Friday, June 22, 2012

Yebisu Beer, the Museum

Yebisu is one of several popular brands of pale lager available in Japan owned by the large conglomerate, Sapporo Holdings. 

A friend recommended checking out their museum in Ebisu. So naturally, being the wanderlust Wisconsinite beer-lover that I am, I rounded up a group of friends (Yuko, Chappy, and Mari) and headed to the museum on a sunny, Tokyo afternoon in June. I wanted to check it out for two reasons. First, I heard it was cheap (500 yen admission). And secondly, (as any good tour should) it includes beer. Solid. You don't need a reservation, even on a Sunday, but you might have to wait up to 20 minutes for the next tour to start. 

The tour is all in Japanese but they do have an English pamphlet you can read.

Ebisu Garden Place is a pretty neat area to hang out in. Lots of shopping and good restaurants. First we stopped for lunch on the 33rd floor of the Ebisu Garden Place Tower at a Japanese-style restaurant. Nice view, no? The food wasn't bad either. I had tonkatsu (breaded pork chop). Delicious.

While waiting for the tour to start, we hung out. Apparently, the girls were still hungry. Good thing Yuko makes a good dessert. 

The tour was actually pretty decent. They gave a great history of the company which you can read about here
But I was a little disappointed that they didn't go into more detail about their brewing process. What can I say? I like science, especially the science of beer. 

And of course at the end of the tour we got our beer. And played an intense game of rock, paper, scissors with the other tour members for more free beer. Mari, Yuko, and I all struck out in the first round when we all flashed paper. D'oh! If you go, and you go in a group, be prepared, have a strategy and you might just win more free beer ;-)

Overall, I would give the Yebisu beer tour a 6/10 because its cheap and the history of the company is fairly entertaining.  But honestly, I am holding out for a Japanese beer tour with a healthy explanation of the brewing magic. :-D 

Thanks for reading! 

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