Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing
Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 6:30, at Japan Society
New York, NY – Japan is a new power participant in the global craft beer movement, according to a recent Slate exposé. “Beyond high-quality renderings of popular Belgian, German, and American styles,” notes the article, “many breweries are experimenting with Japanese flavors, like ginger, yuzu, or even fist-sized Uramura oysters.” Thanks to Japanese craftsmanship, gourmet ingredients and attention to quality, the country has experienced a revolution, adding to the global craft beer industry’s overall retail sales growth of 12% in 2010.
In Japan Society’s first-ever craft beer talk and tasting, Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing, Bryan Baird, of Baird Beer of Numazu, Japan, and Brooklyn Brewery’s Steve Hindy discuss the 17-year history of craft brewing in Japan, offering critical review of the good, bad and ugly of an industry that has struggled to find its bearings in parallel with the rest of the world. They also look at how changes in laws in Japan allowed microbreweries to take off in 1994 (similar to what occurred in the U.S. in 1979), and discuss the range of brews currently available in the U.S.
The discussion takes place October 5 at 6:30 pm, and is followed by a tasting of over 20 kinds of beer. Samples are available from at least 10 breweries including Baird Beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Coedo Brewery, Dieu du Ciel, Echigo Beer Company, Ise Kadoya, Kiuchi Brewery (Hitachino), Orion Breweries Ltd., Ryujin Shuzo Co., and Stone Brewing Co. Some of the beers will be specially brewed using gourmet Japanese ingredients for the Japan Society, some are brewed in honor the victims of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, and some stem from unique U.S.-Japan collaborations.
“New Yorkers are rediscovering their rich beer heritage as seen in the explosion of craft beer bars, beer gardens, and beer-food pairings,” says Devin Stewart, senior program director at Japan Society, and sometimes beer blogger. “At the same time, Japan’s contributions are trickling into the U.S. market. This program should not only give connoisseurs and novices alike a handle on the history, but also introduce some delicious new flavors and surprising complexities.”
A central force in advancing Japan’s craft been revolution, Bryan Baird is founder of Baird Beer. He holds an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
One of the pioneers craft beer movement in America in the 1980s, Steve Hindy is co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery. He was formerly a foreign correspondent with the Associated Press and was named one of Crain’s New York’s top entrepreneurs in 2009.
Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.
Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing takes place Wednesday, October 5, at 6:30 pm. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) Tickets are $25/$20 Japan Society Corporate and Individual members, seniors and students. For reservations or more information, visit www.japansociety.org or call the box office at 212-715-1258.
Corporate programs are generously supported by Japan Society Global Leaders & Corporate Partners. Global Leaders are Citigroup, Deloitte, Mizuho Securities USA, and United Airlines. Corporate Partners are Toyota Motor North America and WL Ross & Co. LLC. Japan Airlines is the exclusive Japanese Airline sponsor of Lecture Programs at Japan Society. United Airlines is the exclusive U.S. Airline sponsor of Lecture Programs at Japan Society. Additional support is provided by Chris A. Wachenheim and the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.
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