Visit this museum dedicated to one of Japan’s most popular beer brands, housed in a preserved factory from the Meiji-period.
The Sapporo Beer Museum presents an overview of the history of beer in Japan, with a focus on the famous Sapporo brand. In addition to ranking among Japan’s four major breweries, Sapporo beer is produced, brewed and distributed in dozens of countries around the world. Don’t miss the tastings offered at the end of the brewery tour, as well as the Beer Garden restaurant in the attached 19th-century red-brick building.
The Sapporo Beer Company, one of Japan’s first breweries, was established in the late 19th century. The company purchased an old sugar refinery in 1903 and made it a malt house. In 1987, this Meiji-era factory was renovated to create the Sapporo Beer Museum and the adjacent red-brick building became the Sapporo Beer Garden.
Learn about the beer industry and brewing process by following the modern exhibits inside the museum. See the equipment used in beer production and find out how the design of the Sapporo beer bottles changed over the decades. Admire the retro Sapporo beer posters, as well as old wooden Sapporo signs from beer halls across Japan.
At the end of the guided tour, participate in the beer tasting session, which lasts about 30-minutes. If this primes your palate for a full bottle, head to the two huge restaurants of the adjacent Sapporo Beer Garden. The popular Genghis Khan Hall is designed to resemble a rustic German beer hall. On the second floor, in the Kessel Hall, see a towering cauldron from the Taisho period (1912-26). The Beer Garden offers a popular “all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink in 100 minutes” menu, as well as à la carte dishes. Try the barbecue mutton, a popular local meal.
The Sapporo Beer Museum is closed on Mondays and also has some irregular closing days, so check the opening hours before you go. The museum and the guided tours are free, but you have to pay for the tasting session. Bookings for the restaurant are recommended. The complex is located a short walk away from Higashi-kuyakusho-mae train station and has its own stops on various bus lines.