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Special Edition on Delicious Craft Beers from Japan's Rich Beer Culture

A Japanese businessman’s partner: beer.

Japan is a country with a strongly rooted culture of drinking beer and socializing, centering around businessmen. Japan even has a business custom where everyone first orders a beer and then toasts together with the same drink. In Japan, drink manufacturers produce beer aimed at the public, and enormous quantities can be seen at shops such as supermarkets. But even among all these, do you know about the high-quality craft beers that, unlike typical beers, are manufactured independently? If you see any of these at a large-scale supermarket or convenience store, make sure to get one! This time, we’ll be introducing our recommendations and popular craft beers that are available for a reasonable price!

If you see one in town, you’ll definitely want to try it! Introducing high-quality craft beers.

Kirin “Grand Kirin”

Grand Kirin, a craft beer sold by Kirin, is created using an original manufacturing method called “Dip Hopping” which was newly developed for Grand Kirin. There are three different flavors in all! JPL (Japan Pale Lager) has a distinctly Japanese sensibility poured in, with the rich and fragrant Japanese-grown malt calmed by a floral aroma. White Ale made with Nelson Sauvin Hops has a distinctively gentle taste and a fruity aroma reminiscent of white wine. And IPA (India Pale Ale), which lets you enjoy a fruity aroma with a sophisticated bitterness, completes the line-up of these three varieties. You can enjoy the uniqueness of each of these styles of beer. Maybe you’ll take on the challenge of drinking and comparing all three!

 
 
 
 
 

Suntory TOKYO CRAFT

Tokyo Craft is a series made only at the Suntory “Natural Water Beer Factory” Tokyo/Musashino Brewery, which releases various types of seasonally-limited beers. Tokyo Craft Pale Ale is currently on sale, and in addition to its refreshing citrus aroma, it has an ending finish with a tangy taste and a pleasant afterglow. This seasonal variety of craft beer is even popular overseas.The can design is colorful and color coded by style, with the now on-sale Tokyo Craft Pale Ale featuring illustrations based on Tokyo city streets, along with an eye-catchingly vivid, blue body. Both simple and stylish to the eye, it looks nice doesn’t it? How about having one when you take a moment to relax during a special trip?

 
 
 

Yoho Brewing “Yona Yona Ale”

The beer style of Yona Yona Ale is American Pale Ale. Originally based on English Pale Ale, it was a type of beer made when American craft beer breweries first began actively producing beer in the 1970s–1980s. Its appeal lies in the citrus-evoking, extravagant aroma from the generous use of American-grown hops (mainly Cascade Hops), and its superb balance between the sweetly flavored malt and substantial body! This is an outstanding beer created through research on how to draw out the aroma of the most unique “aroma hops.” Even after the beer travels down your throat, the aroma keeps you feeling good as the “returning aroma” leaves your nose and you bask in the afterglow. Don’t drink this beer straight from the can, but instead first pour it into a glass to enhance the freshness of the characteristic hop aromas like grapefruit and lemon wafting in the air.

 
 
 

Next, wouldn’t you like to try coming out to visit the factory if you have a break between trips? You’ll want to go if you have time, and we’ll teach you all about Japanese breweries!

Ibaraki Prefecture Hitachino Nest Beer

Hitachino Nest Beer is made by Kiuchi Brewery, a long-standing brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture. “Nest” in the name comes from a Japanese character with the same meaning found in the name of the Konosu area of Naka City, Ibaraki Prefecture where the brewery is located. More than anything else, this name expresses a love for that hometown area. Filled with Kiuchi Brewery’s wish to “have their commitment to the very best spread its wings and fly onward from here,” you can also feel their enthusiasm for beer making from the cute owl label. Using water blessed by the verdant land of Hitachino, and with ingredients such as “Kaneko Golden,” a locally cultivated beer barley indigenous to Japan, wheat, and Ibaraki-grown Fukure mikan, etc., in addition to malt and hops carefully selected by the brewers, this is a subtle and unique beer that is distinctly Japanese. Kiuchi Brewery is also starting to brew beer with unique hops they harvest themselves, so it seems that in the future you’ll be able to enjoy richly unique

 
 
 
 
 

This information is current as of February 16, 2019, and may be subject to change without notice. For further details and the latest information, please inquire directly to the relevant manufacturers.

Photos courtesy of: Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Suntory Beer Ltd., YOHO Brewing, Kiuchi Shuzou Goushi Kaisha

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