In 1869, the new Meiji government set about developing Hokkaido, establishing a Kaitakushi (the national government Hokkaido Development Commission). Thereafter, over more than a decade until the post was abolished, many businesses were developed on this northern Japanese island. One of them was the brewing of beer. In June 1876, Seibei Nakagawa, who had recently returned from Germany where he studied the art of beer making, was chosen as brewmaster to oversee construction of a beer factory. That September, the Kaitakushi Brewery was completed. The following year, Sapporo Lager was born, prominently displaying the Pioneers' symbol, the North Star.
This beer is well known for its typical golden colour, its slightly hazy appearance and its fine head is especially characterised by its aroma which results from an agreeable combination of fresh hops and yeast. The beer's flavour, as sensed in the mouth, comes from the smell of hops: above all it is the fruity notes of muscat and raisins that give this beer a particularly attractive aroma. The aroma complements the touch of bitterness. There is no acidity, but an after-bitterness which melts in the mouth. This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised.