They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Japanese beer tasting, White Horse, London SW6, June 2011

JCBA: Japan Craft Beer Association

I don’t pretend to be a great expert on Japanese beer — I’ve not yet had the opportunity to visit Japan and have encountered imported products only rarely. So I was delighted to be invited in early June to a Japanese beer tasting and food matching event at the White Horse, SW6, thanks to pub manager Dan Fox and beer writer and educator Melissa Cole. The event, organised with the Japan Craft Beer Association, was dogged by difficulties, first postponed due to the devastating Tohoku earthquake and fears of radioactive contamination of Japanese produce in its aftermath, and then affected by further delivery and customs problems. Finally five beers got through to an enthusiastic band of tasters in an event that became a fundraiser for the earthquake appeal. If their standard is anything to go by, there are many beery delights to discover.

Japan has its own lengthy tradition of fermented grain drinks like sake. Western-style beer brewing dates back only to the 1870s when it developed under the influence of German and American brewers, generally working with lager styles, and in the 1960s beer became the country’s most popular alcoholic drink. For many years tax laws required breweries to produce at least 20,000hl a year before they could be licensed, favouring the emergence of huge national groups like Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory. Then in 1994 brewing was deregulated and a small scale, craft brewing sector soon flourished, building on an already growing interest in imported craft beer. There are now over 200 microbreweries and brewpubs in the country.

Some of the beers at the tasting were in standard international craft beer styles — like a very impressive Imperial Stout from Minoh and a fair enough Imperial IPA from Ise Kadoya. But the two I’ve picked below had a bit more local character.

Beer picks

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