Fueled by an adventurous spirit, Seibei Nakagawa left Japan at the age of 17 at a time when doing so was strictly forbidden. His travels eventually led him to Germany where he learned the craft of brewing, a craft he would apply back home in 1876 as Sapporo’s first brewmaster.


Launch of Sapporo Lager

In 1877, “Cold-brewed Sapporo Beer” was finally made available for sale in Tokyo. The “cold-brewed” part of the name refers to the German method of fermentation and maturation at low temperatures, which Seibei Nakagawa was very confident with after his years of training there.


Sapporo Breaks Into the North American Market

In April 1964, Sapporo Beer was imported into the United States. By March of 1972, Sapporo opened it’s first office in San Francisco, capitalizing on the massive increase in Japanese-run restaurants and businesses on America’s west coast.


Sapporo Reaches #1

In 1985, after only 5 years of official importing, Sapporo secured the long-coveted #1 market share of Japanese beer in North America. An achievement we still hold, nearly 40 years later.


Launch of Sapporo Premium Beer in North America

In 2002, “SAPPORO PREMIUM BEER” became an overseas-exclusive brand.


After years of partnering on distribution, Sleeman Breweries of Canada joins the Sapporo Group of Companies.


Sapporo launches its first ever innovation in Canada, Sapporo Black.  Emblematic of our pioneering spirit and a passion for craftsmanship that goes back 150 years, Sapporo Black Lager is bold and flavourful, yet smooth and crisp in the classic Sapporo tradition.


Sapporo Premium Beer is still the #1 selling Asian beer brand in North America