BREWING HISTORY

1823

Kiuchi Brewery was established as sake brewery.

The Kiuchi Brewery started sake brewing in 1823 by Kiuchi Gihei, the headman of Kounosu village.
Since then the Kiuchi family has been brewing genuine, quality centered sake for 190 years.

1994

A new challenge to brew beer
- we built from scratch

Previously Japan had a strict alcohol tax law that only four large breweries were allowed to brew beers. The law was then relaxed allowing smaller breweries to brew beers in 1994, so we decided to start a small beer brewery. In the beginning we knew nothing about beer even though we’ve been brewing Japanese sake for centuries, so we’ve asked for some professionals at big beer manufacturers in Japan for advice on developing our business plan. After all the research, we’ve found out that the whole facility and training given by these professionals would cost hundreds of millions of yen.

We were almost obliged to give up the plan, then we found one website of a company called DME solutions who manufacture beer brewing facilities in Canada. As we continued searching online, there were many more websites in America, some even showed detailed information from how to homebrew all the way to how to set up a microbrewery. We contacted DME right way and as a result of having dozens of negotiations we finally purchased the facilities for more than a half price of what Japanese company offered. The staff of DME solutions helped us in every possible way and shared us their all knowledge of how to brew beer. Our brewery plan began to take shape.

1996

Our very first brew, the birth of HITACHINO NEST BEER

August, 1996, A few containers loaded with long-awaited machinery arrived from Canada. The brewing facilities were set up at our new beer brewery which was once used to be the part of sake brew house.
After all the machines, tanks were in place, we first started working on the water & steam pipelines. Normally such an outsourced installation would cost a fortune, but we managed to finish installation with only four of us including Mr. Kiuchi and three other staff. Though it wasn’t a straightforward job, Canadian specifications are not necessarily compatible with Japanese parts, and we also struggled reading English manuals.
By the beginning of September, we had finally completed setting up the whole brewery, start to finish from scratch in 1 month!

Mid September 1996, the long-wished-for-day to brew the very first beer had arrived at last. For our first attempt, we decided to brew a rather traditional European top-fermented ale using British malts and hops. 3rd October, the first fermentation had completed and the filtered beer had been decanted from the beer tank. HITACHINO NEST BEER had been born after 18 months since the project has started.
Mid September 1996, the long-wished-for-day to brew the very first beer had arrived at last.

For our first attempt, we decided to brew a rather traditional European top-fermented ale using British malts and hops. 3rd October, the first fermentation had completed and the filtered beer had been decanted from the beer tank. HITACHINO NEST BEER had been born after 18 months since the project has started.

1997

Winning international beer awards
Not even a year after Nest had been started, we won the award at the international beer competition.

October 1997, HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Gold medal in the Dark Ale category at the first international beer competition in Japan. Our glory didn’t stop there, we’ve won awards in numerous international beer competitions, and that lead us to exporting Hitachino Nest Beer to the USA followed by many countries all over the world.

2008

After 10 years of successful brewing, we started the operating from a new beer brewery location, the Nukada Brew House.

International demands were getting higher, to meet the demand and deliver more beers to Hitachino Nest Beer fans, we moved all the beer brewing facilities to a larger brewery site in Nukada.

Hitachino Nest Beer started with only three beers, and since then we‘ve been adding to the innovative beer line-up every year.
Kiuchi Brewery will continue brewing the best to enrich beer enthusiasts’
Lives every day.

フクロウラベル

How we designed
the famous Owl label ?
We’ve gone through many ideas during the design development of HITACHINO NEST’s beer label.
Here are the some sketches we still think are too good to throw away.

Idea 1: Monk Fish

Monkfish is the local delicacy famous for its rich flavoured dish called “Ankou Nabe (Monkfish hotpot)”.
A local beer for a local dish, this was designed to target the tourist market.

Idea 2: Stork

Kounosu 鴻巣, literally means “Stork Nest”, and that’s where this design came from. Stork is associated with delivering baby, and a symbol for “New life”. Stork is carrying “barley ear” which symbolize “new life” in her beak.

Idea 3: Owl

The Owl design was chosen in the end as a logo of HITACHINO NEST BEER.
We’ve done so many idea sketches of our owl to arrive at the one you know and love.

AWARD
AWARD HISTORY

  • 1997
    International Beer Summit (Japan)

    The first international beer competition held in Osaka, Japan. HITACHINO NEST AMBER ALE won Gold in the dark ale category. The beer stood out from a line-up of 220 beers. The competition held in October, 1997

  • 1998
    International Beer Summit (Japan)

    Participated by 22 countries, 67 breweries, 182 brands. HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the fruit beer category, XH won Silver in the Belgian / Special beer category.

  • 1998
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    Japan’s largest beer contest with 200 Japanese beers entered. HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruit & Spice Beer category.

  • 1998
    World Beer Cup
    (United States)

    The world’s largest beer competition held every two years featuring around 1,000 breweries. HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Silver in the Belgian Dark Ale category, and HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Bronze in the Wit Bier category.

  • 1998
    Toronto Wine & Cheese Show (Canada)

    A competition of Wine, Cheese and other alcohol beverages held in Toronto. HITACHINO NEST IPA won Gold, HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Silver, and HITACHINO NEST ALE PALE ALE won Bronze in the beer category. And our head brewer at that time, Mr. Mark Hammond was selected as the Best Beer Meister 1998.

  • 1999
    Japan Beer Cup (japan)

    The Competition was held at the same time as the Great Japan Beer Festival. HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Gold in the Belgian / Special Beer category. The event attended by 85 Breweries, featured 215 beers.

  • 1999
    The International Beer Summit (Japan)

    Attended by 11 countries, featured 181 beers. HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Bronze in the Fruit & Spice Beer category. HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Silver in the Weiss Bier category.

  • 2000
    DLG German Beer Award (Germany)

    DLG: Deutsche Landwritschafts Gesellschaft ? German Agricultural Society, is responsible for the quality assessment known as DLG Quality test, which most German Breweries register because this assessment is highly trusted by consumers in Germany. The test is strictly assessed by two authorities of brewing research in Germany, Weihenstephan, TUM?Technische Universitat Munchen, and VLB - Berlin University of Technology. The beer passes the DLG tests receive the “DLG award winner”, HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Gold, and HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Silver.

  • 2000
    The Brewing Industry International Awards
    The Millennium Competitions
    (The United Kingdom)

    The competition was held at the birthplace of British Ale, Burton-upon Trent, England in 2000. 40 countries attended and featured 732 beers. The contest category divided into eight, and HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Gold in the Wheat Ale category.

  • 2000
    World Beer Cup
    (United States)

    World Beer Cup featured 1,150 entries from 38 countries. June 19th, 2000, the result was announced at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City and HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE finally won Gold in the Herb & Spice beer category at this world’s largest beer competition.

  • 2000
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    Held at the Great Japan Beer Festival, attended by 65 Japanese Breweries featured 175 beers. HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Gold in the American Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruit & Spice Beer category, and HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Gold in the Belgian / Special Beer category.

  • 2000
    International Beer Summit (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruit & Spice Beer category, and HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Silver in the Belgian / Flanders / Oud Bruin category, HITACHINO NEST BEER WEIZEN won Gold in the South Germany Hefeweizen category. 61 breweries attended with 151 beer entries.

  • 2001
    DLG German Beer Award (Germany)

    HITACHINO NEST WEIZEN won gold at DLG quality test in Germany in 2001. We became the first ever Japanese brewery who won gold at DLG two years in row.

  • 2001
    International Beer Summit (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruit & Spice Beer category, HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Silver in the Belgian / Strong Ale category style, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Gold in the Sake yeast beer category. 66 breweries attended with 133 beer entries.

  • 2002
    The Brewing Industry International Awards
    (The United Kingdom)

    Attended by 30 countries featuring 683 beers. HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the style category of “International specialty beer with other Specialty ingredients”, and also won the absolute pinnacle of “Champion beer” in the “International Specialty Beer “category.

  • 2002
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER SWEET STOUT won Gold in the English Dark Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Gold in the Smoked / Sake Yeast Ale category. Attended by 41 breweries featuring 121 beers.

  • 2002
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Herb & Spice Beer category, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Gold in the Sake Yeast Beer category. Attended by 55 breweries featuring 123 beers.

  • 2003
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruits & Spice Beer category, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Silver in the Sake Yeast Beer category. Attended by 55 breweries featuring 143 beers.

  • 2003
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Belgian style White / Wheat Beer style, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Gold in the Sake Yeast Beer category. HITACHINO NEST BEER NEW YEAR ALE won Gold in the Belgian style Dark Strong Ale category. Attended by 50 breweries featuring 123 beers.

  • 2004
    World Beer Cup
    (The United States)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE again won Gold in the Herb & Spice beer category. This was our second times winning in a row since the World Beer Cup 2002.

  • 2004
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Silver in the Fruits & Spice Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER RED RICE ALE won Bronze in the Smoked Beer / Sake Yeast Beer category, and HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE won Silver in the Free-style Beer category. Attended by 55 breweries featuring 151 beers.

  • 2004
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Silver in the Belgian style White / Wheat Ale style, HITACHINO NEST BEER XH VINTAGE 2002 won Silver in the Dark Strong Ale category. HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE won Silver in the Free-style category. Attended by 55 breweries featuring 141 beers.

  • 2005
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Fruits & Spice Ale category style, HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Gold in the American Light Ale category, and HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Silver in the Belgian / Special Ale category. Attended by 45 breweries featuring 130 beers.

  • 2005
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Silver in the Belgian style White / Wheat Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE matured in Cedar Cask won Gold in the Free-style category. Attended by 61 breweries featuring 141 beers.

  • 2006
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Gold in the Flavored Beer category, HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE won Bronze in the Special Beer category. Attended by 60 breweries featuring 166 beers.

  • 2006
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) won Gold in the Belgian Dark Strong Ale category.

  • 2006年
    World Beer Cup
    (The United States)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE won Bronze in the Barrel Aged Beer category.

  • 2007
    iTQi (International Taste & Quality Institute) & Superior Taste Awards (Belgium)

    The competition was held in Brussels, Belgium. HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Three Golden Stars with a score of 90% and above and the beer awarded as “Exceptional”.

  • 2007
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Silver in the Belgian White Ale category.

  • 2007
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST WHITE ALE won Gold in the Belgian White Ale category.

  • 2008
    World Beer Cup (The United States)

    HITACHINO NEST ESPRESSO STOUT won Silver in the Coffee Flavored Beer category.

  • 2008
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER REAL GINGER ALE won Silver in the Herb & Spiced Beer category, HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Silver in the American Amber Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER ESPRESSO STOUT won Silver in the Sweet Stout category.

  • 2008
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER REAL GINGER ALE won Silver in the Herb & Spices Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER SWEET STOUT won Bronze in the Sweet Stout category.

  • 2009
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Bronze in the Belgian White Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER AMBER ALE won Bronze in the American Amber Ale category.

  • 2010
    Japan Beer Cup (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST WHITE ALE won Silver in the Belgian White Ale category.

  • 2010
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER NIPPONIA won Silver in the Experimental Ale category, HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE won Bronze in the Belgian White Ale category.

  • 2011
    The Brewing Industry
    International Awards (The United Kingdom)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER NEW YEAR ALE won Silver in the International Strong Beer - Strong Ale category.

  • 2011
    Australian International Beer Awards (Australia)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE and HITACHINO NEST BEER JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE both won Bronze medal.

  • 2011
    Japan Asia Beer Cup 2011 (Singapore)

    HITAHINO NEST BEER PALE ALE won Gold medal, NEW YEAR ALE, AMBER ALE, NIPPONIA each won Silver medal.

  • 2011
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE, HITACHINO NEST BEER NIPPONIA, HITACHINO NEST BEER ENGLISH BITTER each won Silver medal. HITACHINO NEST BEER SWEET STOUT won Bronze medal.

  • 2012
    Australian International Beer Awards (Australia)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER NEW YEAR ALE won Silver, HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE, HITACHINO NEST BEER NIPPONIA, HITACHINO NEST BEER ESPRESSO STOUT, HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) each won Bronze medal.

  • 2013
    Australian International Beer Awards (Australia)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER PALE ALE won Silver, HITACHINO NEST BEER WHITE ALE, HITACHINO NEST BEER SWEET STOUT, HITACHINO NEST BEER XH (Extra High) each won Bronze medal.

  • 2013
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER ESPRESSO STOUT and HITACHINO NEST BEER NIPPONIA each won Gold, HITACHINO NEST BEER REAL GINGER ALE, HITACHINO NEST JAPANESE CLASSIC ALE each won Silver. HITAHINO NEST BEER SWEET STOUT won Bronze medal.

  • 2014
    International Beer Competition (Japan)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER LAGAR won Gold, HITACHINO NEST BEER DAI DAI ALE won Silver, HITACHINO NEST BEER ESPRESSO STOUT won Broze medal.

  • 2015
    Australian International Beer Awards (Australia)

    HITACHINO NEST BEER NIPPONIA won Silver, HITACHINO NEST BEER SAISON DU JAPON, HITACHINO NEST BEER ESPRESSO STOUT each won Bronze medal.

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