The first overseas production site
Qingdao, located on the Shandong Peninsula in China, became a leasehold land of Germany in March 1898. The nation’s Oriental armada base was installed there, and the area developed as a European-style city. Germania Beer was incorporated as a producer of German-style beer for the resident German population and the Qing market. In advance of the outbreak of WWI, Germania Beer employed UK investment to relocate the company to Shanghai and change the name to The Anglo-German Brewery Co., Ltd. This is believed to have been a stratagem to avoid seizure by the occupying German army. Given its English source of funding, however, the company was later absorbed by the provisions of legislation against enemy nations. Dainippon Beer, which had been thinking about opening a production site in China, addressed a letter to the foreign minister exploring what possibilities they might have for acquiring the company. In September of 1916, Dainippon Beer formally acquired the brewery. This was the Japanese beer industry’s first foray into overseas production sites.
Sale of Tsingtao Beer
Dainippon Beer named its first overseas production site the Tsingtao Brewery, and it began production in December of 1916. In May of the following year, Tsingtao Beer began shipping out. A sales report issued that year stated that sales of beer were “exceedingly strong,” indicating that the product was well-received. Seeking to stay competitive against European and local beer producers, the Tsingtao Brewery spent several years, starting in 1924, expanding and renovating to become wholly new.