Local Beer from Karuizawa

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Located within a two-hour drive from Tokyo, Karuizawa’s annual average temperature is 7.8 degrees. The town has long been loved by many as a summer resort, and it is where the current emperor and empress of Japan met at a tennis court in 1958. It is a place that has attracted and will continue to captivate many Japanese. John Lennon visited Karuizawa for a long stay almost every summer with his family after the break-up of the Beatles, from the middle of 1970s to 1980, the year in which he passed away.

In this area, people make local beer with meltwater from the Asamayama mountain. It is said that during the 1980s, a youngster from Karuizawa got mesmerized by the rich flavor and aroma of the ale that was made in a small local American brewery in the town where he was studying abroad. He then started to think about how he could make such beer in Japan. In 1994, small-scale beer brewing was approved in Japan, and two years later, he established a brewery for local beer production named “Yo-Ho Brewing.” Soon after, he started making the beer that he named after his hometown, “Karuizawa Plateau Beer.”

Beer that is made out of love for Karuizawa, for the people who love Karuizawa. This is the concept of Karuizawa Plateau Beer. Using only natural resources – carefully selected malt and hop and water from the Asamayama mountain – beer here has an original production process that involves natural foam formation. There are four different types of brews on the regular roster: The clear and smooth “Wild Forest,” “National Trust,” which is made from black malt, “Seasonal,” which changes its flavor each year, and other limited production ales. Part of the revenue from sales is donated to two volunteer groups, “Karuizawa Wild Forest” and “Karuizawa National Trust,” which help preserve the beautiful nature of Karuizawa and enhance its appeal through various activities.

The company makes other unique beers as well, one of which is “Yona Yona Ale,” which has received the gold prize at the global “International Beer Competition” for eight years in a row as of 2013. The beer has an avid fan base not only in Japan but everywhere around the globe.

Recently, another beer producer has appeared in Karuizawa, going by the name of Karuizawa Asama Plateau Beer. It produces excellent craft beer, combining the attractiveness of the Karuizawa region with its deep tradition and history and rich environment gifted with clear and great-tasting water from the Asamayama mountain. The quality of the ingredients used makes the brew very easy to drink. “Karuizawa Asama Plateau Beer, Premium Series,” a premium beer made from 100% malt, is named after the beautiful landscape of the Asamayama mountain visible from the beer factory.

Be sure to try these local beer brands – majestic and refreshing, making one feel at peace, best suitable for this land of Karuizawa.

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