View Full Version : Specialty Beers on the Rise in the Land of Sake

10-21-2007, 09:29 AM
OK, Now we can go to go to Japan...:D

Beer aficionados who move to Asia (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo) discover quickly that they need to scale back their expectations. Major cities offer a fair selection of British and Belgian ales and German Pilseners, but outside of the occasional brewpub, such as Brewerkz (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/singapore/attraction-detail.html?vid=1154654660072&inline=nyt-classifier) in Singapore (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/singapore/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo), there is little in the way of fresh, flavorful beers. And once you head outside of those major cities, your choices often become limited to a Heineken, a Tiger or the local Pilsener.

But there's hope brewing in Japan (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/japan/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo). Thirteen years after it legalized microbreweries, the country has produced craft brewers who can hold their own with the best that the United States (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo) and Europe (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo) have to offer. Their pale ales are as refreshingly hoppy as Sierra Nevada, from the United States; their whites are as fruity and fresh as Hoegaarden from Belgium (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/belgium/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo); and their barley wines (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/food-and-wine/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier), in their tendency to mellow and mature over the years into a syrupy, portlike digestif, match up with Thomas Hardy's Ale from England (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/britain/england/overview.html?inline=nyt-geo).