Japan celebrates craft beer

May 16 will mark the first festival held in Kyoto, Japan devoted entirely to craft beer known as Craft Beer Festa Kyoto (???????) and May 23 is Craft Beer Live 2010 in Osaka.

The Kyoto festival will be held at the Kyoto Sin-Pub Kan courtyard at 11am until 8pm, the day after Aoi-matsuri, one of three main Kyoto festivals. Admission is free and beer tickets are available for ¥300 (€2.47) or ¥500/€4.12 (includes a glass). Beer will also be sold in bottles and snacks will be served.

The following Japanese breweries will be participating in the event: Shuzan Kaido Beer (Kyoto), Minoh Beer (Osaka), Ginga Kogen Beer (Iwate), Shimane Beer Beer Hearun (Shimane), Isekadoya Beer (Mie), Kumezakura/ Daisen G Beer (Tottori), Kizakura/ Kyoto Beer (Kyoto), Kinshachi Beer (Aichi) and possibly Fujizakura Kogen Beer (Yamanashi).

On May 23, craft beer lovers head to Osaka for Craft Beer Live 2010 at Plaza 2 "Open-space" at Minatomachi River Place from 11am to 8pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance for ¥2000 (€16.47) or ¥2,500 (€20.60)on May 23.

Over 40 beers will be served from the following participating Japanese breweries: from Kyoto: Kizakura Kyoto BakushuShuuzan, Kaido Beer, Kyoto Machiya Beer; from Nara: Soni Kohgen Beer; from Hyogo: Rokko Beer, Shirayuki, Choju Gura Beer, Akashi Beer; from Osaka: Minoh Beer, Osaka Kuni No Cho Beer, Sakai Harvest Hill, Ji-beer Chitei Ryoko, Doton Bori Beer; from Shiga: Biwa Koi Imichi Beer; and from Wakayama: Nagisa Beer

There will also be food booths at the event including Eni-Bru & The Beer Works Osaka, The Doghouse Inn, World Beer&Cafe Qbrick, Beer Cafe Barly, and Beer Belly & Beer Belly Edobori.

Ryouji Oda, chairman of the Japan Craft Beer Association told the New York Times in 2007, "While [microbreweries] market share is small, about a half of a percent" there is great "growth potential for one big reason: the overwhelming majority of people drinking craft beers, especially the new ones, are younger than 40. That's vital because they're wired into the Internet, allowing growth in a way that wasn't possible 10 years ago."

For more information and to purchase tickets visit both events' blogs (in Japanese), go to: http://kyoto-jibeer.com and http://craftbeerlive.blog97.fc2.com

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