How ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE Is Redefining Luxury In Beer

We delve into the inspiration behind this groundbreaking venture and its journey into the world of fine dining with its CEO and Co- founder Yohay Wakabayashi.


For years, beer has always been associated with a laid-back and informal image, frequently eclipsed by the elegance of wines and champagnes. Today, ROCOCO, Japan’s pioneering luxury beer, broke free from these stereotypes, ushering in the concept of a high-end beer.

“It all started with a simple question: why is there no luxury beer?” recalls Yohay Wakabayashi, the CEO and Co-founder of Maison ROCOCO. This query ignited a year-long odyssey of research, exploration, and collaboration with chefs and sommeliers. The team of three unearthed a significant void in the market: despite the efforts of fine dining establishments to deliver a distinctive experience, the available beer selections did not complement the brand’s vision.

“We realised that to bridge this gap, we needed to create a beer that chefs were proud to serve and customers were proud to order,” he elaborates. Hence, ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE was born, a beer designed to harmonise with the nuanced flavours of Japanese cuisine while embodying luxury and refinement.


Yohay Wakabayashi, CEO and Co-founder of Maison ROCOCO

The name ROCOCO itself pays homage to the opulent artistic movement of 18th century France, symbolising the brand’s aspiration to elevate Japanese luxury on the global stage. Interestingly, the reversal of “ROCOCO” spells “COCORO” meaning “heart” in Japanese, underscoring its deep-rooted connection to Japanese culture.

Approaching fine dining establishments in ROCOCO’s formative years proved to be an arduous task. “When we launched ROCOCO in 2018, we were not fine dining insiders,” says Wakabayashi. Undeterred, they embarked on a mission to introduce ROCOCO to discerning venues across Tokyo. Their dedication didn’t go unnoticed, eventually earning partnerships with over 100 Michelin restaurants by the end of their inaugural year.

“Although starting a new brand is very difficult, receiving positive feedback is extremely gratifying and makes the challenges worthwhile,” says Wakabayashi. ROCOCO’s impact is profound, completely reshaping diners’ perception of beer, often becoming the first beer they genuinely savour and appreciate.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE (@rococotokyo)

Renowned for its unique attributes, ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE stands out as a non-filtered and pasteurised beer. Its hallmark features include a smooth, non-bitter taste, a velvety texture, a delightful fruity aroma, and a crisp finish. These qualities are impeccably aligned with the principles of Japanese fine dining, where the emphasis lies on purity and excellence in ingredients to unlock the inherent depth of flavours. “Our guiding principle is to utilise the fewest possible ingredients of the highest quality in crafting ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE,” emphasises Wakabayashi, underlining the brand’s commitment to unparalleled quality and taste.

As for the bottle, the design philosophy behind ROCOCO Tokyo WHITE embraces a minimalist stance, focusing on texture to evoke a sense of understated luxury and the lively effervescence of beer bubbles ascending to the surface. “The ROCOCO label employs texture to portray the carbonation of beer,” explains Wakanayashi, “creating a sense of playful movement that elicits curiosity.”

“It brings me such a sense of fulfilment to know our brand translates to small moments of joy in the lives of people.” Despite encountering obstacles on the journey, the feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. The co-founder takes pride in ROCOCO’s ability to revolutionise perceptions of beer, noting how it has resonated with both women and men, including those who don’t typically indulge in beer.

ROCOCO is served at Odette, a 3 Star Michelin Modern French restaurant that helmed by Chef Julien Royer.

Looking ahead for the rest of the year, Wakabayashi is excited about expanding ROCOCO’s presence in fine dining establishments globally. With plans to launch in new international markets and partnerships with more restaurants, ROCOCO is poised to redefine the much- loved brew in the fine dining industry, and that’s something we’ll raise a glass to.

This story first published on The Peak Malaysia April 2024 Issue.

, , ,

Type keyword(s) and press Enter