I chanced upon Minoh beer in a whisky bar called Zoetrope in Tokyo, which stocks the best Japanese whiskies and craft beers. And after the first sip, I was totally head over heels for this perfectly smooth stout.
I couldn’t wait to swing by the brewery when I got to Osaka. And I am so glad I did. This tiny little outfit pumps out perfection while fans can camp out at the adjacent bar to taste-test whatever’s in stock or on tap that day.
The brewery was opened in 1997 by Masaji Ohshita, who is considered the “godfather of craft beer” in Japan. But this revered brew master passed away in 2012, and his wife and daughters now run the show, producing classic IPAs and stouts alongside creative seasonal styles, including a peach Monkey beer, a cabernet beer and even a ganja variation. I spent an entire afternoon working my way through as many beers as I could, and highly recommend making the trip—it’s just 30 minutes by train from central Osaka.
Take Osaka’s Hankyu Umeda Station toward Minoh Line and get off Makiochi Station. Exit through the west gate, then turn right and walk till Megane no Aigan where you’ll see ann optician on the corner. Take a right till you get to Minoh City Hall. Turn left toward Nagino Park. You’ll see signs for AJI Beer on the right, and then you’ll see the sign for Minoh beer. Warning: it’s closed on Thursdays!
Minoh Brewery: 3-19-11 Makiochi, Minoh, Osaka,