Tohoku Beer Pilgrimage

Aqula, Tazawako, Baeren, Iwatekura
by Ry Beville

Tohoku is a vast region, characterized by great swaths of agricultural land and jagged elevations largely unadulterated by civilization’s uglier industrial side. The vistas are beautiful, the diversions, abundant. And travel to the bulk of it is safe by most rational standards.

The triple disaster of March 11th has cast a shadow over the entire region, many would argue unfairly. The Pacific coastline is certainly devastated and much of the interior is still reeling from the economic repercussions. Few individuals and businesses were unaffected negatively.

This includes the craft beer industry that was flourishing there. Miyagi Microbrewery was completely wiped away, as well as the home of the brewer, who has vowed to rebuild. Other breweries were damaged by the quake. In the depressed economy, certainly orders and consumption are down.

We’ve picked four craft breweries to highlight in this issue, all relatively close to each other, all good in our opinion. We’ll cover more in future issues, but for now, this selection from northern Tohoku should make for a good trip. You can even think of your economic stimulation as charitable contribution!

Aqula
Tazawako
Baeren
Iwatekura

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This article was published in Japan Beer Times #6 (Spring 2011) and is among the limited content available online. Order your copy through our online shop or download the digital version from the iTunes store to access the full contents of this issue.