"Sapporo Draft Beer Black Label - The Hokkaido" - First Entry. - Available only in Hokkaido, and for just a limited time!


Made with locally grown barley malt and hops from Furano, this year on April 23rd a special beer has created by Sapporo breweries here in Hokkaido.

It's called "Sapporo Draft Beer Black Label - The Hokkaido."




You might find yourself wondering what kind of beer "Sapporo Black Label" is.

Luckily, one of Japan's best beer museums is located right here in Sapporo! I headed to the museum on a mission to find out more.






The history of Sapporo Beer is linked directly to the development of Hokkaido island as a whole. Take, for example, the company's iconic star icon (★). The Hokkaido Development Commissioner has used this symbol, called the "North Star," for 137 years and counting.


The history of the brewery is well documented at the museum.







As I listened intently to the guide's explanation of the different sections of the museum we eventually made it to the "Black Label" zone.




When first released in 1977, what is now Black Label was called "Sapporo Bottled Draft."

In Japan, the term Draft Beer refers to beers that have not undergone pasteurization.

In a time when pasteurized beers were the norm, Sapporo draft beer quickly became a hit!


At that time, rather than applying a label to the bottle, companies were printing the name directly onto the glass bottle.

When the draft beer was put into these bottle the label appeared to turn a dark black color, so it quickly became known a "Black Label" by its fans.


In other words, the name Black Label was actually created by the customers themselves!





The name was officially changed to "Sapporo Draft Beer Black Label" in 1989, and is still used today.


Today's featured beer, "The Hokkaido" is a unique member of the Black Label family in that it uses ingredients from around Hokkaido.





Ingredients include Hokkaido grown barley malt, hops from Furano, and other Hokkaido agricultural products.


Not only does the beer have a limited availability (Hokkaido only!) but there is also a limited amount of the brew. Beer fans from around the world are headed to Hokkaido to get their hands on a bottle!

The new beer launched on April 23rd of 2013, so if you're in Hokkaido in the near future be sure to pick one up!



■ Sapporo Beer



■ For information about「サッポロ生ビール黒ラベルThe北海道」(Sapporo Beer Black Label - The Hokkaido) please contact:

サッポロビール株式会社お客様センター (Sapporo Breweries Service Center)

TEL: 0120-207-800


■ サッポロビール博物館 (Sapporo Beer Museum)



Location: 札幌市東区北7条東9丁目1-1 サッポロガーデンパーク内

(Inside Sapporo Garden Park, 1-1 Kita 7-Jyo Higashi 9-Chome, Higashi-ku, Sapporo)

TEL: 011-748-1876

● Hours of Operation: 9:00-6:00 (Entry permitted until 5:30)

● Closed on Mondays and the day after holidays. Also Closed on New Year's.

● Admission is free!

※ For more information about guided tours please contact at the number above.


(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)


Photographs provided by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Itsuki.