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Kirin Yokohama Beer Village

travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
Crisp, rich and flavourful is my definition of a lovely cold glass of Kirin beer. Beautiful and an eye opener is how I would describe my visit to the Kirin Yokohama Beer Village in Japan. And if you love Japanese beer, then a visit to Yokohama is a definite must since Yokohama is the birth place of Japanese beer.


It was early December so we had a lovely mix of colours that greeted us when we got off our bus. The skies a tad gloomy but the golden leaves and colourful flowers were a beautiful sight to draw is. Of course the excitement of seeing how beer is being made and learning more about what goes into a satisfying glass of Kirin beer kept me anxious. 

The Kirin Yokohama Beer Village tour is free of charge but you must make your reservations at 045-503 8250 ahead of time. This tour takes about an hour or so and includes free tastings of your choice Kirin beer when the tour ends. 
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Our guide spoke rather well in English so we all settled down quite quickly and easily. We put on our Beer Village stickers so that the folks (and security) can identify us as visitors. Pretty fun and for a moment I felt like a kid going on a school trip.
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

The session kicks off with a brief introduction on what we can expect during the tour. Then its the fun part of learning what ingredients goes into a good beer. Ingredients are placed in boxes. We are encouraged to touch, smell and even take a bite of the barley.
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
hop
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
barley

Combine barley, hops and water for beer. That's a simplistic way of summarising how beer is made. The real science behind a good beer:
Barley refining ---> saccharification ---> malt extract filtration ---> boiling ---> fermentation
 ---> storage / filtration ---> packaging

Barley refining means converting wheat to malt. This process involves soaking barley in water for them to germinate and then is allowed to germinate and then dried, making it malt. 

Saccharification process is also known as mashing. Here the malt is finely crushed and boiled. Enzymes change the starch in the malt making it sweet. The malt mash is then passed through a filtration machine. The extract from the filtration process is called wort. This is a process that is approximately 11 hours.

Hop is then added to wort to give it that distinctive beer scent and "bitterness". Yeast is then added to this mixture of wort. Fermentation takes place for approximately a month and when the yeast is matured, it will be filtered out to produce the golden goodness of beer.  
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Now, what makes Kirin beer different? Kirin Ichiban pursues the finer taste of beer resulting in its unique flavour and taste. In achieving that, Kirin uses only the first press of the wort "Ichiban Baujyu". We had a taste of the first press and the second press of the wort. Needless to say the first press is distinctive. Its sweeter and more flavourful. The colour itself is of course more vibrant as well.
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Now having learnt what goes into a good Kirin beer, I am more than excited and ready to check out the beer from the factory itself. We are entitled to 3 glasses of Kirin experience and one should / must start with Kirin Ichiban first followed by more Kirin Ichiban. Though if you love stout, do check out the Kirin Stout too!
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

A great beer brewed will go to waste if its not served properly. Our guide teaches us how to serve a Kirin Ichiban right. I tried it at home and yes it does make a difference. 
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Before you leave Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, make sure you grab some awesome souvenirs from the Brewery Shop. Take your pick of Kirin beers, Kirin Stout, Kirin beverages, Kirin snacks and Kirin chocolates. There is also Kirin Whisky!
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

I was at the Kirin Yokohama Beer Village with a bunch of people. A picture with Kirin beer is also a must. Nah...we are not alcoholics. We merely enjoy our alcohol and we appreciate a good beer - Kirin Ichiban.
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Its been a fun and an eye opener visit to Kirin Yokohama Beer Village. I will definitely like to return for another visit. Stay tuned next week as I continue with Part 2 of my visit to Kirin Yokohama Beer Village. Its will be a delicious post!
travel, Kirin Ichiban, Kirin Yokohama Beer Village, Alcohol Fun, Yokohama, Japan, Spring Valley

Kirin Yokohama Beer Village
T: 045 503 8250 
How to get there:
• Shinkoyasu Station: JR Keihin Tohoku Line
• Namamugi Station: Keihin Kyuko Line

Full set of pics in Kirin Yokohama Beer Village.

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