This Nagano brewery started out as a public/private joint venture back in 1994. The first two decades brought uneven success. Initially the beers were so popular they had trouble filling orders. Yet there were a number of beers that were essentially knock-offs of commercial brews and sales began to slow. The beers as a whole weren’t bad but also never left a lasting impression with lovers of great beer. Like some regional tourist area beers, they were perceived as “souvenir beers” rather than serious craft beers.
In recent years, however, they have found more solid footing, producing beers of greater character. A superb example is their new product named Raiden Kannnuki IPA. The beer is a fabulously bitter and refreshing brew, with a tasty drinkability and an overall impressive balance. It is safe to say it is the kind of beer, with a broad enough appeal, that will contribute to the continued success of the brewery and do their region proud.
The Oh! La! Ho! brewery and restaurant is located between Nagano City and Saku in the town of Tomi. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, and affords a fantastic view of the surrounding area with surprisingly reasonable prices. The beer list not only includes regular brews such as a golden ale, amber ale, kölsch and pale ale, but also their popular Captain Crow extra pale ale, Raiden Kannuki IPA and a new session IPA named 2 Tone. Note that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Conveniently located next to the restaurant is Yurarikan Onsen. Visitors can enjoy a soak in the hot springs during the day before or after enjoying a refreshing beer.
Oh! La! Ho! Brewing
3875 Kanoh, Tomi-shi, Nagano-ken 389-0505
11:30 a.m to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. (last order 8:30)
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays