For many in Japan’s craft beer industry, this year has been one of making hard choices and doing what it takes to keep the doors open.
While the toughest times coincided with the state of emergency in April and May, many bars and restaurants still face challenges. Almost as soon as the downturn began, people in the industry sought ways to keep going, from maintaining connections with fans to finding alternative ways to keep the lights on.
Ise Kadoya, a company in Mie Prefecture, went online, hosting live drinking parties on YouTube to publicize a crowdfunding campaign on Campfire. President Narihiro Suzuki and head brewer Zenichi Deguchi took questions from viewers online and interviewed brewery employees, all while drinking craft beer from their brewery and others around Japan, and sampling food from local restaurants.