Beer Local

Today reminded me why I love beer hunting. No, not just because of the beer. I’m in Kyoto and decided to hunt down the Tingaara Bar, home of Ichijoji Brewing. Mainly because they don’t bottle so it was the only chance I would have to try them, and also because their beers sound weird.

Anyway, these guys are pretty far out of Kyoto town centre and since Kyoto buses are evil (Well, everyone tells me they are simple and intuitive. I just cannot work the bloody system out) I spent my time walking up there, then over to the Yamaoka Sake Shop Which was on the opposite end of the city. Between the two I walked a good chunk off city most tourists don’t see and talked to a lot of people.

While the beer is good, this is the stuff you remember years on.

Aching feet on the other hand are soon forgotten .

While we are on various forms of transport, Kyoto taxis seem a lot ruder than most in Japan. It isn’t all, but a few seem actively surly to tourists, which is the first I have encountered in my time here.

Anyway, back on topic. The beers at Ichijoji made me think about the Japanese craft beer scene in general. There was a lot of * infused beers there. Cinnamon, coffee, lemon and honey, etc, and looking at their website that seems to be their modus operandi. Almost calling back to the traditional ales where hops were not used, but with the ingredients as an addition rather than instead of. I’ve seen a lot like this around Japan. Tomato ales, Grapefruit beers, beers kind of like you would expect but with a unique twist. This seems a very Japanese thing. I’ve seen salad pizza, curry doughnuts, they seem to take every foodstuff and make it their own.

Now, that isn’t to say they don’t do your standard beer styles, they are taking the American craft beer style and running with it, but these oddities really stand out as them making the craft beer scene their own. I’ve tried a bunch but usually after I have finished reviewing, now I wished I had reviewed more.

For more traditional craft ales Yamaoka had the best selection of Japanese craft beer I have seen so far. Tanakaya had a better selection overall, but a much smaller selection of local beers. It is a tiny place but well worth picking up a few bottles from

Finally in today’s dose of culture. I checked out a temple with 1001 Buddha statues, and statues of the temple guardians. No photos were allowed inside so you will just have to imagine, but it was quite the sight to see. If you are in Kyoto check it out.

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