How to Japanese Podcast – S02E15 – Mike Grant – Learning by Ear, Craft Brewing in Japan

Mike Grant is the co-founder of Devil Craft brewing and has been operating in Tokyo for 10 years as of this year. Devil Craft has four locations in the Tokyo area. See Craft Beer Professional’s interview with Mike here.

  • “Learning by ear” + Six months of classroom Japanese after an initial stint in Japan
    • Practicing and “playing around” by imitating accents in English
  • Being able to take criticism of both language skills and brewing skills
  • AQ BevolutionAlbert Kuwano
  • Learning how to homebrew
    • Experimentation
    • Online recipes
    • Homebrew books
  • Developing a familiarity with malt
  • Licensing for brewers
    • Previous experience or apprenticeship at current brewery
    • 6-9 month process for licensure
    • Brewing system must be on-site and ready to go; license goes with the physical location
    • Recipes must be submitted one day in advance
    • All equipment must be registered; limits mobile canning
  • Homebrewing in Japan
    • No political motivation to change the current laws; no constituency
    • Japan = fermentation mecca
  • State of the craft beer market in Japan
    • Daniel’s 2016 article on Japanese craft beer
    • 400+ breweries in Japan
    • Lots of breweries that are 50-500 liters in size that are in the industry to brew beer rather than to make omiyage
    • Demographics are working against craft beer
    • Tanakaya in Mejiro
    • Chuhai’s place in the Japanese market
    • Barrel-aging and mixed culture brewing
    • Yeast in Japan
    • Brewing conferences, collaborations, and associations
  • Breaking into the craft beer market in Japan

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