HISTORYTerroir of COEDO
Origin of COEDO
COEDO was founded by a family which started organic farming with the concept of “peace, safe, and delicious” early in 1970s in the city of Kawagoe where agriculture is one of the core industries for some hundreds years. There is a historical approach to keep the soil healthy by growing barley as a green manure in the area of Kawagoe, Saitama. The present organic farmers haven’t harvest the barley but just mix them into the soil for keeping their soils in good condition. “Are these barley able to be utilized to produce beers? “, this was the initial motive for letting us start a brewery.
COEDO Brewing is Born
Unfortunately there is no independent malting industry in Japan. This fact means that it is difficult for local brewers to get the malt of the barley or wheat locally cultivated for lack of malt-producer. We also had to give up to make use of our local barley to produce beers. However, thanks to this situation, we hit on an idea to utilize sweet potato which has been one of the most popular and well known agricultural produce from our region, Kawagoe, Saitama. Especially we picked up the ones which were thrown away simply because their size and shape are not ideal for the customers’ eyes at the retail shops. We can assure our eco-friendly approach and sustainability as a business entity too. We succeeded to develop the recipe of the world first sweet potato beer in 1996. This beer was our first brew at COEDO brewery and the archetype of present “Beniaka”.
We thank that we have belonged to the agricultural community in Kawagoe because COEDO can’t be born without this background.
Japan’s local beer boom
An easing of legal restrictions in 1994 paved the way for a number of microbreweries to throw open their doors, and the Japanese local beer movement was born. Small-batch brewing required craftspeople with extensive training, but the sudden explosion of locally owned breweries meant that there were not enough brewmasters to go around—and techniques often remained rough and unsophisticated.
Most of these brewing sites catered to tourists, and ended up making beers that were more souvenirs than substantive products. Curiosity fueled the boom at first, but these relatively expensive beers were often an acquired taste, and soon had a firm reputation for being largely unlikeable.
The local beer boom eventually began to die down, dealing no small blow to the Coedo Brewery’s operations.
Lessons from Christian Mitterbauer
In order to learn brewing techniques from a true master, Coedo invited Christian Mitterbauer IV, a German who comes from a long line of braumeisters, to teach them what he knew. Coedo’s brewmasters studied under Mitterbauer on-site for five full years to learn his craft. The artisan brewers of Coedo form the heart of our operations, having inherited Mitterbauer’s pride in strict, time-tested craftsmanship and a passion for keeping traditional techniques alive. The Coedo Brewery, circa 1997
Christian Mitterbauer teaches the art of brewing beer
From Local Beer to Premium Craft Beer
In 2006, Coedo decided to forgo the usual “local beer” classification, which is often associated with souvenir products in Japan, in favor of the term “craft beer”. We believe that this new designation more accurately reflects Coedo’s distinctive combination of small-batch artisan techniques and authentic craftsmanship learned directly from a German braumeister, and hope it brings new awareness to the people of Japan.
We hope that our catchphrase, Beer Beautiful, communicates the wonder and delight of beer. In this sense, we consider ourselves beer ambassadors, on a mission to communicate the joy of living a life in which beer is properly respected and enjoyed.
COEDO Craft Beer 1000 Labo
The main concept of 1000 Lab is our love to beer create as many as varieties of styles as if 1000 different kinds of beer in 1000 litter experimental brew-house. We open up our doors to show you, without reservation, our experimental craft beer related activities at a taproom established together with 1000 Labo.
1000 Lab will let you experience a variety of seminars, workshops, and collaborations that even leap over the fence that has divided the craft beer field for a long time. All in an effort to allow more people to expose themselves to the complexities of craft beer and the craft beer industry as a whole.
1000 Lab’s facilities are connected to a taproom named “香麦-Xiangmai-”, which is also an outcome of a collaboration with SLB Company, a local restaurant firm in Saitama, Japan.
We recommend enjoying COEDO beer with modern Chinese cuisine at Xiangmai. Chef Nagase who had successively served as a chef at several other Chinese restaurants such as KIHACHI China will lead us to another world to enjoy craft beer with an essence of Yumcha, the Chinese custom to eat light food as having Chinese tea.
new production brewery
We built a new production brewery by moving previous brewery in the full of greenery suburb of Kawagoe in 1996. We aimed to pursuit sustainable brewing activities with nature. We took over a 80s beautiful building which had been used as a training center of a big manufacturing company and renovated it into a brewery. It stands on the hill of the forest and where we can draw natural mineral water that is good for brewing. Waste water is disposed to throw into a river and 100% of spent grains is supplied to feed cattle near the brewery.
What started as a tentative experiment in 1996 has now become a global phenomenon, as Coedo continues to garner accolades in tasting contests at home and abroad.
Our team of dedicated, hard-working artisans bring to their craft the delicate sensibilities of the Japanese spirit—and this painstaking approach has earned them fans around the world.
Our Beniaka beer is distinctively Japanese in its use of the sweet potatoes grown in the tranquil farmlands of Kawagoe. We know that as Japanese we have something special to offer the world of beer, and are proud to offer people near and far the experience of Coedo—a true Japanese craft brew.