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Friday, Sept. 18, 2009

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Raising a glass to the world: The "Great Japan Beer Festival 2009" will feature brews from both local and international breweries.

Beer enthusiasts gear up for massive cheers in Yokohama


By NATALIE KOCH
Special to The Japan Times

Beer aficionados will be able to taste more than 120 different craft beers at the annual Great Japan Beer Festival 2009 in Yokohama.

After paying the entrance fee, visitors can taste 50-ml beer samples brewed from both local and international brewers. Different styles such as English ale, German lager, wheat beer and American ale will attempt to satisfy your thirst. Visitors are able to taste as many kinds of beer as they are capable of drinking. To cut down on garbage, only one glass will be given to each visitor.

Founded and organized by the Japan Craft Beer Association, the festival was first held in 1998, and since then more than 170,000 beer lovers have attended the event.

The goal of the Japan Craft Beer Association is to popularize and promote craft beers in Japan and around the world. Craft beers are traditionally brewed with an emphasis on flavor rather than marketing preferences. Since the beer industry is attracting more and more fans, local breweries are constantly experimenting and will present their newest brews at the festival.

Next to the "International Beer Summit" held in Osaka, the event is the biggest beer festival in Japan, (along with its counterparts in Tokyo and Osaka.)

The Great Japan Beer Festival 2009 runs from Sept. 19 till 21 at Osanbashi Hall in the Yokohama International Passenger Terminal. The nearest station is the Nihon-Odori Station on the Minato-Mirai Line. The festival is open from 2 p.m. till 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19; 12:30 p.m. till 5 p.m. on Sept. 20; and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 21. Advance tickets cost ¥3,800, tickets at the door cost ¥4,300. For more information, call the Japan Craft Beer Association (090) 3488-7000 (English) or visit www.beertaster.org.


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