German braumeister Christian Mitterbauer arrived in Japan in 1997. Making his way to East Asia from the town of Regensburg along the picturesque Danube River, Mitterbauer is the fourth generation in an unbroken line of beer craftsmen that began with his great-grandfather. He holds national braumeister qualification in Germany certifying him as a legitimate brewer of beer.
Our young Japanese artisans worked on-site under Mitterbauer for five years learning the craft of beer brewing, and carry on his lessons to this day. The wisdom Mitterbauer shared is still preserved at the core of Coedo’s operations today with certain new innovations added. As the fifth generation in the Mitterbauer line, our Coedo artisans will continue making beer as they were taught and pass this knowledge on to future generations.
Beer as a natural process
In a sense, one can think of brewing artisans as simply overseeing a giant natural system, since it is the living microscopic yeast that actually produces the beer. What our craft brewers do is create an environment where these yeast can thrive, making sure they are at a comfortable temperature, and protecting them from threatening invaders.
Cleaning tasks take up half of every brewing day, and maintaining cleanliness and sanitation in the brewery is a critical part of making beer.
Our standards are so strict that our artisans are prohibited from eating yogurt, fermented soybeans called natto, or other cultured food products. The bacteria in these fermented products are lethal to yeast, and we cannot take the risk of introducing into the brewing site.
The wort that is made during the preparation stage is simply food for the yeast. Understanding the unique qualities of each type of yeast tells our artisans how to prepare the best meal for it—and distinctive beer is the result. Craft beer brewers must keep this image firmly in their minds from both a scientific and artistic perspective.
Tools of the trade
An artisan brewer’s job goes beyond the act of brewing—a critical part of what they do is maintaining the tools of the trade. When the restrictions on microbreweries in Japan were lifted, there was a sudden explosion of new brewing sites—and few domestic suppliers who had experience building smaller facilities. This forced many microbreweries to rely on imported brewing equipment.
The equipment used at Coedo is made in Germany. We took great pains to identify the parts which may break and have ordered replacements to keep at our brewery should the need arise. Also, if something goes wrong with the equipment, we must perform all maintenance and repairs by looking at the German drawings. But our brewers slowly make their way through the difficult language and adjust the equipment themselves.
Artisans as ambassadors
Even after their beer is brewed, bottled, and ready to be enjoyed, the work of the Coedo artisan brewers is not finished. They still are responsible for getting the word out about Beer Beautiful. The moment a beer falls into a person’s hands, our artisans are no longer producers but communicators—ambassadors for the passion of Coedo and its commitment to the joys of beer. Finally, their most satisfying moment has come.
Coedo artisans’ brewing philosophy
Beer is a natural gift, born from wide, fertile plains of wheat and crystal clean water.
A staple of the European culinary culture for centuries, beer has since captured the imagination of people everywhere—and today is enjoyed regularly in countless varieties around the world.
Beer has always been about color, aroma, taste, and pure, smooth-drinking delight. Each aspect of its character provides a distinctive and lively sensory experience. At Coedo, we are proud to offer our wide selection of beers to the world, which range in hue from the deep crimson of a uniquely Japanese beer made with native sweet potatoes to the classic golden hue of our traditional pilsner.
Today, the artisan brewers of Coedo use only the finest ingredients, which they expertly prepare by their own hand using Japan’s famous pure water and an artisan touch. The result is world-class beer.
Their philosophy is not to pursue beers that are flashy and overtly unique, but to create exquisite, delicately balanced craft products through painstaking attention to the smallest detail. This is Coedo—this is Beer Beautiful.
Today, the Coedo Brewery strives to respect and preserve the insight and wisdom of our forefathers while taking advantage of our modern age in which we may proudly offer our uniquely Japanese beers to the world.