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November 23 2011

Sannomiya Craft Beer Tasting Festival 2011

At the end of September the Kobe Regatta and Athletic Club (KR&C) held their first annual Sannomiya Craft Beer Tasting Festival in the garden of their main building.

Over 12 Japanese craft beers were on offer throughout the day and in the short time I was there I tried about 6 of them.

Baird Beer

Baird Beer

All You Need Is Beer

All You Need Is Beer

There were several live bands, a kids play area, food and a charity raffle for the Red Cross Japan and the International Disaster Relief Organization Japan.

I won a t-shirt! – Unfortunately it was too small, so I passed it on to a charity flea market at our local supermarket.

Unlike some beer festivals this was free entry and you just bought tickets for the number of beers you wanted to try. This was a result, as my wife doesn’t drink beer so (rightly) refuses to go to festivals and pay ¥3000 to watch other people get drunk!

The tickets were very reasonably priced and you could also pay extra for the (recently obligatory) tasting glass for charity. The money (like the raffle takings) went to help people affected by the March tsunami and the ongoing nuclear reactor disaster.

The breweries represented were:

  • North Island (Hokkaido)
  • Swan Lake (Niigata Prefecture)
  • Shiga Kogen (Nagano)
  • Fujizakura Heights Beer (Yamanashi)
  • Baird Beer (Shizuoka)
  • Ise Kadoya (Mie)
  • Minoh Beer (Minoh)
  • Rokko Beer (Hyogo)
  • Akashi Brewery (Hyogo)
  • The Brewmaster (Fukuoka)
    • I managed to taste a few of them and scribbled down a few notes for each :

      • Minoh Pale Ale : Dry, bitter, tasty like Bass Pale Ale.
      • Minoh Peach White Beer : Peachy! Flabby but nice.
      • Rokko Pilsner : Crisp & fresh. (Ironically, I reviewed this beer 2 years ago, and specifically stated it wasn’t “crisp or fresh”! Maybe it was a bad bottle, or the beer just tastes that much better on draft. The review is here.)
      • Baird Beer Dirty Old Brown (something or rather) : Nice and Dark.
      • North Island IPA : Tropical fruits. Dry. Some Bitterness. Nice.
      • Weissen : Bananas!
      Cabos Beer

      Cabos Beer

      Checking Out King Wheat Ale

      Checking Out King Wheat Ale

      Minoh Beer

      Minoh Beer

      I should add that although in the photos it doesn’t look that crowded, they were taken fairly early on (we didn’t stay too long as the baby was getting bored), and I believe it got busier later on.

      Hopefully this will be a yearly event (they’re calling it the “1st Sannomiya September Craft Beer Tasting Festival“, so with any luck there’ll be a 2nd at least!), and you can find out more about it at their website : here .

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