Craft Beer Festivals in Japan for Spring 2019

Kyushu Beer Festival is back, again. 

My hedonistic tendencies have exacerbated with the discovery of good beer and so has led me to this semi-drunk, dopamine induced path of un-quenching, un-unnerving, un-dying quest for better and better and better brew every time. It's a vicious loop in a non-vicious, beer loving way. 

I have, over the years, covered Japanese beer festivals to some extent [Belgian Beer Week 2015 [HERE], Kyushu Beer Festival 2017 [HERE], 2018 [HERE]]. While I would have liked to cover more, logistics is still a major issue in this island country. Going from one place to another is unlike in Korea. You do have to plan out trips to get better deals otherwise it does take a heavy toll on your wallet. And it's not as if the beer itself is already doing that. 

Since it's clearly spring (my laundry are drying up in a day), or does feel like spring, I guess it's time to sit down and go over spring's festivals, specifically on, well.....

Craft Beer. 

We will start out close with:

1) Kyushu Beer Festival 2019 (Fukuoka, Oita)

Kyushu's flagship craft beer festival

The organizers seem to be trying out a new format of organizing two festivals simultaneously with the Fukuoka event [HERE] starting out a day before the Oita event [HERE].

Fukuoka Castle Venue from 26th April, 2019 to 5th May, 2019
Brewery to lookout for: Matsue Beer. I did check out their brewery recently and their seasonal Hazy IPA wasn't all that bad.

Website [HERE]

JR Oita Station Venue from 27th April, 2019 to 6th May, 2019
Brewery to lookout for: Kakuida Brewery.  I'm kidding. There doesn't seem to be a standout one although I did like Brewmaster back in 2017. 

Website [HERE]

2) Belgian Beer Weekend 2019 (Nagoya, Yokohama) 

Sadly they stopped doing it in Fukuoka. This is one back from 2015. 

Apparently 50 (!!) breweries from the beer capital (country) of the world -Belgium (mind you, not US)- will be taking part in the multi-city, multi-venue, muti-date, multi-ton belgian fries affair. I had had the chance to take a closer look in 2015, and man, it's good. It's very, very good. I could just drown in all those sour and barrel aged shit they throw at you. I'm imagining drinking a single sip from all the breweries and I'm 100% certain that I will be pretty badly shitfaced by the time I reach no. 49. 

Hisaya Odari Park, Hisaya Plaza- Angel Plaza from April 24, 2019 to May 5, 2019
Website (beer line up) [HERE]. Beer to try? Obviously Trappist Rochefort 10. That will be the first thing and the last one for sure. Lindeman's Blossom Gueuze is tried and tested. 

Yamashita Park, Yokohama from May 9, 2019 to May 12, 2019
Website (beer line up) [HERE]. Beer to try? Obviously Duchesse De Bourgogne. 

3) Craft Beer Live 2019 (Osaka)

Craft Beer Live is going to celebrate it's 10th Anniversary this year. 

The website claims that it's going to have 44 (!!) breweries from Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Shiga (!!). I guess that also means one thing and one thing only; Shiga Kogen is going to take part. I mean, I am just getting super excited writing this, imagine going to the actual event. 

Minatomachi River Place, Plaza 3 Open Space, 1-3-1 Minatomachi from May 25-26, 2019
Brewery to look out for: As I mentioned before, it has to be Shiga Kogen Brewery.  It's the best in the Japanese craft beer scene. 

Website [HERE]

4) Keyaki Beer Festival Spring 2019 (Saitama Shintoshin)

Apparently this one is a big deal

With over fifty (!!) breweries to take part include, this festival looks like it's even bigger than the Craft Beer Live 2019. It does make sense since the location is near Tokyo, home to 20 million (!!). That's more than half the population of Nepal, mind boggling. 

I have had to use exclamation marks a lot on this blog post. 

Keyaki Hiroba from May 29, 2019 to June 2, 2019
Breweries to watch? I would say, in general, Baird, Shiga Kogen and Be Easy Brewing do a great job. Any beer from them is worth the shot. They are consistently good at every style, which says a lot of their craft. 

Website [HERE]


BeerSonic x Far Yeast Brewing Westbound 3rd Party (Fukuoka) 

Westbound 3rd Session IPA release party

Friends at Fukuoka's only bottle shop, BeerSonic, is going to organize a beer release party for their collaborated brew with Far Yeast Brewing from Tokyo. Westbound 3rd Session IPA is their third batch brew and is expected to be an improvement on their 2nd which was released in 2018. 

Beersonic Bottle Shop, Tenjin on April 4, 2019 from 1pm onwards. 

Directions [HERE]


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