Meguro Beer Factory (The Yebisu Beer Story)

In Meguro, there was #Sapporo Brewery's #Beer Factory, famous for #Ebisu Beer. This is a story about Ebisu Beer.
始 ま り ️ The beginning of the beer industry
In 1887 (Meiji 20) when electricity was first lit in Tokyo, Jiro Katsura was founded and founded a Japanese barley brewing company. In an era of rapid adoption of European and American technologies and cultures, beer began to circulate throughout Tokyo, and beer companies were established throughout Japan. One of them was a Japanese barley brewing company, which called for a manufacturing factory in one of the six villages in the Meguro area, Oshima in Mita village.
■ Introducing German technology, craftsmen and malt
The site of the factory is about 18,848 square meters. We purchased brewing machinery and malt from Germany and invited engineers to aim for beer brewing that is not inferior to Western products. The reason for importing even malt was because the quality of domestic barley at that time was not suitable for beer brewing, so it was in a situation where it was impossible to compete with imported beer.
■ Birth of Yebisu Beer
In 1890 (Meiji 23), Yebisu Beer was launched under the trademark Ebisu Beer. The initial annual sales target is 3 million bottles. Because of its low profile, it was pushed by imported beer and became a de facto umbrella of Mitsui. It seems that the reputation of the beer itself was excellent. After #Magoshi Kyohei, who was dispatched by Mitsui, became the president, the president himself worked on sales promotion. In 1900 (Meiji 33), the first beer hall in Tokyo was opened in Ginza With the rivals such as soba, Osaka and Sapporo beer, we opened up the store and improved our business performance.
Nippon Beer Co., Ltd. merged with Osaka Beer and Sapporo Beer in 1906 (Meiji 39) to become Dai Nippon Beer Co., Ltd. with a market share of over 70%. "They said.

理由 ️ Two reasons for making a beer factory in Meguro
By the way, looking at the documents at the time of establishment, no one in the Meguro region can be found among the shareholders of the company. So why was Meguro selected for the factory construction site?
The first reason is water. Beer making requires good quality and plenty of water. It is said that 15 to 20 times more water is needed to make one beer. Abundant water, such as Mita irrigation water flowing through Mita Village and spring water often found in the Meguro River basin, triggered factory construction. Moreover, Mitamura Oshima is relatively high, and it was very convenient to drain such a large amount of water.
Second, it was close to the consumer market. At the time when the transportation and transportation facilities were not developed, it takes time to deliver beer packed in heavy bottles to consumption areas, so if the factory is too far away, the cost will increase. The freshness of beer is also impaired. It was impossible to store beer for a long time at the technical level at that time. In terms of delivery, the railroad (current Yamanote Line), which is a major means of transporting beer, was opened between Shinjuku and Meguro in 1885 (Meiji 18), and passed right next to the factory site. One of the reasons. “Ebisu Station” was built in 1901 (Meiji 34) as a cargo station for shipping Yebisu Beer.

◼️ Meguro villagers and beer
This large factory, which appeared in Meguro, had a considerable impact on the modernization of the region. In terms of Meguro village politics, the company's tax payments were exceptionally high, and while the finances were good, four out of twelve members were sent to the village council, and a considerable remark was made to the village politics. It seems that he had the right.
In addition, farmers who have used Mita water for agricultural use have complained that if they use water for beer production, there is a shortage of irrigation water. In other words, there was often water contention between Meguro farmers and factories.
◼️ From a modern factory town to a stylish town
In 1949 (Showa 24), it was divided into “Nippon Beer Co., Ltd.” by the “Excessive Economic Concentration Elimination Law”. It was in 1964 (Showa 39) that it became Sapporo Beer Co., Ltd., triggered by “Sapporo Beer” sold only in Hokkaido.
Sapporo Beer Ebisu Factory, which produced 1 million bottles of beer per day in large bottles, was changed from a factory town to a stylish town in 1996 as an Ebisu Garden Place. Thus, the complex facility “Ebisu Garden Place” was born, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Yebisu Beer Memorial, and a movie theater.
The image of the factory can be seen at the #Ebisu Beer Memorial Hall .

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