Patience has paid off and I should learn from it. BeerFesOsaka2013 was a memorable experience that I hope will be topped only by future beer festivals at Kyocera Dome. Anticipation yielded to exhilaration as I helped my friend prepare for the day’s festivities. We served two Washington State craft brews: Silver City Brewery’s St. Florian IPA, an exceptional west coast IPA with prominent floral and citrus hoppiness and; Sound Brewery’s Poundage Porter showing off excellent chocolate and coffee flavors and aroma. By the third day, Sound’s Monk’s Indiscretion was already sold out.
The mood of the festival was good though it was noted that there weren’t as many people as the previous two days. The rain earlier in the day may account for this but possibly today being a work day contributed as well. Overall it was quite a laid-back day so when I wasn’t serving I was able to sample a great variety of the other ales, lagers, and hybrid styles on tap and in bottles.
Besides the beers Evergreen Imports was serving, a few beers stood out for me. Harvest Moon’s Grapefruit Ale was fresh and light and quite drinkable in the summer . This contrasted nicely with Minoh’s Ume Sour Ale, a similar fruit ale but quite sour. Both beers have their own refreshing approach to quenching a summer thirst.
Another group of beers I had the pleasure of sampling was the rauch beers of Tazawako, Fujizakura Kogen, and Daisen G. Each brewer puts in their own blend of smoked malts so each rauch has its own smokiness that amazed me. However, overall I still found Fujizakura my favorite. It’s smokiness is very forward but not too lingering, like an excellent piece of bacon that carries its smokiness down your throat leaving just enough to evoke desire for more.
There were many other beers I sampled and many I had to skip. I am looking forward to next year and hope I can participate as I did this year.
After the festival was done and everything was cleaned up we headed over to Dig Beer Bar, a new place just north of Utubo Koen in Osaka. The pre-open party was in full swing with over 15 craft beers from Japan and abroad on tap. The food is delicious and pairs beautifully with the beverages offered. Atmosphere and decor are quite relaxed with clean sleek metal, wood and concrete in the back but opens up into a tent-like covered area in the front lending a bright natural light diffusing through the canvas-like covering. Dig Beer Bar is owned by Keiji Nishio of eni-bru fame and I look forward to frequenting it in the future, tasting more beers and learning more about the bar and its origins.
Below are links to the different brewers and restaurants mentioned (many are in Japanese):