Brews News #96
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Brews News #96 - October/November 2009
All articles by Bryan Harrell unless noted.

Beer Here

Yokohama Oktoberfest

Friday, October 9 to Sunday October 18
...till 9 pm nightly.
Akarenga Soko, Yokohama
NOTE: Above is a new link; the previously announced one never worked.

Don't miss one of Japan's most lively Oktoberfest celebrations, with lots of beer and live music. Admission is 200 yen, and 1,000 yen is required for the beer glass deposit.

Maui Brews Cruise

Saturday, October 10, 2:30 to 5 pm
Dry Dock Beer Bar in Shimbashi

Join in for this chance to drink limited-edition beers from Maui Brewing at the nautically themed Dry Dock bar under the tracks in Shimbashi. Admission for this afternoon of beer drinking and Hawaiian music is 5,000 yen, which includes beer and snacks, a Maui event glass, logo stickers and the chance to win one of two mixed six-packs of Maui beer. Beers to be served include Smoked Rye Pale Ale (6.6%), Maui Coffee Stout (5%) and Big Swell IPA (6.2%). Advance reservations are required, and since it is limited to 35 people, make yours soon by e-mailing

Beers for Books

Sunday, October 11 from noon to midnight
Nakameguro Taproom

Beers for Books is a fun way to raise money for books in developing countries. Since its founding seven months ago, they are about to break the 20,000 book milestone, thanks to the support of so many participants. For details on the group and this upcoming event, see

Nippon Craft Beer Festival

Sunday, October 11, 1 to 5 pm, 3,200 yen
Sumida Riverside Hall, Asakusa, Tokyo

Some twenty-four of Japan's better brewers are participating in this friendly annual event, which is known for running out of beer just a bit early. Still, it draws a friendly crowd and always sells out, so get your tickets early. They are likely available at your favorite pub; for a list of places where tickets are sold, go to . The 3,200 yen admission includes a commemorative tasting glass and ten sample drink tickets, with extra tickets sold at the event. For more details on the event (in Japanese) go to

Beer There

On vacation this issue.

Bar Beat

Cooper's Ales in Shimbashi

This is a new bar very close to Shimbashi station, and I am told it is run by the people who have the Jha Bar in Kanda. They have about 15 good beers on tap, and prices are reasonable. I got a 500 ml glass of Assam Bock from Germany for just 800 yen. The selection is well chosen, and on the day I went there was also Stone IPA and Chimay White.

Cooper's Ales
Karasumori Bldg. 3F
3-16-3 Shinbashi, Minato-ku
Open 6pm - 2am Mon. - Thurs., till 4 am on Friday
6 - 11:30 pm Saturday, closed Sundays

Six Pick

Craft Beer Selections

Here is a good fall beer selection for the cooler weather now upon us. These beers are sold at Tanaka-ya in Mejiro.

Yona Yona Ale (Nagano pref., all malt, 5% abv) The beer is bright bronze with an ivory-colored head. There is an initial aroma of citrus-like hops, backed by dried fruit and malt. The flavor is briskly hoppy at first, followed by dry malt flavors, leading to a clean and tangy quick finish.

Ozeno Yukidoke IPA (Gunma pref., all malt, 5% abv) This beer has a hazy bronze orange color, with an off-white head. It features a powerful citrusy hop aroma, which continues into the flavor. While the body features a strong malt profile, it is quickly overpowered by the bitter hop flavor.

Shiga Kogen IPA (Nagano pref., all malt, 6% abv) The beer is a hazy orange bronze, with an ivory-colored head. There is a citrus-like hop aroma, followed by a crisply bitter initial taste. The citrus-infused malt flavors then unfold, with clearly defined American hop flavors, leading to a brisk and refreshing finish.

Nogne O Amber Ale (Norway, all malt, 6% abv) Deep brown, dark tan head, with the aroma of dark caramel and amber malt. Distinct deep roasted amber malt flavor lingers long, accompanied by moderate hop bitterness. Interesting finish of dark malt with little sweetness.

Fujizakura Rauch (Yamanashi pref., all malt, 5.5% abv) The color is deep auburn, with a light tan head. There is a clean aroma of malt and smoke flavors, which is light overall with a faint tartness. It is interestingly fruity, offset by a fine, crisp carbonation. The smoke flavor does not linger long.

Kinshachi Aka Miso Lager (Nagoya, all malt with miso, 6% abv) The beer pours a deep reddish brown, with a light tan head. The aroma is of dark caramel and dried fruit. There is some initial bitterness in the rich malty flavor, with sweetened miso in the background. The taste of light fruitcake and some bitterness leads to a long finish.

Beer Talk

At What Price?

I visited a new craft beer bar in Tokyo, and was left with a somewhat funny feeling. In the list of draft beers, there were two beers with the same price per large size, but with different prices (500 yen and 700 yen) for the small size. I would think the owner would imagine that customers think about things like this. Or, am I the only one?

Also catching my attention was the fact that the glasses were somewhat smaller than normal, though they had the same shape as pint glasses. Still, the servings are called "350 ml" (less than a pint) and not "a pint." Nevertheless, the look of a pint glass is highly suggestive, and I wonder what percentage of customers are thinking that these are pint glasses.


BEERS Meeting on Tuesday, October 20 in Tokyo

The monthly meeting for the Beer Enjoyment, Education and Research Society (BEERS) will be held on the usual third Tuesday of the month from 8 pm. So far, the event location has not been decided, but if you are interested in attending, please write to Tim Eustace at . He will let you know the location after it has been decided.

Toshi's IPA

The former brewmaster at Yona Yona, Toshi Ishii, has apparently started his own brewing company, and will soon release Toshi's IPA in Tokyo. The beer will be brewed under contract at Yonekyu Brewery and will be marketed and sold by August Brewing Company, which has recently opened a small pub in Roppongi. Look for details in a subsequent issue of Brews News.

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