The similarities between the world of beers in Estonia and Japan do not stop at the fact that today the national market is dominated by almost indistinguishable lager beers made by mass producers. Interestingly, the craft beer revolution in Japan is led from Saku.
More specifically, from the Saku town located in the Nagano prefecture, where the brewery of the largest craft beer producer of Japan YO-HO Brewing Company is located.
YO-HO was founded in 1996 by the Hoshino Resort Company in the popular mountain resort Karuizawa. The new company focused mostly on brewing ales, making it their mission to introduce the rich and distinct flavours of ales to Japanese consumers
The production process uses natural water from Mount Asama, which is relatively harder than elsewhere in Japan and therefore suitable for brewing ales rich in hops.
In addition, the brewery masters of Saku in Japan are constantly racking their brains to come up with a beer that would express Japanese character and attributes.
From time to time, they also make wicked special brews that use some ingredients unique to Japan - whether it is the rice mould koji used in sake brewing or the fish shavings katsuobushi (Sorry White IPA).