Friday night: IBU event at Towers. A pint each of Green Flash West Coast IPA, Hop Rod Rye, and Ruination for 3000 yen. Who says you can’t sell Nagano Trading’s beers at 1000 yen a pop and make a profit – people were making special trips from Yokohama and beyond for these beers.

How many people can you squeeze in a Mini?

How many people can you squeeze in a Mini?

One, two, three, ...

One, two, three, ...

An impromptu table made from a parking meter!

An impromptu table made from a parking meter!

I loved the cool tabletop for the parking meter – what an idea!

Green Flash was a lot more bitter than I remembered it – was definitely better at Dry Dock before. Ruination was excellent as always – I still have some in my beer fridge actually; I’m savouring them.

From Thrash to Maltan for Shiga Kogen House IPA (but sold out!) and then to The Aldgate for Thistle IPA. I’ve been wanting to get to The Aldgate for ages with a decent camera – yet I completely failed to take any photos. Doh!

Saturday: Kichijoji

Thinking of Jonno in his home town, I pounced on some XXXX being sold a bargain basement prices at some “everything much go” shop near the park.

A wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else

A wouldn't give a XXXX for anything else

Joke and slag off XXXX as much as you want, but this XXXX Export Lager was actually pretty good. Nice refreshing malty crispness to it – I actually went back for a second can.

In the evening, Bicke – and I did succeed in scoring some Shiga Kogen IPA. Doesn’t it look gorgeous?

Japans best IPA - Shiga Kogen IPA

Japans best IPA - Shiga Kogen IPA

Sunday: Dieu du Ciel event at Ushi Tora. Interesting story this – after some Japanese breweries sent beers to Canada for a festival, the brewers at Dieu du Ciel decided that rather than send the kegs back empty, they’d fill them with their beers and send them back to Japan. The beers were given to Ushi Tora free – though obviously UT need to pay customs charges etc – which meant the beers ended up pretty cheap, and they were served by Luc from Dieu du Ciel himself.

Luc turning Japanese

Luc turning Japanese

Beers on tap were:

  • Rosée d’hibiscus (Pinkish Hibiscus) Hibiscus flower Wit 5%
  • Solstice d’été aux cerises (Cherry Summer solstice) Sour wheat beer with fruits 5.5%
  • Dernière Volonté (Last will) Abbey-style blond beer 6.5%
  • Corne du diable (Horn of the devil) American IPA 6.5%
  • Péché Mortel (Mortal Sin) Imperial coffee stout 9.5%
  • Charbonnière (Coalwoman) Rauchbier (Smoked ale) 5%
  • Ochamena Bi-Ru (Ochamena Bi-Ru) Buckwheat beer with Japanese tea 5%
  • Isseki nicho (Isseki nicho) Impérial dark saison 9%, made with Sato-san from Shiga Kogen

The Hibiscus I expected to hate and it was easily the best of the day; the IPA was a good effort – I’d like to try it out the bottle; and the Japanese tea beer tasted exactly like Haagen-dazs – and just like Haagen-dazs, at first I didn’t like it, but by the end I loved it.

For me the weakest of the two beers were the Coffee Stout which was too strong for me and the Rauch, but that’s only because I don’t like smoked beers – others loved it.

Luc was great to talk with and seemed really enthusiastic about the beer, the label designs – everything. Would love to get to Canada and check the place out.

I also got to talk with Sato-san from Shiga Kogen – it was fantastic to meet him given the amount of time I’ve spent chasing round Tokyo in search of his beers, both the standard IPA and the house IPA. You might recall that I didn’t like the house IPA much the last few times I tried it – Sato-san let me try one that Ushi Tora currently have on tap but were not selling (because of the event) and it was much better, so maybe I’ll try it again next time I see it on tap. The normal IPA rocks though.  Some good beers coming out of Shiga Kogen in the next few months – they’re in the middle of harvesting their own hops now – I’ll be looking forward to them.

Isseki nicho

Isseki nicho

A great weekend of beer drinking. It’s only a shame it had to end…

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