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Kirin aims to become Japan's top brewer with jump into craft beer

Company closes in on No. 1 Asahi with new tastes and tie-ups

Sakurako Yoshino, a founding member of the Spring Valley Brewery restaurant chain, pushed for Kirin to enter the craft beer market.

TOKYO -- The first thing that stands out when entering the Spring Valley Brewery restaurant in Tokyo's upscale Daikanyama district is a cluster of transparent brewing tanks, serving up six types of craft beer. Though owned and operated as a subsidiary of Japan's iconic Kirin Brewery, there is no Kirin logo to be seen.

"We want to convey to our customers the joy of beer, not the name of Kirin itself," said Sakurako Yoshino, a founding member of the Spring Valley chain.

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