Yebisu Beer falls on hard times
Yebisu Beer had become a household name in Tokyo as a hugely popular Kanto region beer, but in 1903, when the Sapporo Beer Tokyo Brewery began shipping Sapporo Beer, volume was 30% lower than the year prior. Not only had Nippon Beer handed its long-held crown to Osaka Beer, but it was edged out by Sapporo Beer, too, falling into third place.
A merger not without difficulties
Three firms merge to form Dainippon Beer
Key in brokering understanding through the complex merger was Keigo Kiyoura, Minister of Agriculture and Commerce. Having held the post of Minister of Agriculture and Commerce under the first Katsura cabinet, he was active in promoting the integration of companies in various fields as a way to cement Japan’s international competition. Among these were growing industries like exports. Kiyoura invited the three presidents and brokered understanding between them. His enthusiastic appeals led to, in March 1906, the creation of the Dainippon Beer Brewery, which was Japan’s largest brewery with 70% of the share of the market. Makoshi was appointed as president. Makoshi would later refer to Dainippon Beer as the “King of Eastern Beer,” growing it into the largest beer concern east of the Suez Canal.