Fewer Laws Make Better Beer in Japan

In assessing Japan's craft beer scene, food reviewer Mark Garrison uncovers the benefits of deregulation:

“This vibrant craft brew scene is a recent development—in part because it was actually impossible not long ago. Before 1994, microbreweries were illegal in Japan. Licenses were granted only to brewers producing well over half a million gallons a year. That protected the well-entrenched large brewers from any upstart competition.”

The current Japanese regulations, which grant licenses to breweries which produce over 60,000 liters a year, grew a market for microbreweries in the same way that deregulation in the U.S. did after 1979. The number of Japanese microbreweries exploded after 1994, peaking at over 300 in 1999. There are still well over 200 craft beer producers in Japan making beer so “alarmingly good,” only deregulation could be responsible.

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  • rather||

    Why not? It worked for the nuclear industry

  • Warty||

    Shut up, whore.

  • rather||

    Please tell me you shake your fist 'get off my lawn' style when you type those sempiternal words

  • Knee Jerk||

    Warty would have made a good Stasi agent.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    HOMEBREW THREAD!

    Saison in the keg and tasing very good...i expect this porch pounder to last about a week.

  • ||

    Got a Czech Pilsner that's been fermenting for a week. Trying to decide whether or not to add a little black pepper to enhance the spiciness of the Saaz hops.

    Next up is probably a split batch Hefeweizen/Leipziger Gose (two excellent summer beers).

  • robc||

    Saison in the keg (drinking it right now), Nut Brown going into keg tonight.

    And I think only CMS knows this here, but Im turnin' pro. Wont be a homebrewer too much longer (well, probably another 6 months).

  • Sudden||

    I live in an overpriced southern california apartment, so homebrewing is not really an option outside of a mr beer (which is not homebrewing obviously).

    But I beer is my first love (and I drink a lot less wine these days because the tannic acids in reds aggravate my stomach when drinking in excess). So I think you guys should invite me to drink your homebrews with you. I can bring excellent cheeses to pair with each as long as I know what I'm drinking in advance and have a moderate sense of its flavor profile.

  • ||

    You can join one of the homebrewing clubs like Pacific Gravity or Maltose Falcons. I think they do brewing at their respective homebrew supply stores.

    Failing that, hook up with some fellow homebrewers. My apartment is very conducive to homebrewing either. So, I brew at my buddy's place in Glendale.

  • ||

    is NOT conducive. Previewing is hard.

  • Sudden||

    I've actually seen the maltose falcons thing before and thought about it. Y' know what, I'm gonna look that up again and see about joining.

  • Sudden||

    In terms of space, what do you need to set up a small homebrewing operation? I have a seperate office in the apartment, but worried that the smell will be offputting to the fiancee. I have family with a house reasonably close by, I might be able to talk them into letting me set up a small lab in the garage.

  • ||

    My biggest struggle with homebrewing was stable temperatures for fermentation.

    And, goddam, if your fiancee can't tolerate a harmless (and delicious!) hobby like homebrewing, well, . . . .

  • dunkel||

    Awesome, robc. You're in KY, no? I've been known to make a beer road trip. Hell I have to travel to Bowling Green just to keep my cellar stocked. I'd love to send some business your way.

  • Jim||

    Indeed sir, where at in KY? I'd swing a little out of my way to patronize your business.

  • robc||

    Louisville. Exact location yet to be determined (got 3 possibilities) but hopefully the answer for how to patronize my business is: at any bar/restaurant in town with a decent tap list, plus any liquor store.

  • dunkel||

    Sweet, my brother lives in Louisville. I need to get up there and give John Campbell and the folks at Falls City some love, and add your business to my list. Keep us in the loop regarding more details, please.

  • robc||

    Two of my 72,000 goals for this week is to get my facebook page and twitter up and running.

  • Jim||

    Ah; next time I'm in Lexington after you're set up and selling, I'll swing out to Louisville & give it a shot.

  • robc||

    My plan is to have 4 regular beers plus a season (or two, but 1 at first).

    The 4 regulars are planned out:
    Hefeweizen
    Schwarzbier (even if CMS has a problem with my Schwarz)
    Nut Brown
    ESB

  • robc||

    seasonAL

  • dunkel||

    nice. no one in or around Nashville makes a hefe worth a damn, so I haven't had one in ages. You don't see a lot of schwarzbiers, so that's cool. Good for you man. Good luck.

  • robc||

    Thats part of the plan. What beers do I love that I cant find.

    And since Goose Island killed off Hex Nut, someone needs to make a killer nut brown.

  • dunkel||

    We just drank a bottle of Bourbon County Vanilla on Saturday, wow that shit is good. I hope the new Goose Island still plans to keep the good stuff around. And nut browns, yeah...do they (GI) still make Naughty Goose?

  • Jim||

    Schwarzbier is in contention to be my "favorite" overall style, so I look forward to trying it someday.

  • Rick Moranis||

    I see your schwarzbier is bigger than mine.

  • BigBob||

    I have a failed brown ale that I relabeled as an English mild bottled (needs 1 more week) and a porter I just put in the fermenter last Saturday. The porter is the first full boil I've done, so I'm interested to see how that affects things.

    Also, I'm always late to any homebrew thread.

  • Sudden||

    No worries, i'm here for the late night set. If you're anywhere near l.a., i'm happy to be the guinea pig for the porter since that's a favorite of mine.

  • ||

    Awesome. Congrats & good luck!

  • ||

    Trying to decide whether or not to add a little black pepper

    Don't. Just don't. If you aren't happy with your hops, use different hops next time.

  • omg||

    Just Bottled a Dubbel a couple of weeks ago. Tasted a couple of bottles since then...it is easily the best beer I have ever made.

    Mash at 150, 84% efficiency
    4.5# 2-row
    4.25# UK Pale
    .5# Special B
    .25# Torrefied Wheat
    1# Turbinado
    1# D2 Sugar
    .75oz Willamette (60 min)
    .75oz Willamette (30 min)
    Wyeast 1214
    Fermented at 74

    Gonna try a blind taste test of mine vs Westmalle and Chimay (Red) to see which is best.

  • robc||

    I love the D2, but do you really think the Turbinado gave you anything when also using the D2?

    Ive used both and enjoyed both, but never mixed. I think you could have used D2 and plain sugar - I cant imaginge the Turbinado is noticable.

  • omg||

    It probably isn't doing much. But if its worth doing, its worth overdoing! I also bottled with turbinado actually.

    Next up is a Tripel which I had to put off a bit as I didn't like how the washed yeast I was using was behaving in the starter.

  • Xenocles||

    Maybe not what you had in mind, but I actually just started a batch of cider yesterday by leaving a gallon of apple juice open on the counter. It's an experiment.

  • ||

    Awesome pic of one of the best Japanese craft beer brands out there... Kiuchi Brewery's Hitachino Nest brand is incredible stuff (and making some very distinctively Japanese brews as well, like their red rice ale).

  • ||

    I've liked what I've tried (especially their Ginger Ale), but honestly I haven't had a ton of it because it's so damn expensive. Obviously I realize it costs a lot to ship from Japan, but still... That being said, I'll grab a bottle of the red rice ale (haven't tried that one yet) when I get the chance.

  • ||

    I haven't seen any Japanese craft beers in any of the gourmet beer stores here in Seattle. Now I really want to try some.

  • ||

    I've seen this stuff at Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA. Will definitely have to pick some up the next time I'm there.

  • ||

    The current Japanese regulations, which grant licenses to breweries which produce over 60,000 liters a year...

    *warning: unchecked math done entirely in the firefox searchbar*

    ~169,000 12oz bottles per year still seems like a pretty large requirement to get licensed. Or, in Japan, is it the case that if you make less than the limit, you just don't need a license?

  • ||

    60,000 liters is 500 barrels (or 1000 kegs). For a frame of reference, the smallest systems I've seen in brewpubs is 8 barrels; my friend's 2-year-old microbrewery has a twenty-barrel system. Even on an 8-barrel system, brewing twice a week would get you well over the threshold.

    Long story short, 60,000 L is a pretty low threshold for a brewery that wants to make any kind of profit.

  • robc||

    Ive seen a few 7 bbl systems. There are some nanobreweries operating off 1-2 bbl systems, but that is nuts.

    My breakeven point is 106 bbls/month.

  • sarcasmic||

    The picobrewery in my basement operates at 10 gallons/month.

  • dunkel||

    http://hamiltoncreekbrewery.com/

    our neighborhood outfit...we keep 8 beers on tap, we have 53 five gallon kegs, cold storage for 45 of them, a tankless water heater we can get 170F water from so we don't have to waste time heating our mash and sparge, grain room upstairs with a grain mill and a chute to the basement. We have five 17 gallon conical fermenters, two 55 gallon fermenters and countless glass carboys. We have two 14 gallon boil kettles and two 12 gallon powerade cooler/mash tuns. We got ambitious one weekend in April and we brewed 180 gallons in a two day period. It's getting a bit beyond a hobby for us, but the damn barriers to entry in the market...oh well. Any of you guys in middle TN should come by and have a beer with us.

  • sarcasmic||

    pretty cool

  • ||

    Long story short, 60,000 L is a pretty low threshold for a brewery that wants to make any kind of profit.

    Ok, I did have the idea that any less might not actually qualify as a (sucessful) beer-business.

    So, what happens in japan under the licensing limit? Are you still a criminal if you sell a few cases at the local farmersmarket?

  • Robert||

    That's what I wanted to know, and hoped there'd be an article about. To get a license under the old regime, did you have to first show you have the facilities to produce that much? And then was the license automatic, or did you theoretically have to take the chance by getting financing, buy all that capital, and then your investors were all speculating that the license would be granted?

  • Chris||

    The licensing regulations require you to show that you can produce 60,000 liters a year. Before a license is evaluated, the equipment has to be in place and you have to submit documents that show the brewer has the ability to use the equipment (and that you have enough money to stay in business for a set period of time). License approval generally takes six months. It's not easy at all.

    60,000 liters is a lot of beer in Japan, where the craft beer market is still much under 1%. But we're in a boom cycle now, and there are more and more craft breweries that are putting out good beers. There's really a lot more to the Japanese craft beer scene than Hitachino Nest.

  • ||

    I have a question for the beer connoisseurs here: Where does the United States rank, overall, in beer quality now? I've heard some rumblings that our microbreweries are and have been kicking some major ass.

    I don't drink much beer, anymore, and I usually drink German when I do, so my opinion on this is worth little.

  • ||

    I would say that our ranking is quite high, because there is some really excellent beer being produced by the craft breweries. Lagunitas has been kicking ass lately, in particular. However, I tend to prefer hoppier beers and don't know much about Hefeweisens or pilsners and those types.

  • ||

    If you like hoppier beers, the US kicks ass. My problem with US craft beers is that the hipster obsessionw with hoppy tastes have made everything into pale ales or IPAs. I refer the pilsners and the hefas. And I don't think American beers hold a candle to the Germans and the Czechs on those. The American hefas are too sweet and fruity and lack balance. Same with the pilsners.

  • ||

    I like weissbiers, the rare times I drink beer. Usually Hacker-Pschorr or König Ludwig.

  • dunkel||

    Pro L, aren't you in or near Tampa? Go to Cigar City for some GREAT beers.

  • ||

    I'll have to try it out.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    The single best and most in-style Hefeweisen I have ever had came from Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora, CO. And I have been really drunk in Germany before (best dunkle was Augusteiner in Munich). That said, I think American craft beers cant help but be successful as there are more in the state of CO than most other countries...and over 2500 in the nation. Sheer numbers means there is some fantastic beer out there.

  • dunkel||

    Have you been to Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids?...heaven. Dry Dock's DIPA is solid, the Vanilla Porter is damn good. I haven't tried the hefe. I'm stuck in the beer desert of TN, but I grew up in Denver.

  • Sudden||

    One of my best friends lived in Denver the last year or so. Used to go out as often as I could just to beer tour. I'd really like to make the trek to Portland sometime soon too. I hear they have an excellent microbrew scene as well.

    Gonna have to try the vanilla porter. Porters are among my favorites.

  • dunkel||

    I'd like to get to Portland just to go to Hair of the Dog. Cherry Adam From the Wood...*drool*

  • dunkel||

    John, you're missing out on an awful lot. We produce some outstanding IPA's for sure, but--pick a style, I can probably point out a craft brew that can compete with the original...Old ales, barleywines, trippels, sours, browns, milds, hefe's...on down the list. The American craft beer scene is outstanding right now.

  • Sudden||

    Yet to find a top notch america Lambic. Any recs?

  • dunkel||

    Well, an honest to god lambic...I'm stumped. But a kriek--Cascade Kriek or Odells Friek, can't go wrong there. On the plus side for the American craft beer drinker, lots of brewers are using Brettanomyces to tweak their recipes.

  • Robert||

    What's the distinction? I thought kriek, of which I've had a few (not now, wise guys), was lambic.

  • dunkel||

    Traditional Belgian kriek is a lambic with cherries added in the secondary fermentation.

  • dunkel||

    Sudden, you're in SoCal, have you tried Firestone Walker's lambic? That's a kick ass brewery.

  • Sudden||

    I've tried many a Firestone brew, but not their lambic. Is it like a hardcore sour, non-carbonated real lambic? I'll give it a try next time I swing by total wine. Either way, I'll give it a whirl, but might pick up some belgian versions just to compare.

  • dunkel||

    I haven't tried their lambic, but I see that they at least make one. I love Parabola, Anniversary 14, and Double Jack. If you like sours, I'd recommend Russian River.

  • Sudden||

    I've had their damnation before (as well as pliny), but just checked out their site and I'm definitely gonna have to give the Sanctification and Rejection a shot (although Rejection looks like it might be a seasonal so I might not be able to get my hands on it right away).

  • dunkel||

    I've got some Sanctification, Consecration, and Supplication on hand. Top notch.

  • Sudden||

    Just got back from bevmo and was disappoint that they had no russian river brews. Grabbed a six pack of widmer imperial stout and anderson valley brother david's double.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Allagash is supposedly experimenting with lambics, not sure how it's going. I've every confidence they'll do it well though and I'm looking forward to trying them when they're commercially released.

  • dunkel||

    I've been generally impressed with Allagash.

  • ||

    New Glarus.

  • dunkel||

    New Glarus Belgian red and Raspberry Tart are perfect. A coworker is in WI today and he's getting 2 cases of the Belgian Red...

  • ||

    They are awesome. I used to live a short drive from New Glarus. Unfortunately, they don't export outside of the state.

  • Xenocles||

    Epi, if you find yourself in the Chesapeake Bay area keep an eye out for the Dogfish Head brand of IPAs. They come in 60, 90, and 120 minute varieties - the number refers to the length of time they continuously hop the wort.

  • ||

    No, if you get a chance to have Dogfish Head, skip gthe IPAs and go for the Indian Brown. It's far more unique, and as someone who isn't a grade-A hophead, it's also better.

  • dunkel||

    I've never understood the DFH adoration in the craft beer scene. Sam likes to experiment, and I respect that, but the 90 minute was nearly a drain pour for me. That said, DFH has a collaboration with Three Floyds called Poppaskull that I would crawl through broken glass to acquire.

  • ||

    Honestly, I'm a German beer guy (was just there for a couple weeks late last month) but I would say the best beer in the world is coming from the U.S.

    Germany has some incredible beer, but they've had a ton of consolidation, have a very rigid brewing history that discourages experimentation, and have a very regionalized market where it's incredibly hard to find certain styles (such as Altbier) unless you're in the town that produces them.

    The U.K. has similar problems with consolidation and a lack of innovation.

    The only place that could arguably rival the U.S. at this point is Belgium, which has a far more experimental brewing tradition, though still narrower in focus than the U.S.

    Here in the U.S., you can get some of the best Belgian beers. You can get quality German and U.K. beers (though they don't travel as well as their Belgian brethren). And on top of that, you can get a plethora of incredible American micros that both turn out great beers in the Belgian, German and U.K. traditions AND turn out distinctly American brews.

    I think I can say without resorting to hyperbole that if you love beer there is no better time/place in history to drink beer than the USA right now.

  • ||

    There's something amazing about us achieving beer supremacy along with everything else. No wonder the Europeans can't stand us!

    Just wait until we bail out Greece by buying the Acropolis and relocating it to Athens, Georgia. The whole rock, I mean.

  • Sudden||

    Not to mention wine superiority. The French are exceedingly pissed at how well California vintages perform in tastings. Although there are certain grapes that they still hold an advantage over us in (bordeaux first and foremost).

  • ||

    It's all American grapes now, anyway.

  • ||

    Is that a comment on grafting?

  • affenkopf||

    Germany has some incredible beer, but they've had a ton of consolidation, have a very rigid brewing history that discourages experimentation, and have a very regionalized market where it's incredibly hard to find certain styles (such as Altbier) unless you're in the town that produces them.

    I live outside of Düsseldorf and neve had a problem finding Altbier (admittedly I would have more brands to choose from in Düsseldorf). What you say is true for Kölsch 'though.

  • Mnemone Jones||

    There's a local brewery pub that's quite excellent here, though their Kölsch is uncharacteristically weak they have an excellent IPA and a stunning Belgian Stout.

  • ||

    Okay, so I was being a bit of an Altbier snob... You can find, what, Diebels and Frankenheim? But good luck finding Schumacher or Füchschen.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    SECOND!

  • ||

    From the completely-accurate butt of worldwide jokes to the top. The US and Belgians innovate like crazy. Germany puts out good stuff but it's the same good stuff for ages.

  • ||

    We're still the butt of jokes. But of course the Germans laugh about Bud and Miller while most of them are drinking Beck's with Lime or Radler (beer mixed with 7Up), and most Brits are drinking Carlsberg.

  • ||

    Where does the United States rank, overall, in beer quality now?

    Average (or weighted average) quality? By the time you factor in all the Bud, Miller, etc., pretty much right in the fucking toilet.

    Our best beers are as good as any in the world, though.

  • Joe M||

    I bet the craft brewery scene in Somalia is awesome.

    Seriously though, I'm still waiting for them to loosen up the laws in Texas so we can catch up to states like Colorado and the entire Pacific coast in terms of excellent microbrews. I'm going to be brewing a porter and a hefeweizen over the July 4th weekend myself.

  • ||

    Do libertarians have an official beer? We should. In fact, we should have official everything. "Coca-Cola, the Soft Drink for Free Men."

  • Amakudari||

    Surely you mean the original Coke, not the sissified version out today, right?

    If it must be produced today, I submit Canna Cola.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Whooooaaaaaaa!

    Now we're talking!

  • ||

    Naturally, Freedom Coke is made with sugar, not the sweetener of the oppressors.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I like the beer, the name, and the label:)

    http://www.thebarleyblog.com/2.....leghumper/

  • AlmightyJB||

    Of course Liberty Ale just kinda makes sense, doesn't it.

    http://www.anchorbrewing.com/beers/libertyale.htm

  • Xenocles||

    I would think any brand from San Francisco would be disqualified.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Good Point

  • ||

    It is so very very good on tap. Grapefruity, in a good way.

  • ||

    Raging Bitch by Flying Dog breweries. Flying Dog is currently in a lawsuit with the Michigan Liquor Commission, who is banning their beer because the profanity threatens the health and welfare of the public. There's also a brewery in NH that depicted the US Capitol being bulldozed (or something similar) and was also banned.

  • Sudden||

    Can't speak to Somali brews, but Kenya produces a pretty solid lager called Tusker.

  • ||

    "Tusker: It gets you IMPALED."

  • ||

    I bet the craft brewery scene in Somalia is awesome.

    Somalian Brewpub as a screen name, anyone?

  • Otto||

    Off topic: some Americans will work for $.25 an hour.

  • ||

    Wow, we're like the sluts of the industrial world. Guess all that angst and great gnashing of teeth about offshoring was premature.

  • AlmightyJB||

    $10/week? Really? I actually kind of feel bad for them and that's unusual for me because I hate people.

  • Alias Detector®||

    Episiarch?

  • Xenocles||

    My wife probably skewed the results. She tried a few cheap tasks and quit after her efforts kept getting rejected.

  • ||

    It is almost as if minimum wage laws cause unemployment. Who would have thunk it?

  • Amakudari||

    Japanese craft beers are still hard to find -- popular ones like Echigo aside -- and ridiculously expensive, up to $16 a pint in many Tokyo bars (most well-known one here). It's, of course, cheaper in grocery stores, but only if you can find it: most carry only mass-produced swill like Kirin Nodogoshi.

    Deregulation or not, sometimes I feel like the country is overrun with Bud drinkers (which, by the way, costs $18 for a six-pack).

  • KDN||

    I was in Osaka in 2006 and spent 3/4 of my time in a mixed expat district. The most exotic beer there was Guinness and there wasn't an American beer to be found. I spent 10 days switching between Jack & Cokes and pisswater rice beer.

    The lack of seemingly any restriction on what can be put in a vending machine was awesome. The lack of subway service after midnight was not.

  • Amakudari||

    Yes, the vending machines here are awesome. Not only do they have cigarette machines -- something I haven't seen in the US since my childhood, dive bars aside -- but there are a good number of beer machines. Also, drinking in public is merely frowned upon.

    My personal favorite machines are the ones with a half-assed implementation of photographic facial recognition. It's the patriotic duty of an American to try holding up a picture of an older person (cell phone photos and magazines both work).

    As for trains, if I'm ever out that late I just get a cab. There are tons of them. And there's only about a 5-hour window in which you can't catch a train, so no big loss.

  • KDN||

    I laughed pretty hard at the Japanglish on that machine. And I can do nothing but fully support the idea of holding up a magazine to get by the age filter even if you're well beyond legal.

    I was permanently soured on Japanese cabs when the cabbie tried to charge me Y3000 for the 2 mile drive from the bar to my hotel. I threw him 1000 and walked out. He didn't chase. Afterwards I manned up and drank through the dead zone, though the fact that they didn't kick me out of any bars I napped at was amazing. They'd haul you out by your ear if you pull that shit in NJ.

    I was surprised when I saw abottles of hard liquor for sale in the VMs. Then we went to a seedier part of town and found ones containing fetishy adult stuff. Random similarity between NJ and Osaka: blonde Russian prostitutes.

  • Amakudari||

    The most exotic beer there was Guinness and there wasn't an American beer to be found.

    Also, I can't even begin to tell you how many places consider themselves Irish pubs because they carry Guinness.

    Which, by the way, until very, very recently was actually brewed, bottled and distributed locally by Sapporo. You weren't actually drinking an import. ;)

  • Sudden||

    Most "imported" beer is brewed domestically within the market its located in. They contract with major brewers like Anhueser-Busch and specify the water treatment (as well as the process and ingredients, but treating the water is the critical part of getting the beer's flavor). The cost of freight for liquid is prohibitively expensive, especially for a product like beer, so that's a business reality. One of the reason the Belgian beers are generally pricey is because they are actually brewed in Belgium and transported, but your average Corona, Guiness, Beck's or comparable big name import that sells by the 12 pack will be brewed in the market its sold in.

  • Amakudari||

    I thought Corona was brewed only in Mexico. They always have "hecho en Mexico" on the label. It's actually quite expensive here. I know what you mean, though.

    In any case, for all the fascination here with Guinness as an exotic import -- enough to label your place an Irish pub -- it's amusing that they don't offer any actual imports. Guinness in Japan has always been really watery.

  • "Australian for Beer"||

    Foster's is brewed by Miller in the U.S.

  • ||

    What really limits craft beer in Japan is the price. Beer is ridiculously expensive, even when bought at the supermarket, when compared to hard liquor. Seven bucks for a regular nama (draft) in Tokyo in a bar, and 3 bucks for a can of beer at the supermarket...

  • ||

    But why the fuck is it regulated at all??? Sure, it's a good thing that they didn't lock out virtually every human being out of making and selling their own beer. Only a bout 99% of us. However you look at it, it's still a barrier to entry, like the million barriers to entry in place in this country. All people should be free to engage in any kind of consensual commerce they choose. They invent plausible sounding justification for it, but all it is about is protectionism.

  • ||

    Without licensing, next thing you know you'd be drinking a lead-chromium brew that'd kill you and anyone else in the room when you opened it. Why do you hate children?

  • ||

    (only 3.9% MBV [Mercury By Volume])

  • ||

    (sadly, "Gaia's Tears" not a listing requirement in the US. So far.)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, fuck. Now it's on... "we must regulate the homebrewing industry, and we'll use the Commerce Clause to do it. For the Children."

  • Commerce Clause||

    I'm EVERYWHERE, bitches.

  • CSPI||

    Don't forget do-gooders like US!

  • FDA||

    Hey! Wait your turn, CSPI.

  • Barack Picard Obama||

    Make it so.

  • Do-Gooders'R'Us||

    Hey! We do it because we caaaaare!

  • ||

    Commerce Clause|6.20.11 @ 8:24PM|#

    I'm EVERYWHERE, bitches.

    Mr. Ford?

  • Amakudari||

    FWIW, the law in Japan is rarely enforced here. If you want to homebrew here, you can buy supplies at a number of places. It's technically illegal, but no one cares. There are 5.4 million hits on Google for jika-sei bīru (lit. "home-made beer").

    You probably couldn't sell it in a major supermarket -- they'd want you to be an established name anyway -- but I know some bars here that will sell them. It's not ideal, but it's probably more open than the US. What holds Japan back is a lack of demand for quality craft beer and a lack of entrepreneurship (caused by both cultural differences and laws that make starting a business prohibitively difficult).

  • Somali Beer Corporation||

    We put dead rats in OUR beer!

  • Keystone||

    What's your recipe?

  • Miller High Life||

    A good rat-to-beer ratio is hard to find.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Free range rats I hope

  • ASPCA||

    Animal-haters.

  • PETA||

    Humans suck.

  • ||

    We put dead rats in OUR beer!

    Better than cracking open a cold one and having a live rat spring out at ya.

  • ||

    I don't drink beer and what is this

  • ||

    I like Res Publica. He accidentally the whole thing and doesn't afraid of anything.

  • ||

    There are over 9,000!!!!!!!!!!!! dead children every year thanks to alcohol. Over 9,000!!!!! Prohibition NOW.

  • Robert||

    See what happens when you don't drink beer?

  • ||

    "Every time I clap my hands, another child in Africa Dies"

  • ||

    The stop clapping your hands!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Poll Finds a Shift Toward More Libertarian Views

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n.....ian-views/

    Of course the problem with this is that while people may agree with less government in general. especially when it comes to them. They're all such assholes that they can't bring themselves to not tell other people how they have to live their lives.

  • AlmightyJB||

    TSA Theft of Passenger Valuables a Nationwide Problem

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....e-problem/

    First of all. The TSA has 110K employees. Wow. Second. They say that only 200 have been accused of stealing but I wonder how many of the 110K employees have access to passenger luggage? Most of them are probably just bureaucrats.

  •  ||

    I like PBR.

  • ||

    so do I. I also like Schlitz and Blatz.

    But I prefer the craft beers.

  • KDN||

    Ditto. Get some Natty Boh if you're around Baltimore. Aren't all the old time beers brewed in the same place at this point? I know Pabst is a virtual brand, not sure about the others.

    I'll usually pick up 12 craft beers for me when I go to a party and a 30 pack of domestic swill for community use. It's worth it if only to keep the expensive stuff away from flip cup and beer pong.

  • ||

    Compare with recent proposals in the state of Wisconsin:

    "Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite."

    Full story here: http://thinkprogress.org/econo.....raft-beer/

    I'll leave a hanging curveball to anyone who wants it for MGD lemonade jokes.

  • SIV||

    'We just about cried,' says the Major, 'because when we saw that they were Negroes, we knew we were free.'"

    I'm drinking ice cold Bud out of a can.Tastes like FREEDOM. Icey, ricey pure Belgian multi-national FREEDOM! You elitist cosmopolitan beer snobs just keep choking down your over-hopped, yeast sludge homebrew swill.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm beeeeeer.

  • Mississippi Redneck||

    I wish my state would learn this lesson. We have the most restrictive alcohol laws in the country and only one licensed microbrewery, Lazy Magnolia, that opened in 2003 (the first legal producer of alcohol in Mississippi since before prohibition). They are great, and I'm hoping that another will open up and make the market more competitive. Still, they are restricted by our state's bs 5% ABW cap on beer, and the legislators won't talk about raising it, because most of them are Southern Baptists and are too afraid of what the little old church ladys would say the following Sunday if they ever supported an increase.

  • Mississippi Redneck||

    Also, I should mention that homebrewing in MS is illegal and that we have several dry counties. Thankfully, mine is not one of them and our local law enforcement turns a blind eye to illegal homebrewing.

  • Branno ||

    Too bad the TAX on beer is so high that beer sales in Japan continue to fall. Reason fails to mention this.

  • ||

    Where are all the libs, progressives, Democrats, RINOs, and establishment Republicans defending regulations that keep small brewers out of the market? Why aren't they here telling us all about how too much choice makes people unhappy?

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