A Pleasant Fiction Beer Company

Last month I started work as a “Beer Smith” aka bartender at Fiction Beer Company, one of the many local nano-breweries. It’s been great being involved in the actual industry, and is a nice chance to learn and chat about the processes of brewing and serving craft beer. As befits the name everything in Fiction […]

Beer By The Horn

Up in Hokkaido sits Otaru Beer, a Japanese brewery dedicated to brewing strict German styles. Luckily, you don’t have to visit the little town of Otaru to sample their beers as they are available in central Tokyo. The Beer Horn bar, in Akasaka, serves up Otaru beers in actual animal horns. This was something my […]

Some Offbeat Unsubtle Refreshments

I raised the pale, cloudy beer to my lips, ready to try something new. The beer was a Berliner Weisse. Most of Germany’s famous brews hail from Bavaria in the south, but this beer was once the most popular alcoholic drink in Prussia. As the heavily carbonated wheat beer hit my tongue my lips puckered […]

Hand Pumping Real Ale

One thing the craft boom has given us beer drinkers is diversity, both of styles and methods. One option that is showing up more often around the world is “real ale.” What is real ale? How can a beer be more real than another beer? An ale is a beer fermented with ale yeast, a […]

Dodging Cannonballs in Golden

In a single week back in the United States I have visited four breweries that did not exist when I left five years ago. In fact, none of them existed before 2013. And there are so many more just like these. The American Craft boom is real. Located just a few blocks from the immense […]

Zakkoku Kobo Micro Brewery

A few days before I left Japan I had the great fortune to stop by the Zakkoku Kobo brewery in Saitama. A friend recently discovered this out of the way brewpub, and I knew I had to go while I had the chance. Located in Ogawa, Saitama Zakkoku Kobo may well be Japan’s smallest brewery, […]

DevilCraft: The Devil is in the Details

Tokyo has many great beer bars, but one that keeps drawing me back is DevilCraft. DevilCraft is the brainchild of three American beer lovers, John Chambers, Jason Koehler and Mike Grant. They opened the first location in Kanda in 2011, and followed it up with a roomier one in Hamamatsucho a couple of years later. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Baird Beer: Best in Japan?

Baird Beer is certainly one of the most well known brewers in the Japanese craft scene. They have diverse line of year-round beers supported by a very wide variety of rotating seasonal and one offs. On top of that, the excellent beer goes really well with the quality food available at the Baird taprooms. The […]