Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Japan - Yebisu Beer Museum

Hello again! This is long overdue, and we actually visited the Museum of Yebisu Beer before we visited the maid cafe. 

The first time I had Yebisu Beer was back in the US, in an izakaya (a restaurant designed for drinking and eating appetizer-like dishes) down in San Francisco. I think. Yes, San Francisco it was. To those who know me a little better, I'm not a good drinker and I had a bad experience drinking Bud Light. It was my first beer and it tasted horrible. I ended up throwing up right after finishing my can.

After attending the matsuri in Hatchobori I decided to switch my plan from going to DiverCity, where a 19m Gundam statue stands, to this beer museum. Afterall, DiverCity would be very crowded during the golden week holiday.

The museum is located in Ebisu. It is actually a little far from Ebisu station, about 10-minute walk. Try to find Ebisu Garden Place from the station if you're a little lost.

Again, the signs towards the museum are not very noticeable. But once you've set your feet in the right direction, the museum will be very easy to spot.

Yep, this huge beer can. Definitely noticeable :)

I had expected to see the beer-making process at the museum, but I was wrong. This museum is more of a place for beer-tasting and learning the history of the company, and perhaps some info on how beer was introduced to Japan and got popular. The entrance fee to the museum itself is free, but you have to pay 500 yen for a guided tour + 1 glass of beer for tasting, or pay 400 yen for a token. Each glass of beer costs a token, and while some finger food (that go well with beer) costs a token, some special menu costs 2 tokens.

Being an adventurous foodie, I can't say no to beer tasting. I'm not a big fan of beer but I've got to try it. One beer, and one food. Because I don't think I can survive more than a glass of beer. I know my limits.

First, buy the tokens at a vending machine (there are English instructions on the machines too). Then place your orders at the counter. If you order food, you'll be given an 'exchange card', and if you order a drink, you'll get a coaster.

The coaster differs by drink type. I ordered the amber colored beer, while some of my friends ordered stout.

This creamy top stout is especially delicious. It has a really good body, and even though it's bitter, the creamy top makes it very smooth. As I said, I don't normally like stout, but I like this one :)

The one below was the beer I ordered. Amber (kohaku) colored :)

And here comes my food: smoked oyster with olives. Salty food really goes well with beer!

Oh and by the way, the beer tasting section is called the Tasting Salon. Pretty fancy name, huh?

Next to the Tasting Salon is the souvenir shop. It's a little pricey and they are not especially very special. I got myself an omamori (charm) with the face that appears on Ebisu beer can.

Last but not least, the museum. I think you can definitely enjoy it without a guided tour because there is English translation on the description. Well, if you don't understand English, having the guided tour will not help you because the tour is in Japanese. Unless, of course, you understand Japanese better than English :)

Some random fun facts: Yebisu beer had made some appearances in manga, such as in Evangelion!

And that's it about the beer museum. I haven't had the chance to explore more stuffs recently because the workload is getting heavier and heavier each day, but my next destination is probably Tsukiji Fish Market and DiverCity, or Fujiko F Fujio Museum. Stay tuned!


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