Source: Gaijin Pot
While Japan isn’t exactly the craft beer haven that North America and Europe have become in recent years, the Japanese craft brew scene is rapidly growing. Only 20 years ago, craft beer in Japan was pretty much nonexistent, with a beer industry overpowered by big names like Asahi and Kirin.
It wasn’t until 1994 that the government lowered the annual output of beer necessary to obtain a brewing license from 2,000,000 liters to just 60,000. While hundreds of breweries opened their doors in the wake of the new law, a lack of brewer experience and a population generally unfamiliar with such variety caused many of them to close. Today, the market seems to have stabilized. According to the Japan Beer Times, there are now more than 300 craft breweries flaunting thousands of new varieties around the country.
As the hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, season cascades onto Japan, so too do more spring beer festivals. A perfect excuse to travel to a new part of Japan (especially with an upcoming 10-day Golden Week), here are some craft beer events to mark on your calendar.