japanese craft brew?
i'm in gunma right now and found the following brewery and wondering if anyone else can help me out with more options around japan (mostly tokyo, kyoto, osaka and the gunma prefecture)?
Ryujin Syuzo (Ozeno Yukidoke) is a craft beer brewer in the area that seems to be regarded fairly favourably. we got lost hunting down the brewery and then talked to a friend of the friend and re-located the "winery & gallery" where we can taste sakes and buy their beer. we'll be leaving for that shortly.
i can't get into too much detail, but here's a brief report from my trip:
ozeno yukidoke is a great brewer of beer. they have a belgian style which distinctly has a japanese mark on it but does hit the basic flavour notes (sweet and bitter) of a nice belgian. the ipa was a hit with a good shot of bitter that contrasts most traditional japanese brews.
kizakura was thought to be a winner after the first beer but their expensive bottles (appox 400 or so yen in the store) and following tastings proved otherwise.
one of the most interesting brews we came across was a japanese brew master posted in belgium! owa is the name of the beer and the namesake glass is made of a thick ceramic. we found this at the newest delirium cafe to open up in tokyo and found it nicely complex. can't recall many details except for it leaning on the bitter side.
one of the most interesting finds was in shibuya from a random liquor store.... 100% rogue ales made for japan? there was a buckwheat, chocolate, white crane bitter, great wolf something... etc. not sure if they're just getting rebottled/labeled for the japanese market but it was definitely made a little cuter and the smoked beer was definitely different.