Greetings: On the occasion of the 18th issue

20. It’s a notable number this year. Twenty years ago in 1994, the Japanese government enacted deregulation that paved the way for craft beer in Japan. Essentially, it drastically reduced the required yearly production minimum for a business to receive a brewing license. Shortly thereafter, the Japan Craft Beer Association was founded and the following year the first Japanese craft breweries began production. Japanese craft beer has come a long way in twenty years, earning the respect of beer drinkers worldwide.

Meanwhile, in America, where the craft beer movement is arguably the most dynamic in the world, the Brewers Association recently reaffirmed its goal of “20 by ‘20”, meaning that they hope craft brewers can achieve 20% market share by 2020. It’s an extremely ambitious goal, but one that several cities in America have already met.

Could Japan’s beer culture ever be as strong and diverse as America’s is now—or Belgium’s or Germany’s, for that matter? Theoretically, yes. Our goal at the Japan Beer Times is to enrich Japanese beer culture, especially through supporting Japanese craft beer. But beer culture is also borderless and we want to inform readers about developments elsewhere in this world, which is why we have always run articles on overseas breweries as well.

As many know, I now split my time between Japan and California. Professionally, I use this opportunity in several ways. I’m trying to promote more beer tourism to Japan, which I think is a worthy destination. Many people overseas are also very curious about Japanese craft beer, so I act as an educator, too. Finally, I can more regularly report on ideas and developments in beer scenes overseas. Check out our website for more of these articles.

Of course, any beer lovers in Japan can be educators. Report on your blogs, websites and social networks. Write. Post pictures. Likely, you will connect with other beer lovers around the world to share information. Maybe one day, you’ll share a beer together, too. This is why beer culture is borderless.

Drink better, drink craft.

Ry Beville (publisher)

20. それは今年の記念すべき数字だ。20年前の1994年、日本政府は規制緩和を行い、日本におけるクラフトビールの道が開かれた。原則、醸造免許を受けるための年間最低製造量が大幅に引き下げられた。その直後に日本地ビール協会が設立され、その翌年、日本初の複数のクラフトブルワリーが製造を開始した。日本のクラフトビールはこの20年で大きな発展を遂げ、世界中のビール愛飲家のリスペクトを獲得してきた。






In this Issue:

Kiuchi Brewery
Y. Market Brewing: Nagoya’s Own Craft Brewpub, at Last
Karuizawa Brewery
European Beer Star Competition
BBW 2014
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Heretic Brewing: a Path Unordinary
Brew Tunes: 4 by Nabowa
Beer Styles: Rice and Kōji Beers
Spiegelau Beer Glasses
Beer Roundup (Spring 2014)

Posted: May 15th, 2014