THE LOCAL BREW
By Bryan Harrell
Nestled at the northern edge of Miyazaki Prefecture’s coastline, Nobeoka City is one of the most beautiful places in Japan, with lush green mountains and stunning seascapes. Since the summer of 1996, it has been home to Hideji Beer, a craft brewery that distinguishes itself with colorfully named beers, pleasingly artistic labels and superbly made beer.
Over the years, the Hideji Beer product line has expanded to include a diverse variety of brews. Currently, regular products include American-style pale ale, Belgian-style white, German-style pilsner, Bohemian-style pilsner, Bohemian-style dark lager, stout, hefeweizen and a monthly special beer of which only 1,000 bottles are produced.
While their various lager and pilsner styles are more commonly available, I have noticed other Hideji beers share the common trait of balance and drinkability. I can also say the beers show remarkable restraint, so don’t expect huge flavor profiles, wildly bitter hopping or high alcohol levels. Most brews range around 5% alcohol, with the exception being their heady 7% stout.
Overall, expect a reasonably civilized beer experience when you enjoy Hideji beers. Quite a number of pubs in the greater Tokyo/Yokohama area offer their beers on tap or in bottles. In addition, a list of places all over Japan offering Hideji beer on tap can be found under “Spot” on their Website.
Several years ago, during the term of former Miyazaki Prefectural Gov. Higashikokubaru, Hideji Beer created a special-release beer that featured a cartoon caricature of him on the label. This was a remarkably appropriate tribute to a politician who worked hard to promote products from Miyazaki throughout Japan. As I recall, the beer (a pilsner type) tasted pretty good.
Miyazaki Hideji Beer
Nobeoka-shi, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-0077
Phone: (0982) 39-0090
Web: www.hideji-beer.jp (Japanese only)