ipponmatsu beer (2)Ippon Matsu stands vigilant as clean-up efforts come to a halt for the night. Photo by Tsuyoshi Endo.

ipponmatsu beer (3)The devastation of the city is a stark contrast to Ippon Matsu’s green branches. Photo by Fumie Suzuki.

A single pine tree became a symbol of hope after the March 11th tsunami wiped away 70,000 pine trees in its path. The 88ft tall “miracle pine” survived for nearly 18 months before its roots died from high levels of saline. However, donations from across the country and world raised enough funds for experts to preserve the tree by inserting a metal skeleton into its trunk and adding replica branches.

Now the pine tree is being immortalized in a different way. Brooklyn-based designer Kota Kobayashi created a minimal yet elegant packaging design for Ipponmatsu Beer. “This beer’s design represents charity and hope, says Kobayashi. “A scroll-like, handwritten label seals the top with the story of Ippon Matsu written on the inside. The front label is a solitary pine made of three triangles that are facing up, symbolizing the wish for progress towards Japan’s brighter future.” Ipponmatsu means one pine tree.

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The beer, which comes in 2 flavors, is all hand-brewn by Kobayashi and his friends. They are donating all profits to the recovery effort in ravaged Rikuzentakata. For now the beer has yet to make its way into shelves but Kobayashi is currently looking for a brewery to help expand his charity brew.

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Ippon Matsu Beer : Brewed with Purpose from Ippon Matsu Beer on Vimeo.

(thanks Juri!)