Yokohama Kirin beer brewery

by Yuka

The rainy season is over now and we are going into middle of summer. More chances that Japanese people will be shouting out this famous phrase,

"toriaezu beer!"

meaning "beer to start with".Japanese people usually ask for beer as their first choice before going on to any other drink as we love our beer so much.Yokohama,where I live is actually a home to Japan's first commercial brewery. A man named William Copeland established beer brewery in Yamate area in Yokohama in 1870,and there was one place I have always wanted to go.

Yokohama Kirin beer brewery...!!

So I went on brewery tour this afternoon.Just as you step inside, you will be surrounded with wonderful beer fragrance and sounds of opening the tap. That was really neat!

We learnt about Kirin's beer philosophy,saw the brewing kettle and germination room. Tried "Ichiban shibori bakujyu" which is the "first pressing barley juice"before going into fermentation. We also tried the "second pressing barley juice" which normally are mixed in most of the beer to compare with the "first pressing". It was pretty interesting how sweet the first pressing taste was. Kirin's popular beer "Ichiban Shibori" only use this very first wort and that is what's special about this beer.

At the end of the tour,we got to sample beers. Nice thing was that you can try three glasses for free !!

At the moment you can try "Frozen draft" with frosty head,so I did as my "toriaezu beer".

Yokohama Kirin beer brewery

and stout to follow and then the usual Ichiban shibori. Tough thing was that you needed to finish three glasses in 20min...!! Can't complain, it was nice to walk back to the station feeling bit tipsy.


Also the Kirin lady who took us around gave us tips for making a perfect head,so I will share with you.

1.From 30cm above the glass,pour in the beer slowly at first, and then faster, filling the glass with froth.

Yokohama Kirin beer brewery

2.Once you've got a 50:50 ratio between the head and body, start adding more beer. Continue to carefully pour in the beer slowly until the head rises a centineter above the glass.

Yokohama Kirin beer brewery

3.Wait a while,and then slowly add a little more beer until the head is just a centimeter and a half above the rim.

Yokohama Kirin beer brewery

She mentioned a perfectly served beer should have a 70:30 ratio between the body and head;)



I made a call to join this tour an hour before the tour start and I was lucky to slip into however, normally reservations are required few days or sometimes weeks ahead. Also,they basically don't have brewery tour in other language than Japanese. Which means you might want my help and Im happy to follow you to the beer brewery again!

Please look forward to Yokohama tour coming up soon! 






29 Jul 2014

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Contact Yuka

Hi I'm Yuka!
I'm a Japanese native that lived in Chicago for 5 years in my youth and came back to Japan at the age of 12. I studied Japanese culture, especially folklore, in University. My thesis was about Sumo jinku (the songs Sumo wrestlers sing on special occasions) and I reckon the best part of that was to go out drinking with sumo boys :)

I worked as a tour leader for an Australian tour company (Intrepid travel and World Expeditions) for 7 years until 2013, and simply loved taking people around Japan, sharing the beauty and craziness this country offers.

I want to be more of your good friend in Japan than a "tour guide," so my guiding style can be a bit laid-back compared to ordinary guides. I won't be giving you a standard tour, but I will be giving you a glimpse into Japanese life from a local point of view along with the historical and cultural explanations.

I am also a mum of 2 girls and would love meeting little friends from all over the world as well as grown-ups. I really enjoy sharing stories about raising kids with mums and dads from different countries. I have completed First Aid course for Children, Infants, and Adults with MEDIC.

I look forward to meeting you and showing you around!
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