The Local BrewBy Bryan Harrell
Myoko Kogen Beer
There are so many local breweries in Japan with the name “kogen” (mountain heights) in them (off hand, I can think of at least six), a brewery so-named must have something going for itself to distinguish it from the others. On the top of Myoko Kogen Beer’s checklist is the fact they have enlisted the help of a brewer from one of the Czech Republic’s oldest breweries, U Fleck (est. 1499), to formulate the recipes for their beers based on their natural spring water.
The Pilsener style of beer originates from the Czech town of Pilsen, and this type of crisp, light and refreshing beer is the most popular style in the world, providing the “brewprint” for all major Japanese beers.
Currently, Myoko Kogen produces five styles of beer: Pilsener, Weizen, Dark Lager (also a Czech specialty) and two “dog beers,” a Golden lager called Golden Retriever, and a darker, richer beer named after a Bernese Mountain dog, the kind that works on Swiss farms. All five are an easy going 5 percent alcohol, making them ideal for quaffing.
There are many other reasons for visiting Myoko Kogen at Alpen Blick ski resort. Prime among them is the Tatra-kan beer restaurant which offers an all-you-can-eat special for just ¥2,800. Food selections include grilled lamb and seafood, sushi, tempura, boiled crab, pizza, dim sum and more. Serving hours are from 5:30 to 9 p.m., weekends and holidays.
Add just ¥1,500 to that and help yourself to all the Myoko Kogen beer you want. In addition to the Pilsener and dark lager, you can enjoy a fruity and faintly spicy Weizen wheat ale, a specialty of Germany likely to go well with the alpine surroundings. Light drinkers will like the three-beer sampler for just ¥600, or beer by the glass for ¥500.
Myoko Kogen Beer at Alpen Blick Resort
Tel: (0255) 86-2600
Address: 〒949-2112 新潟県妙高市池の平2452
Web: http://alpen-blick.com/tatra.html (site in Japanese only)