A Reboot?


So what about blog reboots, start-overs? What do most people do if you want to renovate your blog? Begin a new one altogether or just set everything aside and redesign/rebrand yourself?

Just Getting Cooking….


So I don’t drink much. That’s probably a good thing. But what I’ve been trying to do with beer is just as good. I have always loved cooking and trying new things. So for now, I’m expanding on the recipes I’ve been writing and testing for Beer Zen magazine in Japan.  I’m also branching out and writing other beer related articles.  Hopefully I’ll start posting more here again. Yeah, I’ve said that before but I really am going to try harder. Oh, yeah, I’m also working on learning how to build apps for iOS. Let’s see where that takes me.

Beer Zen Instagram


BTW, I’m happy to be helping out with the Beer Zen Instagram account. Lots of fun!

Enjoy!

Aside

Epic Saturday and Awesome (Really) Monday


Saturday was a beautiful day here in the Kansai. It was  hot one to be sure with a breeze only showing up fashionably late in the afternoon. In the kick-ass event space of Grow Space Salt Valley Ashiharabashi (in Japanese) Beer Zen held an epic keg party just about going through eight kegs of premium craft beer from the U.S. west coast.  It was great fun working the kegs and talking to so many people who make the craft beer scene in Kansai such a warm and inviting crowd.

We then adjourned to another craft beer bar, TNT (just Facebook site for now), where the size is more intimate  and the brew selection is even better.  Discussing life with friends there I made it home before long and spent Sunday recovering.

Monday, was supposed to be a day of car pooling and cleaning.  Nope. I met a friend out at Suma beach in western KOBE and we relaxed under his pavilion tent drinking a bit and swimming. The nearby Copenhagen Hot Dog shop was lunch; I always step in where the dogs are always awesome and the owner is friendly.

Now onto a week of festivals and driving. Looking forward to next Monday though.  May the force be with us.

Yet Another Long Stretch


So the story of my bottom line—in my wallet and my forty-year-old waist—has lead me to delay the latest post to this oh so prolific blog on Japanese craft beer.  I would like to say drinking less has made me feel healthier and happier.  But that would be a rather stretched to the limits truth. I have many good days of health and cutting down on high calorie drinks like full bodied beer has contributed to that. And drinking good, really good craft beer left frequently has me appreciating it even more when I do get time to sit and ponder the ways the aromas, flavored and textures interact and delight or disgust. 

I have been busy with other endeavors still related to craft beer. The wonderful Beer Zen magazine focusing on many craft beers in the Kansai region of Japan and other aspects of the craft beer scene has been where I’ve been doing some of my writing. It’s not much on my part, just a recipe each issue for the past few years. I enjoy the chance to explore where my creativity may develop and take me. I’m currently working on an article on craft beer importing into Japan. I hope it will be ready and published by the January 2017 issue. 

Summer Abroad, or How to Say You’re Going to Try a Bunch of Craft Beer but Only Get to One Brewery


Months ago I was stoked to go to my hometown.  I was going to see old friends and family.  I was going to see the sights and enjoy myself immensely.  I did.  I also mentioned a great desire to visit several craft breweries in the vicinity of my parents’s house.

I got to one.  I was all excited to get to Cigar City Brewery, 3 Daughters Brewing and Green Bench Brewing.  My time in Florida was passing and I found little time to get to any of them. I was worried but finally got to 3 Daughters.  It was a great place, and I soon forgot my worry.  It was just that great.  I had a sampler and wandered around a bit.  The taproom is a comfortable wood bar with another table to the side.  

 

Bar with friendly staff

Bar with friendly staff .

 
There are board games and cards for people to freely play, and walking down to the restrooms, I found a room with table tennis across from the yeast lab.  They are not wasting space.

The open area next to the brewery equipment and machinery is a large open seating area with more games and live music.  I had finished the sampler and was now on a pint of weizen that went perfect with the laid back atmosphere of the space.

 

Live blues, giant Jenga, and other diversions

Live blues, giant Jenga, and other diversions

  
 
The sampler:

 

a nice pumpkin ale and a good red ale

  

my new IPA favorite: the Bimini Twist; and awesome stout

 

So sad….but wait…there is possibly more


I was going to write about my weekend of awesome home brews shared between awesome friends under a glorious sun on a never ending beach.  But that didn’t happen.  It couldn’t happen.  Nature stepped in and I found myself laid low by a nasty stomach bug.  Woe was me! 

From reports, the homebrewers meeting was a success and, though I missed everyone, I look forward to the next possible meeting in the fall.  In the meantime, what I have in store for the next few weeks should help my spirits. 

Soon, depending on the weather, I am going into vacation mode and packing the family off to Florida.  While there I’ll be enjoying the usual sun and sea, but I am also looking forward to stocking up a bit on hard to find things here and maybe a treat or two there for new equipment:  Starsan, a carboy carrier, and maybe a growler for fun.

The prices are also something to look forward to.  Here in Japan, craft beer prices can be a few hundred yen per bottle. Depending on the exchange rate, that comes out to $5 or more at times for a good craft brew.  Now, in the U.S., that same $5 might get me a few more bottles.  I’m feeling like a kid in a candy store even though I don’t drink much.  I have some particular breweries in mind.  Cigar City Brewing is top on the list but there are a few newer (since last I traveled the area) spots I’m hoping to make.  So, if anyone reading this has been to the Tampa Bay Area, what breweries and particular beers do you recommend?  What are your top Florida craft brews?  I’d love to hear from you.

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