Greetings: On the occasion of the 19th issue

What an exciting time to be in craft beer. The consumer movement toward artisanal breweries with close ties to the community is growing in countries across the world. Japan is one that is gaining a lot of attention, with media organizations and brewers frequently contacting us for information. Many brewers and beer lovers overseas now tell us that Japan is one of their must-visit destinations over the next year or two. We applaud that.

That craft beer would take root here is no big surprise. Japan has always had a love affair with artisanal products. Large-scale industrialization didn’t snuff out craft industries in Japan like it did in so many other developed countries. Nevertheless, a renewed interest in craft products in Japan has not exactly surged. It’s been more like a slow, steady swell. Larger business concerns often disrupt or slow genuine craft movements. Think of the crass commercialization of traditional regional products as omiyage (travel souvenirs). Such a shift of attention from quality to marketing value was a large reason the first craft beer movement collapsed in Japan in the late 1990s.

Despite all the progress of recent years, we feel as if craft beer in Japan is still very young. That’s part of reason it’s an exciting time to be involved. There’s so much left to accomplish. We feel education and awareness is one major area in need of continued attention, which is why we publish this magazine.

We’ll be the first to admit that there is much that we still don’t know. We are constantly studying craft beer, especially technical and financial matters. It’s not as sexy as the history and culture, but still extremely important to know. We also ask a lot of questions whenever we have the chance.

But perhaps the best craft beer education starts with simply drinking, frequently and from a range of styles. Go ahead—drink your way to knowledge. The tuition can be expensive, but it’s a rewarding major.

Drink better, drink craft.

Ry Beville (publisher)

クラフトビールに関わる人にとってなんてエキサイティングな時期だろう! 地域に深く根ざし、職人技を活かしているブルワリーの製品は世界各国で消費が伸びている。日本は特に関心が寄せられている国の1つで、報道機関やブルワーたちが頻繁に我々に情報を求めてくる。海外の多くのブルワーやビール愛飲家が口々に言う。「日本は私たちにとってここ1〜2年のうちに訪れるべき旅先のひとつだ」と。拍手を送ろう。






In this Issue:

Yorocco Beer
Baird Brewing
Brimmer Brewing
Malt: the Bread of Beer
Silver City Brewery
Loco Beer
Brew Tunes: The Muse by The Wood Brothers
Beer Roundup (Summer 2014)
Beer Styles: Session IPA
In Memoriam: Jack Joyce

Posted: August 14th, 2014