct dry taste. There is a strong hint of hop which was only achieved through a process of drying and various fermenting stages. The balance between aroma, flavor, and bitterness is praiseworthy and will definitely leave a lasting impression on you.