Monday, August 10, 2015


I had a wonderful time at BeerFes名古屋2015. This is a great event in which you have an opportunity to try a plethora of different beers. You can drink all you want for 4 hours. Most of the breweries that were showing off their beers where Japanese. There was also some foreign beers as well like Anchor Steam from the USA, Tiny Rebel from Wales, and Weihenstephan from Germany. Also, it was a pleasure meeting Japan Beer Times and Transporter Beer Magazine. Check out some of the photos from the event below. I tried over 25 different beers. Y.MARKET BREWING had some delicious offerings. Thank you to the breweries for making this event special.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

World Beer Summit 2015 in Nagoya, Japan!

On Saturday, I went to the World Beer Summit in Sakae, Nagoya. At this event, you have the opportunity to try many different international beers. On this day, I tried a delicious Belgian strong ale called Lucifer and a hoppy West Coast IPA from Rogue Farms called 7 Hop IPA. To go with the beer, I ate a Nagoya classic, Taiwan ramen, a spicy bowl of noodles. Prices for beer at this event are affordable. A pint of beer ranges from 900 to 1000 yen. If you have time during the week, check this event out. The event runs until Sunday the 16th of August.

Apologies for the lack of content on this blog!!

I want to send my apologies to the readers of this blog.  I have not been updating this blog for a while now.  For up to date information on this blog, check out Craft Beer Chubu on Facebook and Instagram.  Make sure to follow these pages.  There is a plethora of current information on these pages.  Thanks.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Himmel Craftbeer and Meat: Japanese Craft Beer Bar in the Heart of Imaike!!

    The Imaike area of Nagoya has been rebounding lately in terms of its nightlife.  Years ago, Imaike was area that known for going out to different restaurants and drinking establishments.  However, times were not good for Imaike.  Many people started going to the flashier and newer hotspots that were popping in Sakae.  However in the recent years, there has been a resurgence of bars and restaurants in the Imaike area.

    Imaike is well known for Misen, the restaurant that started making the Nagoya favorite Taiwan ramen.  Also, there has always been a number of long time establishments in this area.  Recently though, there have a been number of newer establishments opening in this area of town.  Chicken Boy, the yakitori craft beer restaurant, opened a few years ago.  Also, Imaike Baru, a stylish Belgian beer bar, was started up about two years ago.  Plus, the Daiei got a much needed makeover recently.  In addition to these places, Himmel, a restaurant that specializes in craft beer and meat opened its doors.

     Himmel is a stylish modern craft beer bar that specializes in serving Japanese craft beers.  You can find a number of different of craft beer brands ranging from Swan Lake to Baird Beers to Nagoya's Y Market Brewing being served here.  Their beer menu changes on a regular basis.  I have a different number of craft beers of here and was quite impressed.

     The food program at Himmel served a range of number of dishes.  The portions tend to be on the smaller side.  All of their food seems to match well with the beer that they serve.  Some of their prices on their food are somewhat high considering the size of the dish.  Himmel is a good place to go for a small snack and a beer or an after dinner place.

      One of the highlights of Himmel is the design of the restaurant.  This restaurant is bright and modern.  The menus are written on huge chalkboards that are affixed to the walls.  The bar has a sleek wooden design with an interesting green leafy curtain.  Himmel is a very inviting place that has a nice Western feel to it.

      If you are in the Imaike area of Nagoya and are looking for a new place to drink, check out Himmel for some nice Japanese craft beers. 

     The Craft Beer Menu at Himmel

    The Food Menu at Himmel!

    The stylish bar at Himmel

Restaurant Name:  Himmel (ヒンメル)
Address:  Nagoya-shi Chikusa-ku Imaike 5-9-5
Access:  One minute from the Imaike Subway Station Exit. 7
Phone Number: 052-735-3370
Business Hours: 5:00pm to 11:00pm Monday to Friday
                         3:00pm to 11:00pm   Sat., Sun., and Holidays
                         Closed on Thursdays

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Top 10 Japanese Stouts and Porters

Recently, I have read an article by Men's Journal that listed their favorite twenty stouts. After reading the article, I was pondering what were the top ten Japanese stouts and porters.  In the recent years, I have been enjoying and, also from time to time, craving a decent poured stout.  I have tried some really good Japanese stouts and porters.  These are my Top Ten Japanese Stouts and Porters!!  There is no particular order.  I enjoy all of these beers equally.

Imperial Stout

Brewery: Minoh Brewery
ABV: 8.5 ABV

Pours a jet black with a foamy tan/brown head.  There are notes of coffee, chocolate, slight vanilla, slight chocolate, and roasted notes in the aroma.  This is a smooth full bodied beer. 

Imperial Stout

Brewery: Morita Shizo Kinshachi Brewery
ABV: 8.5%

Pours a nice black with a foamy off white head.  There are chocolate and roasted malt notes in the aroma.  This is a nice full body beer that is smooth and easy to drink.  This is a nice welcome surprise from Kinshachi.

Tokyo Black

Brewery: Yo-ho Brewery
ABV: 5%

Pours a nice rich black with a foamy tan head.  This is a nice well balanced beer that accentuates the hops with the roasted malt and chocolate notes.  For a canned beer, this is an excellent porter. 

Kurofune Porter

Brewery: Baird Beer
ABV: 6%

This is a nice medium bodied porter that has hints of bittersweet chocolate and coffee.  It is smooth easy drinking beer.

Sweet Vanilla Stout

Brewery: Sanktgallen
ABV: 6.4%

When opening the beer, you will notice the vanilla notes wafting from the beer.  There are heavy vanilla notes with some coffee and roasted malt in the background.  This is a nice creamy stout.

Kokuto Sweet Stout

Brewery: Sanktgallen
ABV: 6.5%

This is a refined stout that has hints of brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt notes. There is some sweetness that comes through.  This is due to the addition of the Okinawa brown sugar.  It is a light medium bodied stout.

Espresso Beer

Brewery: Niigata Brewery
ABV: 8%

When opening the beer, the aroma of coffee will be wafting throughout the room.  This beers pours a nice black with a nice thick foamy brown head.  The roasted malts and coffee are ever present in this one.  There is a hint of bitterness/sourness found in the beer.


Brewery: Echigo
ABV: 7%

This is a decent stout.  This reminds me of macro brewed stout.  This beer has a light roasted malt and chocolate taste to it.  The aroma is somewhat ashy and chalky.  Also, it is a little thin.  With all that being said, it is not a bad stout when considering the price.  It is quite affordable.

Espresso Stout

Brewery: Hitachino Nest
ABV: 7.5%

There are heavy coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes found in this beer.  It has a luscious medium body.  It is a smooth easy drinking stout.

Trinity Black
Brewery: Y Market Brewing
ABV: 7.8%

This is very interesting Belgian stout.  This is a full bodied stout that balances the hops and roasted malt quite well.  This is a spicy and somewhat fruity stout with hints of coffee.  This is a good example of what makes a good Belgian stout.

This is not a definitive list by any means.  I am always hunting for a stout or a porter to drink and enjoy.  If you know any stouts or porters that need some recognition, please share it in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!! Chocolate and Sweet Beer!

Valentines Day is around the corner.  Are you looking a special present for that beer drinker in your life?  Craft Beer Chubu is here to help you.  Recently, I have tried some some Japanese chocolate beers and a unique sweet beer.  Enjoy!!

These three excellent beers are from Kanagawa's Sanktgallen Bewery.  They can be bought in the second floor basement of Takashimaya at JR Nagoya Station and at Yanagibashi's Odakaya Liquor Store.  These beers are priced around 450 yen per bottle.

Sanktgallen's Imperial Chocolate Stout
ABV 9%

Nose: dark chocolate
          slight coffee
          roasted malt
          slightly sweet

Taste:  hints of bitterness from hops
            roasted malt
            bitter chocolate
            somewhat strong due to the high alcohol content
            dry roasted coffee beans

This beer is recommended for those who are looking for a full flavor beer that has a slight kick to it.

Sanktgallen's Smoked Chocolate Stout
ABV: 6.5%

Nose:  dark chocolate
           roasted malt
           coffee beans
           somewhat smoky

Taste:  coffee beans
            dark chocolate
           roasted malt
           slight bitterness
           somewhat thin

This beer is recommended who are looking a stout that is not heavy but has a flavorful punch.

Sanktgallen's Kukoto Sweet Stout
ABV: 6.5%

Nose:  sweet
           hints of coffee bean
           hints of brown sugar
Taste: smooth
           somewhat sweet
           somewhat bitter
           brown sugar

This is a very refined beer.  The brown sugar from Okinawa adds an interesting dynamic to the beer.  Would go great with Japanese food.

There is one more beer available for Valentines Day, and it is not recommended.  It can be at the Seijo Ishii supermarket.  One bottle is 630 yen.

Shirayuki Chocola Premium
ABV: 5.5%

Nose: milk chocolate
          chocolate spread

Taste:  low bitterness
           milk chocolate

This is a very superficial beer.  The milk chocolate in this beer is very disappointing.  When tasting it, it tasted like fake chocolate.  This beer was clearly made for Valentines Day.  It is a light disappointing beer that is expensive.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why do I blog about craft beer and drink craft beer??

I started this blog because I want to show people the wonderful craft breweries and bars that are in the Chubu area of Japan.  Many people are not aware of these places.  Many of friends were asking were they can drink good tasting beer.  This was one of the reasons on why I started Craft Beer Chubu.

The other main reason why I started this blog because I was getting tired of drinking mega corporate macro brewed beers.  I will say one thing though that Japanese macro brewed beers taste much better then their American counterparts.  Craft beers provide new sensations of flavors and taste.  Craft breweries are artisans in the truest sense.  They are painters and sculptors.  However instead of using brushes and paint, they are utilizing hops, malts, and yeasts in their creative process.  Also, brewers are scientists in their own right.  Brewing the perfect beer is science and artistry combined.

These two videos perfectly showcase why I purchase, consume, and advocate for craft beer.

Craft Beer Revolution and Budweiser!!

On Sunday during the Super Bowl, Budweiser released this commercial.
As an avid craft beer drinker and a advocate for the craft beer revolution, I find this commercial rude and impudent.  Budweiser is trying to take on the craft beer industry.  They are a bunch of hypocrites.  Budweiser is owned a mega corporation called AB InBev based out of the Europe.  AB Inbev is the largest beer company in the world.  They have been taking over craft breweries for a while now including Chicago's Goose Island Brewery.  In the commercial, they are mocking pumpkin peach ale to show the unique ingredients used in many craft beers.  Interestingly, the same company that produces the pumpkin peach ale, Elysian Brewing Company, was purchased by AB InBev.

Also, many people are becoming educated about what they are eating and drinking.  Craft breweries have been noticing for some time now.  Craft breweries have been producing a quality product with hard work and grit.  Many people including myself have been drinking craft beers because we want to enjoy the variety of flavors and smells that craft beer brings to the table.  Good beer should be enjoyed and not slammed.  If you want to slam your beer and drink to get to drunk, then by all means, stick with the mega corporate beers like Budweiser.

 I believe that drinking should be an experience.  I want to taste the intricate taste and flavor of craft beer.  I want to enjoy my beer.  I worked hard for it. 

By the way, craft breweries are not sitting down from a fight.  They took on Budweiser with this clever parody of the Budweiser ad.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tap Room: Modern Chic Craft Beer Pub in Meieki

 In the recent months, there has been a craft beer bar boom in Nagoya especially in the Nagoya Station area (名駅). There is 7 Days Brew, Y Market Brewing, The Corner, and Ceasurus.  A newcomer has arrived in Tap Room.  Tap Room comes from the people who brought you 23 Beerz, Ceasurus, Cafe Lembeek, and the craft beer store, Bier Markt.

Tap Room specializes in Japanese craft beer.  They have a variety of craft beer labels ranging from Nagoya's Kinshachi and Y Market Brewing to internationally known Hitachino Nest.  The beers also vary in style from stouts to beers infused with yuzu.  On our visit there, my friend who came with me and I noticed two problems with the beer.  Some beers were slightly over chilled.  Also, the size of beer surprised us, too.  At Tap Room, you will not find a pint.  The regular beer here is only 420 ml.  The small size is 280 ml.  For the prices that they charge, they should be serving larger portions. 

Besides craft beer, Tap Room has a wine and cocktail menu.  This is a nice addition because there are some people that do not drink beer.  I saw one patron enjoying a cup of coffee.

The food program at Tap Room consists of appetizers, tapas, and light meals.  The food was designed to accompany the variety of beer and other drinks.  Tap Room is a good destination for those who are looking to have something to drink and a snack.  This is very nice after-dinner place to enjoy a few beers and conversations.

Tap Room is a very stylish and trendy bar.  It certainly follows the current of trend in craft beer bar design.  It is a modern take on a English pub.  The big craft beer menus that are hanging on the wall are user friendly.  Even though the entire menu is in Japanese, a non-Japanese speaker could easily decipher the color coded beers on the menu.  Oh, the rainbow beer glass represents a fruit beer.  The same color codes can be found at 23 Craft Beerz.

Address:  〒453-0002  愛知県名古屋市中村区名駅3-5-14 1F
                                  Aichi-ken Nagoya-shi Nakamura-ku Meieki 3-15-14 1F
Phone Number:  050-5787-6711
Business Hours:  月~木・日          Monday to Thursday, Sundays
                         金・土・祝前日    Friday, Saturday, Day Before Holiday
Smoking: Yes