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.

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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.

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