Sightlines — Japan’s Hitachino Nest Beer to Open Restaurant in San Francisco

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
Kuichi Brewery of Naka, Japan is to open a restaurant in San Francisco’s Tendernob district under its HitachinoNest Beer brand. The brewery’s first U.S. location will be a Japanese themed Izakaya called Hitachino Beer & Wagyu. Chef and partner Noriyuki Sugie, formerly of the now closed Nombe, will head the venture up.

WHY IT MATTERS
International brands such as Hitachino Nest opening in the U.S. is strong evidence of the buoyancy of the American beer market. San Francisco has already seen Denmark’s Mikeller open a bar in town and this latest offering will only serve to enrich an already thriving scene.

San Francisco has always been a city with both a strong beer and culinary culture, so it should come as no surprise that Hitachino have decided to set up shop here. It also demonstrates that there’s a desire within the consumer for something more than just fish tacos and IPA – not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things of course.

There's been a lot of attention paid to American craft exporting to Europe, South America, and Asia of late. But with international beer brands such as Mikkeller, BrewDog, Evil Twin and now Hitachino nest all choosing to open US outlets, are the floodgates now open for international brands in the American marketplace as well?

— Matthew Curtis