Kirin to make, sell Ichiban Shibori beer in Myanmar

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Kirin Holdings will begin brewing and selling its flagship Ichiban Shibori beer in Myanmar as early as this month.

The Japanese brewer will make the premium beer at the Yangon plant of Myanmar Brewery, which Kirin acquired last summer. It will initially provide it to Japanese restaurants and other high-end eateries, and aims to supply around 150 outlets within the year. Cans and bottles for retail stores will be rolled out gradually in the future.

Ichiban Shibori will be sold to restaurants for just under 300 yen ($2.67) per bottle, around 50% more than typical local beer and in the same price range as premium European brands.

Myanmar Brewery has an 80% share of the country’s market. Most of its products are in lower price ranges and it has lacked a high-end lineup to challenge European brewers. By selling Ichiban Shibori along with Myanmar Brewery’s existing brands, Kirin aims to offer beer in a wide range of prices and fight back against European competitors.

Kirin sold the equivalent of 5.42 million 20-bottle cases of its beer brands overseas in 2015. It is targeting 6% growth to 5.72 million cases in 2016.