Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Too drunk to remember much

Yokohama beer fest was a blast.
I wanted to go back today but woke up too late and got Sat and Mondays opening times mixed up. At 3pm, I figured I still had 2 hours or so drinking time left then realised the thing closed at 4 on Monday. Doh!!!
Should've woken up earlier.
Gonna look for a list of winners and post it online.
Don't remember much as I was a bit tipsy.
Met soooooooo many poeple, olod fends and new ones.
Here's a pic from the start.
This guy is either a cow or a tiger. One half of the famous UshiTora craft bar in Shimokitawa. Great guy. I always get confused as to which guy is the cow (Ushi) and which guy is the tiger (Tora)!

I do remember Yokohama got gold for their weizen, Nihonkai Ishikawa silver for their pilsner.

I also managed to pick up silver medal for the most annoying person in the festival!

Someone else must have got silver for something because I'm wearing their medal!
I just don't remember who...too smashed.

After the festival, a few people headed to the Nakameguro Taproom to meet up with the New Zealand brewers from Tuatara brewing. Had a great evening drinking, tasting and chatting with them (tasting their beers, not THEM).

This is one of the brews I remembered as being very good:
Here's a pic of a few of the guys from last night:
L-R: Ry Beville of Japan Beer Times, possibly the business guy/investor/brewer from one of the New Zealand breweries (sorry, I talked to you but I was very very plastered and can't remember!), Phred Kauffman (importer of Rogue, Mikkeller and many other fine beers as well as owner of Mugishutei craft bar in Sapporo), Dominic Kelly (manager of Hashigozake in Wellington, New Zealand and representative of the New Zealand brewers.
A good crowd turned up to taste and give feedback on the New Zealand beers.
The first time for them to come over here.
Look out for these beers in the near future!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

It's been too long.

Been off the blog for far too long.

Working my 'normal' job, doing other jobs, updating boozelist (even that hasn't been every day).

I managed to get in a short vacation, up in Hokkaido and northern Japan.
9 days, 12 breweries, many more bars, LOTS of beer.
Hopefully some pics, tales and info on Northern Japan's wonderful array of booze in an upcoming post.
Need to post about sooooo much.

Quick reminder for this weekend, the annual Great Japan Beer Festival is kicking off Sat, Sun & Monday.
Advance tickets for 4100yen or pay on the day for 4500yen.
From 2-6pm Saturday,
1-5pm Sunday and
12-4pm Monday.
The PDF flyer is available here.
It's probably the best of the festivals.
Hopefully beer quality will be good this year.
Expect a LOT of people.The list of participating Japanese breweries is here (in Japanese!).

Of these, I recommend trying Gotenba Kogen's weizen rauch, minami Shinshu oktoberfest, Hakone pilsner, Tazawako kolsch (best in Japan) & 8yr aged rauch
(might be getting too old now), Kuninocho marihana brown, Shiga Kogen Indian summer
saisson, Yamabushi saison1 & IPA harvest brew, Chateau Kamiya helles, Nihonkai pilsner, North Island coriander black (might be a bit strong), everything by Swan Lake, Harvestmoon schwarz, Minoh stout & DIPA.

There are a lot of imported beers going to be available too. Here is a list of those.

On top of this, there will be some special beers brought over from New Zealand, for tasting.

It looks like another good beer festival.

If you are going, why not take advantage of the great bars and breweries Yokohama has to offer?
Not far away is Pivovar Yokohama, the wonderful Czech styled small bar/brewpub, in the building housing the Yokohama Beer brewery. Recommended beers include the Anaconda wheat and the Scorpion Deathlock DIPA, if they have it.
Not far away but not so easy to get to is the cracking Czech bar, Pivo. On tap are Urquel, Bernard and a Bernard cerny dark lager as well as a semi dark Urquel master. Best value Urquel and best quality in Japan. The food is good, too.
Not too far away, near Kannai is the famous and impeccable Craft Beer Bar. A small bar but with about 10 Japanese craft beers on tap including usually Minoh, Shiga Kogen, Fujisakura, Swanlake, Baeren, North Island, Baird and others. Nearby is the British bar, 3 lions, with several craft beers on tap as well as some great home made food!
don't forget a newcomer to the craft scene, Bar Green Charcoal & Grill, on Motomachi street. They serve a few craft beers (now Isekadoya, Baird and Yokohama beer) was well as some crackingly fine food.

Heading back to Yokohama Station and we can find the excellent Thrash Zone (serving a few Japanese craft beers as well about half a dozen fantastic US imports at unbeatable prices and quality pours - 1 of my favourite bars) and Yokohama Cheers (was Belgian themed but is now embracing several Japanese craft beers and European beers).

Yessir, Yokohama has lots to offer, beer wise!