Ebisu beer museum
Many of you are beer lovers! That I am sure of. So am I!!
Actually, I never really liked beer until I spent some time in Germany. There, I have tried many kinds of beers, many of the German and world’s best. When I came back to Japan, I have a chance to try many Japanese beer and found that, they are not bad at all. Ebisu, especially is one of my favorite.
One of my friend told me about this Ebisu beer museum (in Japanese it would be more appropriate to called 記念館 or memorial hall) in Tokyo, of course I have to go there. The museum tour itself is free of charge but you can taste 2 kinds of beer for extra 500 yen charge. Advance reservation required.
Check at the end the blog of links to reservation page.
Ebisu Garden Place
The museum itself is located on the underground floor of Ebisu Garden place, about 10 mins walk from JR Yamanote Ebisu station. (and FYI, station was named after the beer not the other way around). I made it there just 1 min before starting time. Please remember that you have to be there 10 mins before tour starts.
The tour in the exhibition area takes 20 mins. Explanation is in Japanese. However, the sign and other visuals in the museum is bilingual, English and Japanese.
Ebisu beer packag when it first launched in 1890
Ebisu beer is made by Sapporo breweries which has its origin in two branches. One is the Kaitakushi Brewery opened in Hokkaido which launched Sapporo beer and Japan beer brewery which launched Ebisu beer.
In 1928, the name of “Yebisu” area and staion was adopted from Yebisu beer like I told you earlier
A bottle of beer cost the same as 10 bowls back then. Very expensive.
The other parts of the exhibition is also very interesting.
Now, the fun part, tasting part!
We’ve tried 2 kinds of beer today, standard one and autumn special.
Autumn limited beer (in red can) is made from Chrystal malt, 4th from left in below photo
This is standard all malt Yebisu beer, gold label
How the great-tasting beer is made.
- Raw material : Beer is mainly produced by malt and hops as well as brewing water.
- Malting : Grains of barley are steeped in water to promote germination process. Barley will be dried and have roots removed. This barley is called malt.
- Wort production : Malt is crushed and mixed with warm water. Enzymes in malt will turn to sugar. The end product is called Mash which will be filtered and “wort” (liquid contain sugar) is separated. Wort is boiled with hops which will add flavor, aroma and bitterness to beer.
- Fermentation : Wort is cool and yeast is is pitched with it. Yeast converts sugar into alcohol, CO2 and others as it fermented and in one week, we will have “young beer”.
- Maturation : young beer is store at 0 degree Celsius for several weeks. Beer will become smoother in this process.
- Filtration : Yeast is removed. This process will stabilize the taste of beer. After this process, we will have “Draft beer”.
- Packaging : Draft beer is packaged into containers.
(Adapted from the museum flyer “Let’s talk about beer”)
By the way, according to our guide, the taste of Yebisu beer is very close to German beer as it’s made from German recipe (I think…).
I didn’t plan on spending money but obviously I couldn’t resist! Tasting glass (290 ml) is 190 Yen only.
You can enjoy other kinds of beer at Tasting salon next to souvenir shop. Food is available too in case you are hungry. It took 45 mins for the tour. I didn’t expect anything from this visit but I had a great time!
If you stuck in door because of the rain, this is a place I’d recommend.
Reservation>>> click <Japanese only>
See you next blog!
Originally I planned to post this blog on my office blog but for legal issue I can’t post it. So I decided to post it in my personal blog instead. ***