The Story of the First Xmas Beer Event 15 Years Ago
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
When DCCJ hosts the Xmas Beer Event 2022 it will not only mark the return of bigger social events after the pandemic but also be the 15th Anniversary of the J-day inspired event in Japan.
J-day marks the day Christmas beers are released in Denmark - an event which is celebrated across the nation.
This Japanese version of J-day was started in 2007 by DCCJ… and it was not an easy event to arrange. A lot of effort was required to make sure we could do J-day on the right date at the right time with the right beer.
Mikael Nielsen, who organised the first event writes:
"The bigger beer brands in Denmark was not ready to get involved, so it took a lot of creativity, the contacts of a DCCJ member with connections in the beer industry to get 8 frames of 24 cans of the good stuff to Copenhagen airport, where the brother of another member obliged to carry it with him on his way to a family visit in Tokyo - kindly provided with free overweight allowance for 192 cans of xmas beer from our Local SAS Tokyo station chief.
On the day of the event, we were so lucky to receive 190 cans of beer (2 cans were paid to the courier) at BAR CHANGE in Kamiyacho, where the owner Masa had agreed we could invite 40 people. If you have ever been to Bar change you would know that including the bar, kitchen and Toilet this venue is roughly 25 square meters, so we were a bit tight on space.
Stiehlers, a Danish advertisement agency who was handling sneshoppen.dk, the merchandise online store for Tuborg x-mas beer, also politely had declined support, so we had purchased the relevant merchandising and had it shipped by Air separate from our “beer courier service.” But as we were putting the beer on ice at around 2pm we realised that our merchandise was stuck in Narita Customs. But no J-day without the right apparel and bar equipment. So we sent a courier to Narita to fix this ultimate crisis, and just 10 minutes before the start of the event (and after the first guest arrived) he returned like some Blue Santa Claus.
In the meantime we had been working on our PR. Through yet another DCCJ member with a sister working in Politikens Hus, we had organised a live Video stream at a very low frame rate (remember this was in 2007) on the front page of ExtraBladet.dk, an article and a Countdown Clock to our event - which would also be the first serving of Tuborg Xmas beer that Year.
The crowd was small but impressive. The venue was packed but on a grainy, low lit, low resolution, low frame rate video stream on Denmark’s largest tabloid news paper's website... it looked fantastic! So fantastic that around 8pm (a few hours into enjoying the brew) the organiser received a call from the Carlsberg communication department in Denmark asking if they could send out a Press Release. They had noticed the Politikens Hus Streamer on The City Hall square in Copenhagen counting down to J-day in Tokyo. Flattered by the offer we said yes but on one condition: that Carlsberg Denmark would sponsor the beer the following year.
They agreed and a tradition was born."
Since then we have featured several different beers over the years.
For the 15th Anniversary event we will be serving the first ever Danish style Christmas beer brewed in Japan. DCCJ has teamed up with Japanese brewery AJB Co. and Danish Craft beer brand Mikkeller to create the recipe for this high quality craft beer version of the classic Danish style Christmas beer.
The result is Juleøl - From: Mikkeller To: DCCJ, a Vienna lager brewed in snowy Nozawa Onsen in the mountains of Nagano. Like its Danish counterparts, Juleøl is a golden brown, well-balanced beer with toasty malt notes, slight bitterness from Chinook hops and added liquorice and blackcurrant.
Want to join the Anniversary event? Sign up here!