In Japan, it is not uncommon to find that most of the salarymen love to go to an izakaya (居酒屋) with their colleagues after work. They usually order food together with copious amounts of alcohol. Among all the drinks, beer is the most popular one.
The Kirin Brewery Corporation, one of the leading beer companies in Japan, produces beer and soft drinks. Aside from this Yokohama brewery, there are 8 located in different parts of Japan, namely Chitose Brewery in Hokkaido, Sendai Brewery, Toride Brewery, to name a few.
The 80-minute brewery tour, which is free-of-charge, is led by a tour guide. Visitors have to make an appointment for this on Kirin’s website beforehand. To be exact, the tour is conducted in Japanese but the pamphlets are written in different languages, so don’t worry!
To Start Off the Tour…
Visitors are led to watch a short video introducing the history of Kirin Beer. The video is in Japanese. After watching the video, Kirin’s tour guide will explain the ingredients used in beer. For example, hops and malts. Visitors can actually touch, taste and feel what they are like. To be exact, the beer produced by Kirin is made from ichiban wort (meaning “the best wort” in Japanese). That’s why it is one of the most popular beers in Japan.
Tasting Two Different Cups of Wort
After that, every visitor has a chance to taste two different cups of wort. The one on the left-hand side is called “First press wort”, which is sweeter and more delicious whereas the one on the right-hand side is “Second press wort”. “First press wort” is the best wort after squeezing the malt and hops for many times, making it “Ichiban”.
And then the tour guide would provide visitors with a detailed and informative introduction concerning the brewing process of the beer. Visitors can have a glance at the amazing machines used by Kirin.
This workshop is not included in Kirin’s brewery tour. If visitors are interested in making beer on their own, please refer to Kirin Yokohama Beer Village’s website. Additional fees are required for this workshop.
Free Tasting of Kirin’s Beer and Soft Drinks
If you join the brewery tour, near the end every visitor will be served three free glasses of drinks produced by Kirin in a big area of the cafeteria. A packet of snacks is also provided. For beer, there are altogether three kinds for visitors to choose, namely “Ichiban-shibori”, “Lager”, and “Stout” (black beer). As for those who don’t like drinking beer, no worries! You can also opt for other drinks like green tea, apple juice, orange juice, etc.
Kirin’s Souvenir Shop
After finishing the tour, visitors can feel free to pay a visit to the souvenir shop, which is just next to the free tasting area. A large range of items are included, like glasses, T-shirts, snacks, coasters, you name it! But, the most popular one should definitely be beer chocolate. It is placed in the middle of its entrance. Take a look at it when you get there.
Points to Note Prior to Your Visit:
To join the tour, remember to make your appointment on Kirin Yokohama Beer Village’s homepage beforehand.
Address: 1-17-1 Namamugi, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Access: 7-minute walk from Nama-mugi Station
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 22:00 from Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Monday (open if holiday), year-end & New Year holidays
Official Homepage (Japanese Only)