Mad Capper Reviews: Left Hand Oktoberfest

This week’s beer is the Left Hand Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest Märzen Lager. Somewhat uncharacteristic in its darker color (21 SRM) and higher alcohol content (6.6%), this modern take on a traditional German beer packs a pretty good punch while showcasing the style’s characteristically clean, malty sweetness. Although Märzen beers came into existence sometime during the […]

At Last, Craft Beer in Takasaki!

It is nice to be relatively close to the craft beer paradise that is Tokyo, but I am always on the lookout for something that doesn’t cost 4,000 yen just to get to. Luckily for me Takasaki, the next town over and the largest city in Gunma Prefecture, is now home to a craft beer […]

Mad Capper Reviews: Scrimshaw Pilsner

This week’s beer is North Coast’s Scrimshaw German Pilsner. With 22 IBUs (international bittering units)―three points lower than the typical low end for the style―and an ABV of 4.7%, Scrimshaw is a featherweight compared to the previous two full-bodied brews. Nevertheless, there is a time and a place for light beers, and their delicate nature […]

A Bit of Blood, Plenty of Sweat, but no Tears: Brewing My First Lager

I had a lot of fun brewing my German weizen this past fall, and decided I wanted to try and squeeze in another beer. The weather was getting progressively cooler and another ale wasn’t really an option, so I investigated lager styles. Lagers are a bit more finicky and complex to brew due to the […]

Mad Capper Reviews: Old Engine Oil: Engineer’s Reserve

Another malt-heavy brew from Scotland, Harviestoun Brewery’s Old Engine Oil: Engineer’s Reserve is the subject of this week’s review. An offshoot of Harviestoun’s 6.0% ABV Old Engine Oil, Engineer’s Reserve boasts a ramped-up ABV of 9.0% in response to feedback from U.S. consumers. Stylistically, Engineer’s Reserve falls under the category of porter, though its higher […]

Campion Ale, a bit of Britain in Tokyo

  Tokyo is an immense city with countless drinking establishments, but the brewers at British Brewpub Campion Ale have been working hard to stand out from that crowd. Indeed Campion and it’s founder James Williams have been featured in articles in both the Japan Times and the Financial Times. Campion Ale is located a bit […]

Mad Capper Reviews: Skull Splitter

Please welcome Josh the Mad Capper to the Beer Sensei Blog. Starting today he will be penning a beer review column every Friday. Check back weekly for his recommendations on your weekend libations. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Orkney Brewery’s menacingly named Skull Splitter Scotch ale. Taking its name from the 10th-century Viking […]

New Year’s Beer Festivals

For those looking to start 2015 off right there are a pair of Kanto area craft beer festivals coming up. The Japan Brewers Cup in Yokohama will be held on January 23rd, 24th and 25th and the Nippon Craft Beer Festival will be held in the Sumida area of Tokyo on February 7th and 8th. […]