As a two-party democracy, the United States can be a fickle place for marketers. Republicans and Democrats are so different ideologically that certain words and phrases on your product label or in your ad campaign are practically guaranteed to alienate half of the market; or, if you’re especially unlucky, all of it. Take the word “immigrant,” for example – it’s a loaded word that will make Republicans shun your product believing that it advocates rights for immigrants (Remember, this is the same party whose leaders sometimes suggest in all seriousness building a moat – complete with cartoonish man-eating alligators – around the US to keep illegals out), while Democrats might see the word “immigrant” on a product and suspect some type of labor exploitation going on.

Luckily, Americans – and Japanese – of all stripes are united in their love of beer, so Chiba, Japan’s Loco Beer brewery’s rendition of an old American beer recipe, originally brewed by German immigrants, gets a pass from American expats and Japanese consumers alike on the unfortunate naming of its new Immigrant Pilsner craft beer.

Unfortunately, since my stupid editor (Mike’s editor is of at least average intelligence. – Ed.) refuses to allocate funds for a six-pack, a full blown review of the Immigrant Pilsner will have to wait until I threaten his family corner him at the bar. Suffice it to say, Japan-based lovers of craft beer should probably give this one a try.

The beer’s recipe is apparently nearly identical to the original German-American brewing method, incorporating corn along with the traditional hops and barley for a slightly sweet, crisp flavor profile.


Despite its somewhat uncouth name, Immigrant Pilsner is clearly a win for craft beer brewing in Japan, which is a win for mankind in general. I’ve lived in Japan long enough to remember a time when craft beer was essentially impossible to get a hold of, but small-batch craft brews have exploded in popularity recently, widening a narrow beer market that once consisted almost solely of Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo’s mass-produced takes on pilsners.

Thirsty connoisseurs living in Japan can enjoy Immigrant Pilsner at a number of bars and restaurants that stock Loco Brewery selections, or can order it direct for delivery at Loco Brewery’s website.

Inset photo: Loco Beer Facebook page