Umenishiki is an old-line sake brewery founded in the 5th year of the Meiji Period (1872). They received their license to brew beer in 1994, making them one of Japan’s first microbreweries. Should you find their beer sold or served in Japan, consider yourself lucky as it is more like a product from an old-school conservative brewery rather than a progressive brewery experimenting with the latest-flavor craft beer. As such, the styles are very close to original definition and, depending upon your experience and preference of craft beer, you will find the flavors presented charmingly conservative.
The beers themselves are all very well made, with the same attention to detail as a century-and-a-half-old sake brewery. You are not likely to find many brands that exceed them in quality. Umenishiki beers include a Pilsner (5.5% ABV, all malt), a dark Bock (7% ABV, all malt), a clear Weizen (5.5% ABV, all malt), an Aromatic Ale (8.5% ABV, all malt) that is amber and a Belgian-style Blanche (5% ABV, made with barley and wheat malt, native iyo orange peel, coriander and hops).
All of these Umenishiki beers retail for ¥490 plus tax for a standard 330-ml bottle with well-designed and attractive labels. The brewery is just that, with no restaurant, tasting room or any other facilities, though it is possible to phone them (in Japanese) and ask where their products can be purchased. Their website has mostly information about their sake, although they do include a moderate amount of information about Umenishiki Beer. When you do manage to get your hands on some of their brews you will see this Shikoku brewery is serious about the process and the quality, and your taste buds will thank you long afterwards.
14 Kanatamachi Kanagawa, Chuo-shi, Ehime-ken 799-0123