This company profile of Kirin reveals the unethical practices of one of the world’s largest alcohol producers. It provides examples of harmful methods across the categories of political interference, promotion, sabotage, manipulation, and deception – the Dubious 5 strategies.


Kirin is a Japanese alcohol industry company group consisting of 178 companies, out of which Kirin Brewery is the largest one. Kirin also owns Lion (Australia) part of San Miguel Brewery (Philippines), the Yo-Ho Brewing company (Japan) and Four Roses Burbon (USA). Based on revenue, Kirin is the 7th largest alcohol producer in the world.

The president and CEO, Yoshinori Isozaki, joined Kirin in 1977. He has also served as director at the San Miguel Corporation.

Kirin involvement in front groups:

  • International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)
  • DrinkWise (through Lion)


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Promotion, Sabotage

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Whisky brands are very reliant on a small number of heavy, and increasingly ageing, consumers, to provide the majority of volume [...] in the longer term we had to attract more younger drinkers—the heavy- using loyalists of tomorrow [to avoid] the potentially disastrous implications of losing heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

“If Miller Lite was to be a large profitable brand we had to attract these young heavy drinkers”.

Source: Research article

To the extent [that laws or regulations or actions against us to substantially curtail the consumption of alcohol, including beer] gain traction, they could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. For example, the European Union published its Europe Beating Cancer Plan. As part of the plan, by the end of 2023, the European Union has indicated it will issue a proposal for mandatory health warnings on alcohol beverage product labels."

Source: Molson Coors Annual Report 2022

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