In the 1800s, young adventurer Seibei Nakagawa broke the law by leaving Japan and sailing to Europe where he learned to brew. On his return he created a beer in 1876 that you can still drink today
In the 1600s-1800s, Japan was ruled with isolationist foreign policies that attempted to preserve Japanese culture and language by minimizing contact with foreigners and forbidding Japanese people from travelling abroad. Amidst this climate and risking execution, a young 17-year old Seibei Nakagawa decided to smuggle himself on a ship bound for Europe, seeking adventure.
THE BREW APPRENTICE
After years in England, Nakagawa sailed to Germany where he eventually learned the art of brewing, something he brought back to Japan as the country’s first German-trained brewmaster. Here he was appointed to oversee the construction of a beer factory on the island of Hokkaido in 1876, and a year later Sapporo Lager was born. Pictured above: the Sapporo Beer Museum in Japan
Exported to the US in 1964, Sapporo is now the biggest-selling Asian beer in America, a country with arguably as much of an obsession with lager as New Zealand. Here Kiwis can get their hands on Sapporo Original Draft, a refreshing lager with a crisp, refined flavour and clean finish (5% ABV). Pictured above: the Sapporo Beer Museum
MAN OF STEEL
Prominently displaying the pioneers’ symbol of the North Star, the Sapporo Original Draft signature steel can was created in Japan in 1984. Inspired by a tumbler glass, the 650ml can originally had a removable top to resemble the experience of drinking from a tumbler and is called “Kappu Nama – “Kappu” meaning “cup” and “nama” meaning “draft”.
Sapporo Original Draft is available at Liquorland stores, RRP$6.50 for a 650ml can. Also available in 355ml bottles and 6-packs.