Asahi Breweries

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. (アサヒグループホールディングス株式会社, Asahi Gurūpu Hōrudingusu kabushiki gaisha) is a Japanese global beer, spirits, soft drinks and food business group headquartered in Sumida, Tokyo.

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.
Native name
TypePublic (K.K)
TYO: 2502
TOPIX Large 70 Component
PredecessorOsaka Breweries, Ltd
Founded1889; 134 years ago (1889)
Key people
Akiyoshi Koji (President and Representative Director, CEO)
ProductsBeer, beverages
RevenueIncrease ¥2.120 trillion (2018)[1]
Increase ¥221.383 billion (2018)
Increase ¥150.938 billion (2018)
Total assetsIncrease ¥3.079 trillion (2018)
Total equityIncrease ¥1.149 trillion (2018)

In 2019, the group had revenue of JPY 2.1 trillion. Asahi's business portfolio can be segmented as follows: alcoholic beverage business (40.5%), overseas business (32%), soft drinks business (17.2%), food business (5.4%) and "other" business (4.9%).[2] Asahi, with a 37% market share, is the largest of the four major beer brewers in Japan followed by Kirin Beer with 34% and Suntory with 16%.[3] In response to a maturing domestic Japanese beer market, Asahi broadened its geographic footprint and business portfolio inorganically through the acquisition of highly coveted beer businesses in Western Europe and Central Eastern Europe.[4] This has resulted in Asahi having a large market share in many European countries, such as a beer market share of 44% in the Czech Republic, 32% in Poland, 36% in Romania, and 18% in Italy.[5]


Asahi was founded in Osaka in 1889 as the Osaka Beer Company (大阪麦酒会社, Ōsaka Bakushu Kaisha).[6] During World War I, German prisoners worked in the brewery.[7]

In 1990, Asahi acquired a 19.9% stake in Australian brewery giant Elders IXL which has since become the Foster's Group, later sold to SABMiller.

In 2009, Asahi acquired the Australian beverages unit Schweppes Australia,[8] now known as Asahi Beverages.

In early 2009, Asahi acquired 19.9% of Tsingtao Brewery from Anheuser-Busch InBev for $667 million. The sale made Asahi Breweries, Ltd. the second largest shareholder in Tsingtao behind only the Tsingtao Brewery Group.[9]

In July 2011, Asahi acquired New Zealand juice maker Charlie's and the water and juice divisions of Australian beverage company P&N Beverages.[10]

In August 2011, Asahi acquired New Zealand's Independent Liquor, maker of Vodka Cruiser and other alcoholic beverages, for ¥97.6 billion.[11]

In May 2013 its New Zealand operations expanded with the purchase of retail chain Mill Liquorsave.[12] Also, Asahi acquired the Australian brands and assets of Cricketers Arms and Mountain Goat Brewery in 2013 and 2015, respectively.[13]

The first of these transactions happened as a result of Anheuser-Busch InBev (InBev) agreeing in April 2016 to sell its Dutch business Grolsch Brewery, Italian business Peroni Brewery and the UK's craft Meantime Brewery and SABMiller Brands UK to Asahi; this €2.3 billion deal closed on 12 October 2016.[14][15] After Inbev's acquisition of SABMiller in October 2016, InBev agreed to sell the former SABMiller Ltd.'s Eastern European businesses and relevant assets in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to Asahi for US $7.3 billion. The deal closed on 21 December 2016 and included beer brands such as Pilsner Urquell, Velkopopovický Kozel, Topvar, Tyskie, Lech, Dreher and Ursus.[16][17]

In 2017, the company sold its 19.9% stake of Tsingtao Brewery for $937 million.[18]

In 2019, the company bought Fuller's beer business from Fuller, Smith & Turner plc for an enterprise value of £250 million. The assets sold comprised the entirety of Fuller's beer, cider and soft drinks brewing and production, wine wholesaling, as well as the distribution thereof and also includes the Griffin Brewery, Cornish Orchards, Dark Star Brewing and Nectar Imports [19]

In May 2020, the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approved the company's $16 billion bid for Carlton & United Breweries, and the deal will see Asahi ending up with about 48.5 per cent share of the Australian beer market.[20]


The company's primary beer, from 1957 through the late 1980s, was Asahi Gold (overtaking Asahi Draft, its original formula, which remains in production). However, Asahi Super Dry, introduced in 1987, is now the company's flagship beer brand.

Asahi Super Dry
350 ml can
500 ml bottle

Asahi Super Dry, a product that transformed the modern beer industry in Japan, is described as a highly attenuated lager without the heavier malt flavors of competitors' products, with a crisp, dry taste reminiscent of some northern German beers.[21] This highly successful launch led to a significant rise in consumer demand for dry beer and in turn to a dramatic turnaround in Asahi's business performance, surpassing Kirin in terms of both sales and profitability.

Other beers produced include:

  • Asahi Draft – Lager (first produced in 1892)
  • Asahi Gold – Lager (former flagship product; first produced in 1957)
  • Asahi Stout
  • Asahi Z – Dry lager
  • Asahi Black – a 5% abv dark lager
  • Asahi Prime Time – German Pilsener style lager (only available in Japan)

Brands acquired from Anheuser-Busch InBev:

Asahi Beer HallEdit

Asahi Breweries' headquarters in Tokyo were designed by French designer Philippe Starck. The Beer Hall is considered one of Tokyo's most recognizable modern structures.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2018_annual_financial_statement". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Fact book" (PDF). 2019. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
  4. ^ "Asahi Group's History". ASAHI GROUP HOLDINGS.
  5. ^ "Factbook 2020" (PDF). August 6, 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  6. ^ a b Oliver, Garrett, ed. (2012). The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-19-536713-3.
  7. ^ Romein, Jan (1962). The Asian Century: A History of Modern Nationalism in Asia. University of California Press. p. 124.
  8. ^ Palmer, Daniel (December 25, 2008). "Asahi acquires Cadbury's Schweppes, Coca-Cola still eligible to make counter offer". Australian Food News. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  9. ^ "Asahi buying Tsingtao stake". The New York Times. February 3, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  10. ^ Fujimura, Naoko; Withers, Tracy (July 4, 2011). "Asahi Group to Purchase Charlie's, P&N Water, Juice Units". Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  11. ^ Kachi, Hiroyuki (August 18, 2011). "Asahi to buy Independent Liquor". The Australian. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  12. ^ McBeth, Paul (May 20, 2013). "Independent Liquor buys Mill chain for undisclosed sum". Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  13. ^ Lynch, Jared (28 September 2015). "Asahi buys Australian craft beer brewer Mountain Goat". Fairfax Media. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  14. ^ Phil Serafino; Rachel Chang (2016-04-19). "AB InBev Accepts Asahi Offer to Buy Grolsch, Peroni and Meantime Beer Brands". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  15. ^ Evison, James (12 October 2016). "Asahi Completes acquisition of Miller Brands U.K." Morning Advertiser. William Reed Business Media. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Asahi Group to buy InBev beer brands for $7.8bn". Financier Worldwide. Financier Worldwide. February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Anheuser-Busch InBev to Sell Former SABMiller's Central and Eastern European Business to Asahi". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Asahi to sell Tsingtao Brewery stake to Fosun, others for $937 million". Reuters. 2017-12-20. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  19. ^[bare URL]
  20. ^ Gray, Darren (2020-05-07). "Japanese brewer Asahi's $16 billion bid for CUB gets FIRB approval". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  21. ^ Oliver, Garrett (2012). The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. p. 503. ISBN 978-0-19-536713-3.

External linksEdit