Kirin Beer Village Tour Yokohama

See, Smell, Hear Touch and Taste Beer Tour

By Rey Waters    - 3 min read

Notice

Kirin Brewery's tour facilities and shops that have been closed will be reopened, depending on the conditions of the area where the Brewery is located. The restaurant attached to the Brewery will also reopen gradually. Please visit the website for more information on each Brewery.

Latest on Kirin Brewery Yokohama Beer Factory

Over the past few years Miwa and I have been to the top seven beer breweries from Fukuoka to Sapporo and in between. Most were informative, however the Yokohama Kirin tour is by far one of the best. Last year while in Sapporo on the way back to the airport we stopped in at the Chitose Kirin Brewery. Since it was snowing there were no other people taking the tour and we had our own private tour guide. It was really fun, but Yokohama Kirin even beat them out for a very thorough and entertaining tour. I am sure it all depends on who the guide is and each brewery has different features.

We recently retook the Yokohama Kirin Beer Village tour after taking it about three years ago. There are several new videos and a tasting area where you can judge the difference between the First Press Malt method verses the Twice Press Malt method used by other mass produced beer brewers. The first press had a much fuller less sweet taste.

Ichiban is the only mass-produced beer in the world that uses first press malt. Ichiban in Japanese means first or number one.

The hops used in the process are the main reason for the quality taste. Hops come from the Tohoku region of Japan, as well as Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Yokohama plant has 129 storage tanks and would you believe each one holds the equivalent of 1,480,000, 350 milliliter cans.

The length of the tour is about 1 hour, and when finished make sure to dine in one of the exceptional restaurants in the village.

It all started in 1885 when a group of foreign Yokohama residents established Japan Brewing Company. In 1907 the company merged and was renamed Kirin Beer.

The creature shown on their Beer labels is the legendary Kirin from ancient Chinese myths and is said to be a good luck charm.

At the end of the tour we get to drink three glasses of beer. We tried the new Premium, the Yokohama special edition, and Ichiban.

This tour involves all your senses: seeing the process, hearing the presentation, touching the malts, smelling the hops, and at last tasting the beer - now that is a tourist attraction!

Once our time was up we headed from the brewery to the Beer Port Restaurant for barbeque and a frozen head Kirin beer. We had tried the frozen head last year and I love the concept. The food was excellent and the prices very reasonable.

When you're visiting the Yokohama area put the Kirin tour on your agenda. It is free and so is the beer drinking at the end. If someone with you does not drink beer that’s ok, because they have non-alcoholic Kirin beverages available in the tasting area.

Reservations are required and the tours are generally in Japanese. You can request an English brochure and I have heard that on occasion they will do the tour in English so you may want to ask.

From Yokohama station take the Keihin Kyuko Line to Namamugi Station. It is only about a 10-minute walk from there.

More info

Find out more about Kirin Brewery Yokohama Beer Factory.

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over seven years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

Join the discussion

Geraldine Buergel 8 months ago
I've been to several breweries before, but never to a whole beer village. Sounds very exciting!
Justin Velgus 5 years ago
Sounds great and easily accessible. Kirin not only tastes great, but has some good company values. For example, the factory in Sendai has donated lots of money towards recovery projects in the region since the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Rey Waters Author 5 years ago
Yes, they have a good reputation in all the communities they serve. Seehttp://www.kirinholdings.co.jp/english/csv/report/backnumber/pdf/csr_report2010e.pdf Page 64 for their contribution. A great corporation with great products.