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Jul 2, 2014 02:20 PM

In Honor of Japan innovation (Japan Craft)

In honor of Japan innovations from the Arts to Industry, from the author of Kappa, written by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, during Japan's rise to match the industrial west, to Abe's recent decision to take a stand against the limits imposed, by imperialist Americans that did horrors to two cities, I bought three Craft beers from Japan.

I will report on my findings, only after I hear from others, about the beers in the photos.

I am curious, as to what others state, before revealing what I have found, in the tastes of these.

If no one reports as to their likes or dislikes, I shall only report after indulging in several others I passed up, in favor of these three....and make a quesi-inclusive finding.

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  1. Well, they are better for the palate, in terms of pleasure, than any American craft beer....

    save for Ommegang and very few others, as of yet, I have not encountered.

    .....innovation as oppose to excessive hops, excesses expressed in extreme comic and shock appeal, in names and packaging (ei: labels).

    That is just the warming up statement.

    There is a difference between America and Europe, and America and Japan, noted in the photos I have here:

    1 Reply
    1. re: jonkyo

      In proving my point above, names and labels using extreme and shock to sell and attract attention, I thought of a highly extreme noun or adjective, or even verb, and googled it with 'beer' as the second word on the search.

      It goes beyond what one has witnessed with even Hardcore Punk of the early 1980s, and experimental underground late 70s into 80s.

      I wonder if there is an Agent Orange beer, or a Lemon Kittens Beer, or Fear....The Germs Beer..

      An inventive area for creative small label bands, while drinking Lowenbrau. I can't say the same with the beers (craft that is) today.

      Names and labels inspired by a generation schooled on Married With Children, Homer, and South Park.

      What spins my head more is Hick Hop advertising posters on buses, that my eyes are involuntarily subjected too, on the streets of NYC.

      One reason I avoid stores with shelves of six packs of Craft American Beer, for it is similar to paging through the full to half page Hollywood and Art Flick..foreign film ads in the Weekend or Arts section of the New York Times.

      Glut and nothing value....for revenue.

      With beer these days, its nationalism and identity issues.

      This is the pathological antithetical extreme of the 'extreme monolithic big brewer culture' it was trying to respond to.

      With these Japan Brews, one is able to feel respect for a tradition. Not so with Devil Hop....Freak Hop....

      that is Beavis and Butthead...Homer culture, that has become endemic in some ways to this craft beer phenomena.

      My visit to Gun Hill Brewery was a test to see something I had a faithful hope for due to its straight laced no frills impression it gave in write ups I read. I was utterly impressed, and loved what I drank.

      the photos are

      googled just off top of my head:

      1. whitman beer

      2. Butt beer

      3. Nude beer

      4. Freud Beer

      5. Flying Monkey Beer

      and I could go on.....

      But this really leaves the playing field totally open for quality to be stand out.

      Go local and you might find one....and maybe two, out of the dozens.

    2. I thought craft beer was all marketing?

      3 Replies
      1. re: jpc8015

        First it is brewing, then marketing. Though, some of the marketing may happen before the brewing.

        If the beer above in photo was not marketed, I would not have been able to enjoy it.

        1. re: jonkyo

          But you hate marketing. Is enjoying this beer an act of self loathing?

          1. re: jpc8015

            Marketing is a behavior that does not necessarily have a negative value.

            Marketing and manufacturing taste does have a negative value, is it undermines ones own autonomy in consumerism, and consuming behavior. It puts greed over education and development.

            t is not black and white though.

      2. Late to the post, but thanks for the articles.

        1. I quite like Echigo Stout. It's very good for pairing with yakitori. The beer in the middle, I forget its name because it's a forgettable beer - I remember being unimpressed. Hitachino Red Rice ale is rather strange, but interesting. Not one I drink with any regularity - Hitachino makes a number of other beers I enjoy a lot more, like XH, Dai Dai, White, and the New Year's anniversary ale.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Josh

            My assessment actually is same as yours.

            I find that the Stout, paired with spiced meat, quite nice, as it is a not plagued as some are with a sweet taste.

            1. re: Josh

              Middle one is also made by Echigo. That beer is made with "koshi hikari" rice, which is the most renowned type of eating rice in Japan. (Echigo is the old name for Nigata Prefecture, which is associated with rice growing and koshi hikari.) If I'm going to drink a rice beer, I personally prefer Asahi Super Dry which is cheaper and crisper. I think the koshi hikari thing is a kind of a gimmick....Oddly, I don't see Hitachino Nest beers too often in Japan.

              1. re: Silverjay

                When I go to Japanese restaurants it's pretty rare for me to see Hitachino served. I'm more likely to see Coedo or Echigo Stout/Red if I'm lucky, instead of just Sapporo/Kirin/Asahi. I do like the Asahi Black, though.

                Baird makes some interesting beers as well.

            2. The original comment has been removed