The Local BrewBy Bryan Harrell
One of the most beautiful and scenic coastlines in Japan is certainly the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. Naturally, it is a fitting place to have a nature-themed craft brewery producing superb brews. Most are in the style of the Czech Republic, one of the largely unsung places where truly great beer originates. Fittingly, Nihonkai Club has a Czech brewmaster, Jiri Kotynek, who began brewing there in the summer of 2005 as the third in a series of Czech brewers.
Founded in June of 1998, Nihonkai Club now brews just four beers. They boast a Pilsner and a Dark Lager, both in the Czech style, which means nicely balanced and intensely flavorful, with a quenching dry finish, though the Dark Lager leaves a bit more roasty sweetness in the finish.
They also make the a German-style Weizen, a wheat beer fermented with a traditional top-fermenting ale yeast and featuring a fruity aroma and a hearty yet quenching finish.
Finally, they make an interesting local-style amber lager called Okunoto Densetsu, brewed with deep-sea water taken from the nearby Kujuku Bay. The beer is said to be full of natural minerals and quite easy on the body. These beers may be purchased through their website.
However, if you are lucky enough to be traveling through the scenic Noto Peninsula, pay a visit and avail yourself of their beer fresh from the source. Better yet enjoy their brews with some snacks or a meal at their restaurant which is open daily except Wednesdays and offers a variety of meat dishes, ranging from Eisbein (salt-cured pork) to whole roast local chicken, along with vegetable dishes using produce from their own farm near the brewery.
92 Aza Tatekabe, Noto-cho, Hosuden-gun, Ishikawa-ken 927-0605
Tel: (0768) 72-8181
www.nihonkai-club.com (Japanese only)
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