Sunday, September 7, 2014

WEEK 23--"Subtle Brew"---the Japanese way--chit chat with HITACHINO



在撞意啤酒界,酿酒文化的盛行让很多欧美酿酒师的啤酒备受关注。

欧美撞意啤酒在亚洲很多城市受欢迎是明显趋势。

亚洲当然也有自己的品牌。从新加坡,曼谷,香港,台湾到上海北京,还有日本各地,都有人在玩自酿,当然也有人从自酿玩到变酿坊,变成品牌。

在日本,政策的调整鼓励自酿文化的出现,也帮助小型酿坊的成长,众多日本撞意啤酒品牌中,常陆野的“猫头鹰”标志是佼佼者。
这期专栏和木内家族的木内洋一先生聊点关于日本啤酒的偏见与事实。

喜欢日本和食的朋友应该会喜欢常陆野的酿酒精神。

有时候,不张扬不代表实力差,含蓄也不代表不想竞争。

和食精神,自成一家,当然有一定道理。
This week's column started with a certain perception about Japanese brew---that if compare to some US/European brew---Japanese brew is somehow "lacking" in big bold character, that it is at times too "gentle",nothing too overpowering....

That perception---is it a misguided stereotype or facts?

Thrown with the particular "perception"-- Kiuchi Youichi san, one half of the brothers from the founding family of Kiuchi brewery that produces the multiple awards winning HITCHINO NEST beers, has this to say:-
"alcoholic beverages(craft beers included) has long been closely linked with food culture, and Crazy beers match well with Crazy food. We believe Japanese food culture can be described as  SUBTLE"
And to think that the "subtle brew" from Hitachino is well received in many American/Canadian cities where there's never a shortage of "crazy brewers" is quite amazing.

Some quotes:-
on perception that Japan craft beer market is booming:-
"craft beer only make up about 0.3-0.4% of the alcoholic beverages market share in Japan"
"the craft beer market still have a long way to go(before growing into something huge)..." 

on International beer awards/competition:-
"we have been beer brewing for the past 20 years--the first 5 years we view it very seriously, then for 10 years we do not consider it as important--now we regard competition as very important events.." 
on Immediate plan:-
"expansion of local market via new canned packaging as well as collaboration brews..."
" to promote to more new market such as Korea, Italy, Russia, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia...."

on longer term target:-
" to have direct owned restaurant in Japan, as well as setting up brewery outside of Japan"
on craft beer experience so far:-
"craft beer link people up, it brought us uncountable encounters"

on craft sharing:-
'it's important to explain beer tasting method, beer styles to newbie, to share how wonderful and fun craft beer culture is..."
"same as how people see value in vintage wine, knowledge of craft beer is what makes people appreciate it's worth though it's priced higher than normal factory beers" 
on Brothers working together:-
"we just work and complement each other, there's never a thought of using brotherhood story for marketing purposes.."

on guiding motto:-
"GLOBAL THINKING, JAPANESE BREWING"



NEXT WEEK--Ale(Not pale)--Pils(Not dull)

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