The only beer museum in Japan “Sapporo Beer Museum” has been renovated and re-opened on 21 April 2016! You can taste the “Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei Bakushu” (Reproduced Sapporo Beer), the reproduction of beer at the time of Sapporo Beer’s establishment if you participate in the fee-charging Premium Tour. There is a surprise in the very first 6K theater in Hokkaido, too!
What is “Sapporo Beer Museum?”“Sapporo Beer Museum is the only beer museum in Japan. It is located in the Sapporo Garden Park where Sapporo Biergarten is also located.
▲Sapporo Beer Museum. It is designated as the official “Hokkaido Heritage” as “The Group of Factory and Memorial House in Sapporo Naebo Area”.
The number of visitors reached 5 million at the 28th year since the opening on 3 July 1987. The 5 millionth visitor was celebrated with presents in February 2016.
▲The anniversary ceremony of 5 million visitors to Sapporo Beer Museum. (3 February 2016)
The renovation after 11 years started from 11 February, the first day of the closure due to the renovation. Then, on the 140th anniversary day of the foundation of former Sapporo Beer, “Kaitakushi (Hokkaido Development Commission) Brewery”, 21 April 2016, successfully re-opened.
“Sapporo Gallery” on the second floor tells the history of Sapporo CityThe biggest change in the renovation is that they put the focus of the exhibition to “history”. The history of Hokkaido is the history of development. Especially the history of Sapporo City, where Hokkaido Development Commissioner was sent, directly overlaps with the history of Sapporo Beer.
▲Sapporo Gallery on the 2nd floor of Sapporo Beer Museum
Exhibitions are clearly cut into pieces; such as Hokkaido Development Commissioner’s activity or the history of domestic beer production.
▲One of the exhibitions of Sapporo Gallery. The number “11” is displayed on the left of the exhibition title. You can follow the numbers from 1, or start from the exhibition you are interested.
▲Eiichi Shibuya was in the NHK morning drama broadcasted until this April! I never knew that he was related to Sapporo City and Sapporo Beer. I felt a strong affinity to him.
The history taught in school become very clear and the figure of Sapporo we never knew appeared as I walked the exhibition. There is the huge “Wort Boiling Iron Pot” on the floor of Sapporo Gallery. The Wort Boiling Iron Pot was displayed before the renovation, the exhibition as big as this stayed the same. You can see this closely at the spiral aisle.
▲The huge “Wort Boiling Iron Pot”. This is designated first in Hokkaido, as the Important Science Technology Resource in Hokkaido by National Science Museum in 2011.
The first 6K theater in Hokkaido “Premium Theater”. A surprise is here!Entering Sapporo Beer Museum is basically free. But after the fee-charging “Premium Tour” has started from the re-opening. The brand communicator staffs will show the museum around with explanation about the establishment of Sapporo Beer, “Dai Nippon Beer Era” which led the beer industry in Japan, and the present day.
▲The brand communicator guiding the Premium Tour
There are numbers put on each exhibition of Sapporo Gallery, so they clearly say “look at the No.2 exhibition”, “next, I will show you No.9”, instead of vaguely saying “look here”. It was really clear to visitors.
And, the special program of the Premium Tour is the Hokkaido’s first 6K theater, “Premium Theater”.
▲Sapporo Beer Museum’s “Premium Theater”
You will not be able to see this unless you participate in fee-charging Premium Tour.
▲The inside of Sapporo Beer Museum’s “Premium Theater”.
Premium Theater plays either one of two videos, each about 10 minutes long. The one is about Kiyobei Nakagawa, who is the first person to make beer in Japan with domestic ingredients; another one is about Hisanari Murahashi, who built Kaitakushi Brewery in Sapporo which was first planned to be built in Tokyo.
The story told with valuable resources, photographs, and reproduced videos moves my heart. Then after the 10 minutes video, there is a surprise in the Premium Theater!!!
… but I will not tell you the secret.
Only the people who participated in the Premium Tour can experience this, so if you have a chance to stop by Sapporo Beer Museum, I recommend to participate in the Premium Tour.
The privilege to attendees to the Premium Tour is free tasting of “Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei Bakushu” (Reproduced Sapporo Beer) and “Kuro Label”There is another privilege to the attendees to the Premium Tour. That is the free tasting of “Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei Bakushu” (Reproduced Sapporo Beer) the reproduction of beer at the time of Sapporo Beer’s establishment, and “Sapporo Draft Beer Kuro Label” at the Star Hall on the first floor.
▲Free tasting is the privilege to attendees to the Premium Tour. “Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei Bakushu” (on the left) and “Sapporo Draft Beer Kuro Label”.
“Fukkoku Sapporo-Sei Bakushu” is a bit cloudy and felt strong flavor as I tasted a sip. Drinking “Sapporo Draft Beer Kuro Label” after this felt really refreshing! You can enjoy Sapporo Beer’s “history of tastes” here.
▲Free visitors too can taste Sapporo Development Commissioner Brewery’s “Kaitakushi (Hokkaido Development Commissioner) Beer”, Sapporo Classic Beer, and Sapporo Draft Beer Kuro Label here with charge.
▲The chandelier of the Star Hall is made with beer bottles!
As the renovation, the general reception moved to here tooAs the renovation of Sapporo Beer Museum, “The General Reception” has moved to the entrance on the first floor of Sapporo Beer Museum.
▲The General Reception on the first floor of Sapporo Beer Museum
The reception for the fee-charging Premium Tour is on the left of The General Reception.
▲The reception for the Premium Tour
Also, the Museum Shop is located on the right of The General Reception. There are items limited to this shop, so enjoy shopping after visiting the museum or had Genghis Khan and beer at the Sapporo Biergarten.
▲Sapporo Beer Museum’s Museum Shop
Sapporo City citizens of course, but all the people in Hokkaido should visit this museum. Also for the travelers or business trippers from outside of Hokkaido and outside of Japan, this place is highly recommended by Hokkaido Likers as the new sightseeing spot in Sapporo to make your trip memorable!
Related Links- Sapporo Beer Museum
- Sapporo Holdings
- Sapporo Beer
Hokkaido Likers writer Takako Chiba
Photograph by / Tomoya Suwa