Beer Embracing Subtropical Climate
Orion Breweries, Ltd.
Consisting of numerous islands and with mild subtropical weather, beautiful beaches, abundant sunshine and local hospitality, Okinawa Prefecture hosts world-class resorts and is absolutely the most popular beach area in Japan. Embraced by this climate, Orion Breweries, Ltd. was founded in 1957 when the area was still under U.S. military occupation after World War II.
The company aimed to create employment and a thriving local economy for Okinawa’s independence. At the establishment, they looked for shareholders throughout the prefecture to stay close to the local community, and that founding spirit is still at the heart of the brewery.
Orion Breweries sincerely follows the company motto: Being humble and grateful to their customers, supportive of the local community and contributing to their lives and the food culture. To exemplify this, they open their facility to the public and hold many factory tours. The facility called “Orion Happy Park” and the tour are highly regarded by a popular online travel magazine.
Orion Breweries’ products are exported to 12 countries. In the U.S. market, Orion Premium Draft Beer is the brewery’s only beer available. It boasts a refreshing and mild flavor with a distinct body that goes great with umami-rich Okinawan cuisine, and its long-lasting creamy foam makes you want to have drink after drink.
To produce that flavor, Orion’s brewers searched for optimal water everywhere in the prefecture and finally found “Yanbaru Water,” soft water sourced from Nago City, located in the northern part of the Okinawa main island. Since Okinawa produces mainly hard water due to its soil quality, Yanbaru Water is a rare discovery and a true treat for Orion Breweries. They carefully select ingredients and thoroughly control quality in order to create tastes that satisfy their clients. Orion Premium Draft Beer won the best award in the beer class of the 2014 Northern California Premium Sake Fest, and it is available in both bottles and cans in the U.S.
Orion Breweries, Ltd.
1985-1 Gusukuma, Urasoe-City, Okinawa, JAPAN 901-2551
3 things you should know about Orion Breweries, Ltd.
Signature Beer: Orion Draft Beer
The brewery’s production facility employs an automation system. However, for producing their signature beer, Orion Draft Beer, they still use their beer kobo yeast and the decoction sugaring method for brewing, both of which have been utilized since its foundation in 1957. The beer’s crisp texture and mild flavor perfectly match the climate in Okinawa, which has made it loved for decades.
Orion Happy Park
Opened in 2011, the facility for the factory tour shares the step by step process of making tasty beer. After the tour, visitors can taste freshly made beer. Occasionally it offers limited edition beer exclusively at the factory. It is also equipped with a gift shop, so visitors can both bring memories back home as well as buy souvenirs for families and friends.
In 2001, the brewery obtained ISO14001 certification, criteria for the environment management system. They strive to reduce the waste produced while brewing beer. For example, the malt lees are used as cattle forage in Okinawa. The brewery achieved “zero emission” in 2006, and they have succeeded in maintaining this status ever since.