Addendum to: Beer Zen Second Anniversary Issue Launch Party: Prequal?


Found the tap list for the party tonight:

Caldera Repeater 2 Doouble IPA
-Prairie Somewhere (almost gone)
-Lucky Bucket IPA
On Stand By
-American Powerplay Double IPA
-Schooner Exact Bitter Beer Face
Double IPA

If anyone reads this in the next few hours and is in Osaka, Get down to Craft Cafe Imazato 今里クラフトカフェ right away!

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Beer Zen Second Anniversary Issue Launch Party: Prequal?


I’m sitting in the Cricketers , the best English pubs in Takarazuka, saying goodbye to a friend, the young English bartender.  Hopefully he’ll be back in a few months.  While I’m here, there is a nice new beer from Kyoto Brewing Company: the Kinpatsu no Futago, or, Blond Twins.  It’s an interesting blond ale with a sweet malt finish leap-frogged by slightly citrusy hops.

But I’m not here just to see my friend and drink a beer from Kyoto’s up-and-coming craft brewery.  I’m writing about tomorrow’s launch party for Beer Zen‘s Summer issue.  I should be writing about that.  The party looks like it will be great fun.  I’ve been to many of the previous parties especially since I started writing beer related recipes for a year or so.  It will also be the second anniversary of the magazine’s publication. The recipe I have in this issue is a beer vinegrette dressing.  Please, check it out.  Besides there being some IPAs on tap, I don’t know specifics on what will be available. I just know I’m really looking forward to it.  That being said, I will follow this up Sunday.

After all….


Along with reduced weigh and overall good health, my tolerance for alcohol has plummeted.  I don’t drink much more which has contributed to lower weigh and so forth.  Yet here I am.  I still love craft beer and home brewing. I indulge in each when I can though not as much as I once did.

Finally after a long dry spell I was able to enjoy one of the big craft beer festivals in Kansai.  Craft Beer Live in なんば is usually a great place to taste the variety of craft beer in the Kansai region of Japan.

 
This year was one of the best since I’ve been attending with one of the newest breweries, a soon-to-be rising star in the Japanese craft beer realm, Kyoto Brewing Company participating for the first time.

KBC just started brewing this year and is already producing stellar potables.  Though not 100% into the Himitsu beer, I loved the Snow Monkey and could have drunk it all day were it not for Minoh and Marca.

After all the craft beer up under the tents of the plaza below Namba Hatch it would be hard to say the day could be better, but down below the foot bridge spanning the Dontonbori River (sort of creek/moat) I set up with good friends and family, both home brewers and not, our own spot of shade and relaxed with each other’s company, beer, and food.  The combination of these events made for a great day, professional brews and many hobby beers as well.  I may never go professional in brewing beer but I hope some of my friends do.  They have so much to contribute to the world of craft beer.

A Day at the Beach


It’s sad but a good friend is leaving. He has been in Japan for nearly a decade and he has, along with his family, decided it is time to move on, take a new path in life. He was the friend who got me interested in home brewing. We made a few good brews together, and enjoyed drinking quite a few together.

Last Sunday the local home brewers got together at a popular beach in Kobe with a 20 liter keg of American Pale ale we had made a month before. We set up in the shade of trees in a park nearby. Besides the keg, there were a few other home brews and craft brews on hand.

The APA was a malty brew with just the right amount of hops. Even in the summer heat it was good.  It wasn’t crisp and refreshing but it was something I would, could, come back to anytime of the year.  The beer was only in the keg for a week so it is still quite green. I hope I can get another taste soon for comparison.

There was a hefeweizen on hand, as well, which was nice for the season but had a bit of a banana flavor that seemed wrong; it seemed just a little too much.

In the end it it was a good day even if we had to say goodbye. The beach was a nice place to do it, though.

Hopefully, in a year or so, I’ll be heading over to England with fellow brewers and/or family to see this good friend.  There will definitely be a local beer tour somewhere in there.

Long Time No See 久しぶり!


It’s been a long while and plenty of that time has been spent with beer of many different kinds.  With my quest for better health in full swing, though, I have not had as much to drink as I’d like. I don’t mean that I want to get shit-faced all the time or simply more; I just want to try more of the great variety of craft beer and home brew available in Kansai now.

Since late December I’ve been using different means to slim down and get into shape. I got a fitbit so every step I take I monitor and analyze. I watch what I eat and drink along with exercising every day. The result is a nearly eight kilogram loss and actual visible muscle growth. My waist has shrunk as well.

As I was watching my intake of calories I found the quantity of beer I drank fell off dramatically –ability as well.  Quantity was never a priority, but quality over quantity really has become the most important thing in the six plus months since starting this diet/lifestyle change. I may not drink every day but I do savor each craft or home brew I drink.

I haven’t been singularly devoted to changing my diet and exercise habits though. Anyone who has seen my Untappd (kansaiclikker) account knows that there have been more than a few times when I have logged a bunch of brews within one night.  A recent trip to a friend’s place can attest to this.  I tried at least eight beers (all small amounts) from craft and Belgian brewers.  My favorite was definitely the  Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.  On top of that I tried a lemon ale and a ginger beer from an up and coming home brewer.  There was also a great off flavor tasting to know what problems can arise and how to remedy them in the home brewing process.

Since my last post there have been several festivals where I got to try everything from a little 3.5% ale to a whopping 15.5%.  I’ve also had to say goodbye to some good friends who have gone onto different paths in life.  It’s sad but we got to share some beautiful beer together.  In the coming months I will be seeking out more brews and bidding farewell to more friends.

So for now good brews to you and keep it classy.  Quality trumps quantity, usually!  And see you hopefully on Sunday when I throw that rule (is it a rule or just a rough guideline?) out.

Little Writeup for a Weekend of Beer


Right. So I’m actually writing about the time I said I would. But enough about that. Time to bathe in the beer tub of my weekend.

Saturday night I attended the monthly beer dinner at Asahiya in northern Osaka. This lovely little shop carries craft and big beer brews from all over the world. The owner is a wonderful man who opens his shop and home with tremendous warmth. Each month seems to feature different beers along with food prepared by his family that compliment the beers.

I started off with the Minoh Yuzu White. The citrus aroma was well defined and the flavor was quite refreshing. I like this beer a lot but enjoy. It much more in the heat of the summer. I followed this up with Shiga Kogen’s African Pale Ale. I’m still unsure what that actually means—anyone know?— but it is one of my favorites and I always have some when I get a chance.

As always I enjoyed Asahiya’s event very much. I ate more than I should have and will next time as well.

Today. Today was the first meeting of homebrewers for this year. So many beers were submitted and we still lack a formal way of critiquing each other’s brews so there was some confusion. Yet from this we have some ideas on how to improve or comments to the beers and thus helping each other improve in our beer endeavors.

World Craft Beer Tasting 2013


The World Craft Beer Tasting is in just over 24 hours. I can’t wait to try so many of the brews. If anyone is there on Sunday, say hi.

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