Tuesday, September 19, 2006


originally uploaded by Running Beer.
After my long run on Sunday I went to a craft beer festival in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. Every year there is a festival in May/June, and it has been becoming increasingly crowded and difficult to enjoy. This year it was beyond a joke with over 3000 people in a venue with a maximum capacity of 2000. A number of the Japanese movers and shakers of the craft brew scene (some of whom are pictured) were so disgusted that they resolved to put on an alternative event that would better respect both exhibitors and craft beer fans alike. They succeeded.

It was an excellent event with only the top Japanese micro-breweries and only a selection of brews from each to ensure a good range and balance of beer styles. None of the beers were dogs (unlike the May event) and some were really outstanding. I didn't get to try everything, though was already familiar with many that I missed. Of those I did try, I was very impressed with Echigo Beer's Imperial Porter, Baird Beer's Strong Scotch Ale, Hitachi-no-Nest Beer's White Ale and Celebration Ale, Shonan Beer's Weizenbock, and Yaho Brewing's 05 Barleywine and Tokyo Black Ale (real ale version).

Despite being asked to take photo's for a friend who will be writing up the event, my camera's battery was almost flat and I only got a few shots before it died. Sadly I missed a photo of the Japanese guy with a spikey green mohawk, copious tats, and multiple piercings who provided the bagpipe music (replete with kilt and sporran!). He was very good. I spoke to him briefly and learned that he studied the pipes in that bastion of Scottish culture, wait for it, Paris!


Clairie said...

I can't see the photos on my web at work...but I am very thirsty after reading your blog.

Please don't post about a red wine fesitval for a few weeks....it may just push me over the edge!

Great to hear everyone get into the spirit of the event.

Tesso said...

So, how many beers had you drunk before you met that bagpiper ;-)