Japan Eats

Japan Booze Blind: Nippon Craft Beer Festival (Part I)

Christopher Pellegrini talks to Ry Beville of the Japan Beer Times at the Nippon Craft Beer Festival

The “Nippon Craft Beer Festival 2010” took place on October 31st at Sumida Riverside Hall near Asakusa station and the Asahi building with that weird golden sperm flying on top of it.

Giant sperm aside, it was a great party that featured several dozen taps and a whole lot of craft beer goodness. The place was pretty well packed, but we still managed to interview some of the key people in the Japanese craft beer world.

The highlights? Good beer and plenty of it. Good people, too!

First up in this series of short interviews about craft beer and where it may be going in Japan is Ry Beville, a magazine publisher (The Japan Beer Times and ko-e) and craft beer insider who has a penchant for pairing good beer and good music.

The video is a glimpse into what’s brewing in Japan and where things need to go from here.

If you’re interested in that t-shirt that Ry is wearing, then click here.

Watch Part II of the video here.

About Marcus
Itinerant photographer and food pornographer.


6 Responses to “Japan Booze Blind: Nippon Craft Beer Festival (Part I)”
  1. Chuwy says:

    Not bad.However, you CAN buy craft in supermarkets.
    Big ones, certainly.
    e.g. I picked up a few Otaru winery beers in my local Tokyu.
    The supermarkets also stock kinshachi, tama no megumi, coedo, weltenberger, urquel, ginga kogen, karuizawa kogen, echigo and others.
    The mom and pop stores also sometimes stock Japanese craft and US & European imports as well. Just gotta keep your eyes open.
    Good luck with future interviews!

  2. Christopher says:

    True true. My local bottle shop carries Coedo and Tama no Megumi…and Sam Adams. You’re right about the biggies. They definitely do have a selection.

    I’m hoping that the same will one day be true for supermarket chains that control the suburbs west and east of the Yamanote Loop.

    Seiyu carries Coedo but Inageya doesn’t do anything buy macros. Damned shame.


  3. Garrett says:

    Chuwy, you’re right. I think the point they were making was the relative rarity and the availability of such beers in a wide range of supermarkets. I think a lot of it depends on where you live – the farther you get from urban centers, the less you see, as a general rule. Likewise, the small guys are, well, small and not easy to find. (Kind of a tautology, I suppose.)

    I’ve seen Echigo, Yona Yona, Coedo, and Ginga-kogen in Natural Lawson as well as some supermarkets. I’m not sure if I’d call those craft beers, but the definition of such a term can be nebulous. Hitachino is fairly widely available, though, and it would fit most definitions of craft.

    I’d love to see Tama no Megumi more widely available. I haven’t seen it in any supermarkets yet and that’s in line with what I think of when I think of craft brews – something with a bit of adventure and body to it. In other words, being small is not what it’s about if you’re a small brewery making bland pilsner – there are tons of those. There’s not point to craft brewing if you’re trying to make a more expensive Super Dry.

    I digress.

    Never had Karuizawa-kogen.

    Please tell me that “Urquel” is not Pilsner Urquell – that’s a craft beer like Bud’s a craft beer – there are few breweries much larger.

  4. Kavelaars says:

    I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks Kavelaars.

  5. Garrett says:

    What premise would that be, Kavelaars? I’m kind of confused about what’s there to agree or disagree with.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Pellegrini, Chris Pellegrini. Chris Pellegrini said: Interview at a recent beer fest with Ry Beville! http://bit.ly/ax2BgZ @JapanBeerTimes Big props to @marcopolos […]

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