Japan’s cider scene is on an upward trajectory. Nikkei Trendy magazine even included domestic craft cider on its “2021 Hit Forecast Ranking,” where the beverage came in at No. 18 (out of 30). Although COVID-19 has made it challenging to plan promotional activities, stakeholders in the cider industry are quietly confident that the time is ripe for this apple-based alcoholic beverage to gain prominence.

One such stakeholder is Kota Seito, the manager at TDM 1874, a brewery, liquor store and bar in Yokohama. Seito and his team hope that domestically produced cider will be the next big thing after wine in Japan.

“The alcohol content is lower than wine, and so in a way it is (also) more health-conscious than beer," he says. "I believe there is a niche for cider as it fits the current trend in the alcohol industry.”