Headed over to Zebra Square in Kuala Lumpur on 9 April 2014 for the official launch of Kirin Ichiban in Malaysia. Kirin Ichiban which means “Kirin no.1” in Japanese, is brewed by Kirin Brewery Company Limited in Japan which has a history dating back more than 100 years. Kirin Ichiban is GAB’s first Japanese product in its portfolio and it is the company’s first new brand in five years.
The event venue setup included Japanese drums and a food street with different yatai (Japanese for food stalls) stands serving a variety of well-known Japanese dishes.
Kirin Ichiban is a American Pale Ale style lager containing 5% alcohol, and is made of 100% malt, hops and water. It is a premium quality beer that uses the innovative “First Press” brewing method, extracting the malt liquid only from the first press, meaning that only the purest, most flavourful portion is used. The combination of “First Press” and 100% Malt gives it a crisp start, followed by a rich flavour, and little after-taste which makes the beer a good companion for food.
Bruce Dallas, GAB’s Marketing Director, shared during the launch that the GAB was pleased to be able to add Kirin Ichiban into the brewer’s portfolio as it further enhances the company’s offering to Malaysian consumers. Kirin Ichiban is already available in more than 40 countries and the brand has enjoyed healthy growth in those markets.
After extensive market research, GAB found that there is much opportunity for growth in the super-premium beer category (Ed. believe it or not, there were already three Japanese beer brands in the Malaysian market before Kirin, and the market is gravitating towards these new beers, a fact which I believe prompted GAB to bring in Kirin). I actually attended the media preview of Kirin Ichiban last year when the beer was brought in to selected outlets to see how the market would respond. You can read more about it here – https://timchew.net/2013/07/13/kirin-ichiban-media-preview-dinner/
The guest of honour of the night was Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Makio Miyagawa who was beaming throughout the night, and shared during his speech that Kirin Ichiban is the No. 1 100% malt beer in Japan, and Kirin Brewery, with over 100 years of history, has always been doing well in Japan. He went on to add that he was delighted that a great product like Kirin Ichiban has been added to the portfolio of GAB, and hopes that this will provide further opportunity for Japanese culture to be showcased in Malaysia, particularly by generating further appreciation for Japanese food and drinks amongst Malaysians.
Kirin Ichiban has a campaign called “The Kirin Ichiban Experience” which is all about inspiring the first and best experiences in life: Creating and sharing moments of pure joy and happiness with family and friends, enriching and enhancing every moment that is worth sharing. GAB hinted that they will soon be having some consumer engagements to share this experience with their consumers so do look out for that at a GAB outlet near you or follow Kirin Ichiban Malaysia on their Facebook page for more updates – https://www.facebook.com/kirinmalaysia
Photos taken with the Sony Alpha 5000. More info on the Alpha 5000 at http://bit.ly/1eLboU1