An Educational Weekend

I’m a bit late here but it was a long weekend. Not everything went to plan but I believe I’ve learned a few things.

First, Friday night was a great get-together at the new English pub in Takarazuka. I had some strong, hoppy Baird and the last bottle of stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. I finished with a Green Flash Double Stout. The ABV of each beer was fairly high but I figured I could handle it with the nice meal I ate along side the brews. This is where Friday’s lesson is from. Sometimes your body just can’t handle it. The food was absolutely perfect though: beautiful bangers and mash with gravy and mustard. The bangers were hand–made by the owner, a laid back chap from Yorkshire. I chose the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire sausages leaving the Cumberland variety until my next trip. These sage and parsley in the bangers went well with the hoppy Baird beer I had with them. Oh, an aside, if you’re interested in learning cricket, The Cricketer’s Beer Club is a good place to start.

Saturday was different. I couldn’t touch a drop as I was still stinging from the previous night’s lesson. I was able to brew a slightly modified clone of Sierra Nevada’s pale ale. My new brew pot with DIY spigot worked well with an initial leak plugged up before temperatures got too high.


I also could introduce a Japanese friend to the art and science of home brewing. We discussed the hobby and it’s place in Japan. For those who don’t know, home brewing is legal up to 1% so this hobby is a virtual unknown here. Craft beer is really just hitting a good pace of growth in the cities but out in the countryside the standard light lager and additive heavy “happo-shu” still is most popular. Slowly, the hobby is spreading and hopefully a better law reflecting the people’s interests will be passed.

I won’t say anything about my beer presently bubbling away at home; I feel a bit superstitious about talking too much about them until they’re ready. I have high hope though and the dry hopping I will add may cover anything that might have gone wrong.

Sunday brought final relief from Saturday morning’s ills but back to the beer drinking table to sample some friends’ brews. There was a nice pumpkin ale that was very full of cloves and an ale that was ver y lager like. We (our group of fellow travelers in home brew) will also be doing some legal brewing and teaching regular people from time to time because of the generosity of a local craft brewer in Osaka. I look forward to the next meeting where we’ll hopefully find ourselves immersed in a small brewery in Itami and possibly get to see the Nihonshu part of the brewery as well.


Autumn is here and so is my beer season or 秋の空、ブルーマスターの心?

Off to a new pub tonight. It’s here in Takarazuka and they serve a lot of Japanese craft beer: The Cricketers Beer Club.

From what a friend said, they have a nice variety of Japanese craftbrew. I’m actually hoping to get some Brew Dog Punk IPA. The owner also makes traditional English sausages so I imagine a plate of bangers and mash might go well with something they have on tap or bottled.

Along with this, the weather is cooling and my brewing is warming up. I was able to get my brew pot up and ready; five and a half kilograms of malt were milled (nearly burning out the motor of a small drill); and organized everything to make it nice and smooth. All done in thirty minutes. Now if the weather behaves, Saturday night I will be posting more on the day’s brew.

今晩に、新しいパブに行く。宝塚にて、たくさん日本の地ビールを売っている: The Cricketers Beer Club.

友達の情報では、日本の地ビールのヴァラエティがいい。でも、僕は、Brew Dog Punk IPA を飲みたいだ。パブのマスター伝統的なイギリスソーセージを作るので、生ビールか瓶ビールと一緒にbangers and mash(ソーセージとマシューポテト)を食べるかな。



Whoops! Where did the time go?

I really am disappointed in myself. I was going to write about the wonderful time spent at the World Craft Beer Tasting a few weekends back but have had to deal with some personal issues. Now that those things have begun to settle I can refocus on beer.

The WCBT was absolutely beautiful. I just wish I had written down more of have beers I had. I focused mostly on Washington state brews like a lovely dunkel and a smooth oatmeal imperial stout that went down easy not suggesting that it was a warm 9% brew.

After the Tasting I wound my way with friends to a beergarden where I traded quality for quantity. The quality was there of course with friends and family but the beer was standard Kirin in as much as I could drink. I took it easy; I have responsibilities.

The next step is the coming brew season. I have been wrangling up hops and grain. The temperature should be on its way down to a brewer’s comfort zone in the next week or so then I will get to my first planned brew of the year, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone. I still haven’t decided what to use as a substitute for Perle hops but I can’t wait. I hope I can follow up the pale ale with a stout or smoked porter. I’m almost jumping with anticipation.

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