Kirin Brewery Co., the Japanese-based firm, aims to make its beer available to bars and supermarkets instead of just Japanese restaurants and to triple U.S. sales to $45 million within four years.
The firm, the world's second-largest beverage company, recently reached an agreement with Canada's Molson Co. for Molson to produce Kirin beer in Montreal and Vancouver for sale to the United States. It will be the first time Kirin beer will be brewed outside Japan.
The firm also plans to expand soft-drink bottling operations in the United States and will look for a major acquisition in the U.S. food industry during the next few years, Kirin USA Inc. President Sueo Kubota said. Kirin sells about 1 million cases of beer a year in the United States, making it the 15th largest-selling imported beer.
Molson and Kirin plan to introduce the Canadian-brewed beer late this month to test markets in Seattle and upstate New York. They said they will use the same ingredients and computer software for brewing operations as Kirin does in Japan.