It's that time of year. Time for the Yokohama Beer Fast (BeerFes?).
At 4500 yen, it's a spendy place to get drunk. But you're here to sample a few hundred glasses of what Japan has to offer, right? So get your teeny sampler glass and get tasting!
Other beer blogs will hopefully try to pick some winners. I won't. Actually, I was generally disappointed with the stuff that the micro breweries of Japan have been making of late. It seems like there has been a push to make a lot of German style brews recently. So a lot of bland pilsners. But in a sea of yellow there were a few nice dunkels and what not.
Last year there were a ton of really strong barley wine type beers, which was more my style.
As always, the overseas section was superb. New Zealand made a big appearance here. More on that later.
Please don't tell me what you pay for a bottle of Dogfish Head where you live. I know one liquor store in Tokyo that stocks bottles, and it's an expensive habit.
Of course, the horrid green beer from Hokkaido was back. Of course, it had the longest line to try it. Also, the line to try the cranberry beer was really long. A lot of beer geek dudes brought their girlfriends to the event.
After the beers...
Into this. Read all about it! One of my top 5 bowls of ramen in Japan. Word.
David, the export manager for the Tuatara brewery in New Zealand, invited us to a special New Zealand microbrew tasting party after the event. Rad!
By the way, that's a tuatara.
The beers were great and all, each with unique stories. I forgot all of the stories, though. Something about the Freemasons with this one.
But I did learn that a "captain cooker" is a pig. And Kiwis refer to this one as "pig beer".
Tuatara's stuff was poured straight from a 2 liter tea bottle. Their American Pale Ale, a sort of West Coast IPA, works nicely.
There's David, bringing the next round. He lugged all this stuff in suitcases, breaking a few in the process. Nice dedication!
Lots of cool Tokyo beer people were here, including the Rogue importer. He thanked me for helping send his kids through school.
I'd had a few by this time, and things started getting random.
Ended up at an izakaya run by a Bull Nakano, a female pro wrestler who took the WWF title back in the nineties.
Cozy little place, where no more than 8 people can hang out and have a drink with Mrs. Nakano herself. I have almost no knowledge of pro wrestling stuff, so I did some searching on the internet in my hungover state the next day. She's super famous. If you're a pro wrestling fan (you know who you are!), check this place out. She speaks some English, and could probably tell you some cool stories.
And I think I just got another part time job... selling super expensive kamaboko (fish cakes) at upscale department stores in the Tokyo area during the holiday season. Hunh?
Hmmm - I have a few problems here... (1) from the perspective of someone married to a Sapporo-ite... Sapporo has the best beer festa (ok... I have to assume she's rigt).
(2) Hokkaido beer rulz ok... ok I luv Sapporo beer.
(3) Any lens combo where beer looks smaller than real-life is just wrong, and immoral.
But - other than these small comments, I have to say that I love your post.
I should have explained. The blue beer is a special "omiage" beer. I think it's supposed to be blue to represent the Sea of Okhosk (sp). It's basically a novelty. Nothing against Hokkaido, just against novelty beer.
The beers all look small because it is a tasting event. I think the pours were about 50ml.
I've heard that the Sapporo beer fest in summer is really cool.
Dogfish ain't cheap here in NYC either, don't feel too bad.
Is that all they had though? Punkin, 60, and Indian Brown?
Looks like a fun time.
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