Beer and Booze, Japan

Craft Man Beer House in Kyoto

There is nothing like a good beer after a long day of traveling and exploring. After sight seeing in Kyoto, jumping on and off trains to see the shrines and temples, and finally the Nishiki Market, we came across the Craft Man Beer House next door to a restaurant serving kobe beef.

Craft Man Beer House doesn’t look like much once you first walk in, but it’s actually three stories high. The first floor is more of a bar, with the second and third floor set up as a restaurant and lounge. Open 2.5 years, Craft Man Beer House has a wide variety of craft beers on tap, about 25 beers, all brewed in Japan. The Japanese/English menu gave us an idea of the types of beers available and the location of the brewery. A sole, dedicated bartender carefully poured each beer for each of the patrons and put up with our increasingly loud conversations. It didn’t help that we had some sake during dinner.

craft man

My friends and I are fans of beer flights, so that we could try different brews from different places in smaller quantities versus just picking one or two. The bar didn’t provide samplers, but there was a sampler available with three different beers for a set price. They included the Earl Grey Fruit Beer, the Suiyouba No Neko, and the Nagisa Beer Pale Ale. I finished up the evening with a Kumquat Lager and another Earl Grey Fruit Beer. This is definitely a fun little place to go to after a long day. The locals made the visit especially memorable.


The Beer

earl greyEarl Grey Fruit Beer – Johana Beer in Toyama, Japan

One sip of this beer and I was hooked. Golden and cloudy in color and low in alcohol content, this beer was sweet but not overly so. It was like drinking Earl Grey tea with a hint of honey and lemon. After the sampler, I had to order a second round since I liked it so much.






Suiyouba No Neko – Yo-Ho Brewing Company, Nagano, Japan

Also known as “Wednesday Cat”, this Belgium-style beer is simple and citrusy. A lighter yellow in color and slightly cloudy, this beer is also lower in alcohol content and is very refreshing. It was almost like a nice palette cleanser in-between tastings.









Kumquat Lager

Kinkan (Kumquat) Lager – Miyazaki Hideji Beer Brewery, Nobeoka, Japan

A cloudy, light golden beer that is also fruity. Brewed using locally grown kumquats, it’s slightly bitter with citrusy notes and taste. Another refreshing and light beer.






Are you interested in trying any of these? If so, which one?


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