Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 27 : Mar/Apr 2009  > Columns  >  The Local Brew  >  Kumano Beer, From the ‘Land of Sky Blue Waters’


The Local Brew

By Bryan Harrell

Kumano Beer, From the ‘Land of Sky Blue Waters’


A place as natural and remote as Kumano, straddling the border between Wakayama and Mie prefectures, is not likely to have its own beer. If it does, expect something as rustic and simple as Kuma no Beer. Hand - crafted in a small building erected on a rare piece of level land on an arm of the Akagi River, on its way to the Kumano River, Kumano Beer is country simplicity at its best.

Just as some places in the U.S. countryside have “both kinds of music, country and western, Kumano offers “both kinds of beer, light and dark.” That’s it. The light is a smooth, clean lager, with a rich flavor and quick finish. The dark is a smooth, malty dark lager with a darker, sweeter flavor and a longer, lingering finish.

Both beers have about 5% alcohol, undergo final fermentation in the bottle to produce carbonation and are not pasteurized. Oh, they also produce an ale from time to time, a bit fruity and forward, but still just 5% alcohol.

Owing to the small production , prices are up from levels made possible by mass brewing. This means the beer  is ¥ 450 a bottle , about twice that for beer produced at thousands of times the quantity. Yearly product ion is 60,000 liters or about 180,000 bottles. Kumano Beer has no restaurant or brew pub. All sales are by delivery to your home. You can also find a number of places in the area which serve Kumano Beer by checking out the link on their Website, in Japanese only. As simple as where it is brewed – Kumano Beer.

Kumano Beer
302 Kaminagai, Kumanogawa-cho, Shingu-shi, Wakayama
〒6 47-1201 和歌山県新宮市熊野川町上長井302
Phone: (0735) 45-8005
Web: www.kumanobeer.co.jp
(Japanese only / 日本語のみ)