Establishment / Objectives / Member of BAJ


1. Background of and Establishment of the Brewery Convention of Japan (BCOJ)

The American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) and the European Brewery Convention (EBC) were established in the United States and Europe, respectively, for the purpose of standardizing beer analysis methods. The analysis methods adopted by these organizations are still recognized as authoritative throughout the beer industry. In the past, there was no corresponding organization in Japan. Since the early 1980's, however, Japan's beer specialists steadily improved their level of technical expertise. As a result, Japan gained international recognition for its high standard of beer brewing technology, and both the ASBC and the EBC expressed a keen interest in the establishment of formal ties with the Japanese organization specializing in the beer brewing. The American and European interest in Japanese breweries was the impetus for the industry in this country to work together and standardize beer analysis methods. In 1982, as part of the general trend towards closer mutual communication, a specialist committee, named the "Board Meeting," was established within the Brewers Association of Japan (BAJ). This marked the beginning of a progression towards the standardization of beer analysis methods and led to the 1990 publication of the "Methods of Analysis of BAJ." Following this, the Board Meeting strengthened its international activities, beginning with the reorganization of the BCOJ in 1992, and continued to maintain active business relationships with international brewing organizations.

2. Objectives

  • To standardize analytical methods for the evaluation of materials and products adopted in beer brewing and other related industries.
  • To facilitate scientific and technological research through mutual communication among beer brewing industry specialists.
  • To work in collaboration with other foreign and domestic organizations having the same objectives.

3. Organization and Board of Directors

The BCOJ was established within the BAJ, the latter consisting of Japan's five major breweries: ASAHI BREWERIES, LTD., Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, SAPPORO BREWERIES, LTD., SUNTORY SPIRITS, LTD. and ORION BREWERIES, LTD. The BCOJ comprises the board, secretariat, analysis committee, and program committee.

Brewers Association of Japan
Board Members (as of January 2024)
President: Toshihiro Kiyosaki (SAPPORO BREWERIES, LTD.)
Board of Directors: Yuichi Nakamura (ASAHI BREWERIES, LTD.)
  Takahito Katayama (Kirin Brewery Company, Limited)
  Taichi Maruhashi (SUNTORY SPIRITS, LTD.)
  Makoto Taruoka (ORION BREWERIES, LTD.)
Secretariat: Tomohiro Koizumi (SAPPORO BREWERIES, LTD.)
Analysis Committee Chair: Masahito Muro (KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY, Limited)
Program Committee Chair: Tomonori Kano (KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY, Limited)
Brewers Association of Japan: Masanori Mizutani​
Hideki Kanai
Toshiya Ito​

4. Mission of the BCOJ Committees

a. Board
  • Formulation of annual plans.
  • Resolution of the draft budget.
  • Endorsement of activity policies recommended by each committee.
  • Evaluation and resolution of other important matters.
b. Secretariat
  • Support for the smooth operation of the activities of the board.
  • Planning and administration of the annual budget in line with the activities of the board.
  • Activities to promote exchanges with overseas beer brewing organizations.
c. Analysis Committee
  • Organization and development of analysis methods (domestic collaborative work).
  • Activities relating to establishing the "International Methods" with the ASBC and EBC.
  • Participation in international collaborative work.
d. Program Committee
  • Planning and implementation of the annual meeting.
    At the annual meeting, BCOJ members’ oral and poster presentations at the ASBC, EBC, and other conferences are presented again, in English.
  • Planning and implementation of lectures and meetings.
  • Planning and facilitation of cooperative research.

5. Main Activities to Date

  • Execution of the BCOJ collaborative work (1986–).
  • Publication of the Annual Report (1989–).
  • Publication of "Methods of Analysis of BAJ" (1990).
  • Participation in the ASBC and EBC collaborative work (1990–).
  • Holding of the annual meeting (1991–).
  • Publication of "Methods of Analysis of BCOJ" (1996).
  • Publication of "Methods of Analysis of BCOJ (Revised Edition) " (1998).
  • Participation in the International Subcommittee for Isomerized Hop Alpha Acid Standards (1998–).
  • Publication of "BCOJ Microbiology Methods" (1999).
  • Writing the manuscripts for the beer-related section of "The Constituents of Brewing Products (Revised Edition) " (1999).
  • Publication of "BCOJ Sensory Analysis Methods" (2002).
  • Publication of "Brewing and Packaging" (2002).
  • Publication of "BCOJ Microbiology Methods (Revised Edition) " (2004).
  • Publication of "Methods of Analysis of BCOJ (Revised Edition) " (2004).
  • Cooperative research on beer flavor with Prof. Tohara of the University of Tokyo (2008–)
  • Foundation of the BCOJ contribution award (2011–).
  • Publication of "Methods of Analysis of BCOJ (Enlarged and Revised Edition [CD-ROM])" (2013)
BCOJ Microbiology Methods
Methods of Analysis of BCOJ
BCOJ Sensory Analysis Methods
Brewing and Packaging
BCOJ Microbiology Methods
Methods of Analysis of BCOJ(Revised Edition)
BCOJ Sensory Analysis Methods
Brewing and Packaging
BCOJ Annual Report

6. Relationship with Foreign and Domestic Organizations

Relationship between ASBC and BCOJ
In 1983, an official technical liaison contract was signed between the ASBC and the BAJ. Under this liaison contract, the two signatories agreed to exchange annual reports and conference minutes. Following this, in 1998, a Cooperative Agreement was established between the BCOJ and the ASBC. Under this agreement, these two organizations agreed to provide "Mutual invitations to the Board Chairpersons and Analysis Committee Chairpersons to the Annual Meeting." The BCOJ also participated in the World Brewing Congress (WBC) that is organized by the ASBC and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) every four years. During the WBC 2008, the BCOJ held a symposium titled "Japanese Advanced Technologies" and a workshop on "The Design of Asian Beer Styles." During the WBC 2012, the BCOJ also held a symposium on "Technology for the Future."

Relationship between EBC and BCOJ
In the past, before the official agreement to formalize their relationship, the EBC and the BOCJ had exchanged annual reports and conference minutes on a voluntary basis. In May 2001, both these organizations signed "A Declaration of Partnership" to advance their mutual relationship. In November 2003, Mr. Vesely, EBC President, and Ms. Wijngaarden, Secretary General of the EBC, participated as guests at the BCOJ annual meeting. In 2011, during the 33rd EBC Congress in Glasgow, Scotland, a representative of each organization renewed their declaration of partnership.

Efforts to establish an International Method (IM) made through EBC and ASBC cooperation
In 2006, to establish an internationally standardized analytical method, an agreement for an IM was signed between the EBC, the ASBC, and the BCOJ. This agreement stipulated that in the event of an existing method, where one or both of the organizations conduct their own trials using this method and if the results are acceptable, the method used shall be recognized as an IM. Further, it stipulated that in the event of development of a new method where two or more of the organizations participate in the same collaborative trial, if at least two participating organizations accept the results, the method shall be accepted as an IM. Co-participating organizations must provide results from at least two laboratories to qualify as co-owners of the joint venture.

Relationships with Japanese local craft breweries
In April 1994, the legal minimum manufactured quantity of beer decreased from 2,000 KL/year to 60 KL/year, which resulted in the emergence of small craft breweries. In July 1995, the "Japanese Craft Beer Association" and the "Japan Microbrewers Association" were formed. In March 1999, the "Japan Brewers Association," comprising 121 companies, which represented about half of the craft breweries, was established. The BCOJ published a number of documents such as the "Methods of Analysis of BCOJ" and the "BCOJ Microbiology Methods" in accordance with requests from the National Tax Bureau(s) and the Public Health Center(s). These publications have largely contributed to the advancement of management technology of not only BCOJ member breweries, but also of local craft breweries.

7. Annual Meeting

The 33rd BCOJ meeting will be held on November 7th and 8th, 2024.

8. BCOJ Contribution Award

Dr. Hiroyuki Yoshimoto (KIRIN HOLDINGS COMPANY, Limited) received the BCOJ Contribution Award in 2023.