The Local BrewBy Bryan Harrell
Baeren Beer (Morioka, Iwate)
Baeren stands apart from the typical Japanese microbrewery by focusing on German styles of beer. Founded in April of 2003, the brewery is less than ten years old, but brews up some well-crafted beers, the most famous being their Classic, a Dortmund-style lager with 6% alcohol. They also brew a Schwarzbier, a dark German-style lager, along with an Alt, which is an old German-style ale famous as the beer of Dusseldorf. Baeren also makes seasonal beers; one of my favorites is their Maibock, a strong lager with a fruity aroma, a rich, malty flavor and a complex floral hop aroma.
Much of their brewing equipment has been brought from Germany, most notably the large 100-year-old brewing kettle. The brewmaster is from Germany and has a penchant for following older, time-honored techniques. The brewery is also open to visitors, with bottled beer for take-home sales, a picnic area and periodic tours. Contact them in advance for more details.
Baeren sells a great deal of their beer over the internet, and also runs two drinking establishments in Morioka. The Baeren Beer Bar in Nakanohashi (Tel: 019-651-6555) has all their standard beers on tap, along with 12 imported beers in bottles. Among their food offerings is a special sausage made by a noted local sausage maker. The Baeren Beer Pub, in Zaimokucho (Tel: 019-626-2771), is closer to JR Morioka station and has a similar beer selection, along with various party plan food sets.
While the brewery did suffer some small damage during the disastrous earthquake on March 11, they have completely recovered and are brewing and doing business as normal. Perhaps Baeren would be a good place to include in your travel plans this summer.
1-3-31 Kitayama, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture 〒020-0061
Tel: (019) 606-0766