Charlie Papazian, the iconic beer writer, festival director, and magazine founder visited Japan recently. His book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, has probably encouraged and guided more aspiring brewers than any other volume. He has been posting occasional articles on the Examiner.com web site, in which he chronicles his beer adventures around the country. Each article has an accompanying slide show.
He first stopped in Tokyo to serve as a judge for the International Beer Competition. The article also gives a brief overview of the Japanese craft beer scene and how it has changed since his last visit 14 years ago.
Have a look here:
Discovering Craft Beer in Japan
His next stop in Yokohama, an up and coming beer city, where he visits several beer spots, including Yokohama Brewery, El Nubichinom, Brewpub Pangaea, and T.Y. Harbor Brewery.
Yokohama - city of beer surprises
The third article describes a beer and food pairing event, in which he comes across several types of indigenous brews made with local ingredients, such as shiso, melon, and natto. He also marvels at the intricate yet efficient Japanese system of distribution, specifically that for chilled beer. Oh, and at the end of the evening, he somehow manages a visit to Popeye, the best beer bar in Japan.
The Good Marriage in Tokyo is Beer & Food
The fourth article opens with a glowing description of Africa Pale Ale, made by Shiga Kogen, which Japan-based beer geeks will probably note as the most competent, consistent, and just plain best brewery in the country. He also visits the newish beer pub, The Watering Hole, and ends the evening at Craft Beer Market.
Africa Pale Ale, good hope & more Tokyo beer shenanigans
Fifth, Papazian heads out of Tokyo and southwest, to Wakayama, a resort town. Her spends time at Nagisa Beer and also notes that his father had visited the same town in 1945.
Wakayama, Japan - a beer place I was destined to visit
The next article promises to be about the Osaka beer scene and, we assume, the two Oshita sisters who brew at Minoh Beer. Stay tuned.