Yo-Ho Brewing is at it again. Just a few weeks after their Lawson convenience store collaboration Boku Biiru Kimi Biiru they have released Getsumen-gaho (月面画報). This one is a collaboration with Amazon.co.jp,and is available only from the online retailer in eight or twenty-four packs. The eight cans is a shade under 3,000 yen while the 24 will run you a bit under 7,000 yen.
Getsumen-gaho can be translated as “faces of the moon” and the packaging and marketing is all about the different faces of both people and the moon. The art on the can also visually references Date Masamune, one of the most famous samurai from the warring states era of Japanese history. His signature crescent moon helmet is still very widely known and is a popular visual motif.
The beer itself is a Belgian Pale Ale, brewed using Belgian Yeast and American hops. The press release states that the beer is fruity and spicy, with a flavor that changes as the beer warms. It just released yesterday, so I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I have ordered an eight pack. I really enjoyed the Boku-biiru so I hope this one is of a similar or even better quality. I do wish it was a bit more accessible though. Ordering through Amazon.co.jp is pretty painless, but stopping off at the convenience store after work is even easier. And I like being able to buy a single can instead of dropping 70 bucks on twenty-four beers.
Still this is further growth in an exciting trend. More special beers that are more widely available is something I am more than willing to support. I am interested in seeing what commercial collaboration Yo-Ho will come up with next. After all, this is two in the space of about five weeks. What do you think of this sort of thing? Is a beer you can only order online a good thing for the Japanese craft beer scene?