Best Breweries in Japan 2016 - results

Reads 1100 • Replies 22 • Started Monday, January 16, 2017 7:00:11 PM CT

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beers 4256 º places 393 º 19:00 Mon 1/16/2017

So here we are, I’ve put together all the scores and can announce the results are as follows:

1. Shiga Kogen - 117pts.
2. Kyoto - 103pts.
3. Yorocco - 101pts.
4. Y Market - 84pts.
5. Fujizakura Kogen - 69pts.
6. Shonan - 60pts.
7. Oni Densetsu - 56pts.
8. Nihonkai Club - 52pts.
9. Zakkoku - 34pts.
10. Devil Craft - 33pts.
11. AJB - 19pts.
12. Baird - 14pts.
13. Thrash Zone - 12pts.
14. Ushitora - 11pts.
15. Baeren - 10pts.
16. Isekadoya - 8pts.
17. Songbird - 7pts.
17. Daisen G - 7pts.
17. Atsugi - 7pts.
20. Swan Lake - 6pts.
21. Mojiko - 4pts.
21. Kiuchi (Hitachino Nest) - 4pts.
24. Loco - 3pts.
24. Yo-Ho - 3pts.
26. Outsider - 1pts.
26. Oh La Ho - 1pts.

For your information, points were awarded from 10 down to 1 for positions 1 to 10. J3sei didn’t want to rank his choices so I split the points equally between all of his selections (rounding 5.5 up to 6 for the sake of neatness). Shame we didn’t get so many people submitting this time, but I guess the novelty had worn off a little.

beers 4199 º places 119 º 19:38 Mon 1/16/2017

Thanks for doing this Neil! I know it takes time as I did it last year. Lots of changes it seems like. But all for the positive in my mind.

beers 11122 º places 760 º 21:43 Mon 1/16/2017

Thanks, man!
Pretty solid list of breweries, there, actually.
How would they rank with other countries, I wonder...

beers 106 º places 105 º 23:55 Mon 1/16/2017

Even though I drink "opposite" to someone who can contribute to this thread by trying to stick with the same 2-3 beers that I like the best,does not mean I cannot get anything out of it & do appreciate the time it takes to compile.

beers 6483 º places 358 º 08:03 Tue 1/17/2017

Surprised Zakkoku was so high. I’ve hardly seen their beers recently. Even if I wanted to rank them for 2016, I don’t think I could as I don’t remember drinking any of their beer last year.

My guess is Baird and Ushi will move up in 2017.

Just for reference, here is 2015 rankings. Shiga is clearly the king and two years in a row is #1. Surpringly Fuji went down a notch and I think 2016 was one of, if not their strongest years. Yorocco unsurprisingly moved up. Thrash, Swan Lake and Minoh all dropped out of top 10, while Oni Densetsu (no surprise) had a nice jump.

1. Shiga Kogen (191)
2. Y. Market (150)
3. Kyoto (113)
4. Fujizakura (78)
5. Yorocco (59)
6. Zakkoku Kobo (55)
7. Thrash Zone (43)
8. Swan Lake (39)
9. Minoh (35)
10. Oni Densetsu [Noboribetsu Brewpub] / Shonan (34)
11. -
12. Nihonkai Club (28)
13. Daisen G (25)
14. AJB [Libushi] (24)
15. Baird (23)
16. Ise Kadoya (19)
17. Devil Craft (17)
18. Ushi-Tora / North Island (15)
19. -
20. Iwate Kura (13)
21. Baeren / Loco Beer (12)
22. -
23. Outsider (9)
24. Yoho (8)
25. Oh! La! Ho / Hideji (6)
26. -
27. Chateau Kamiya / Sankt Gallen / Kiuchi [Hitachino Nest] (5)
28. -
29. -
30. Mojiko / Aqula / Johana (3)
31. -
32. -
33. Hidatakayama / Atsugi / Coedo / Bayernmeister (2)
34. -
35. -
36. -
37. Tazawako (1)

beers 2 º places 4 º 09:39 Tue 1/17/2017

I am sorry I didn’t vote because I only tried a handful of breweries during my last trip. But Coedo needs a honorable mention for the Marihana IPA.

beers 11122 º places 760 º 19:42 Tue 1/17/2017

Fuji was super strong last year.
I guess a lot of people don’t get excited about those styles. Plus, a few others had bigger jumps up.

beers 2749 º places 160 º 21:51 Tue 1/17/2017

Thanks Neil! ...TBH if people say Yorocco and Kyoto are better than Fujizakura it is purely because of the type of beers (i.e. in vogue styles) they make and the hype train/potential. Fujizakura is hands down a phenomenal brewery that would sit proudly and widely recognized in Germany. I don’t think you could say Saisons/IPAs brewed by Kyoto and Yorocco could hang with the big dogs in the Belgium/US...I am sure some people will try to tell me they do, but a side by side comparison will put that to rest pretty quickly. Maybe in a few years they will be there on Merit rather than potential, I certainly think Yorocco can be something truly special.

beers 2749 º places 160 º 21:51 Tue 1/17/2017

BTW Batch two of 1t is drinking really good now, even in bottles, but there is variation I have noticed. And yes, I wish Coedo would can the Marihana!

beers 4199 º places 119 º 23:38 Tue 1/17/2017

I rated Kyoto higher than Fuji only because I only drank a few new Fujizakura this year and the ones I really wanted to try (the dragon fruit thing and draft #1) I couldn’t ever find. The festivals found them with their same beers on (which is fine, but was hoping they would put on one of their new brews from this year). Bottles are almost impossible to find in shops in Tokyo as well. With all that being said I definitely like Fuji and if I was rating on consistency they would be 2 or 3 for me. I like Kyoto, I think a lot of people missed Nidomemashite (their double IPA) which i thought was one of the best of the year...up there with fresh I.Pa King. Also the dry-hopped stuff that came out in summer was rad to me. Yorocco had a big year in my mind. Akio makes flavorful low-abv beers that are in vogue, but regardless of that there just aren’t any other breweries on his level with the limited amount of tools he has. Shiga has serious bottling issues tbh and most new beers were underwhelming at best although I still think SOno Ju on draft is the best easily available beer in Japan. Y. Market fell off in 2016. Oni Den really had a good year to me. Devil Craft improved after a rough start imo.

beers 4199 º places 119 º 23:40 Tue 1/17/2017

Also sidenote...Marihana is awesome and Coedo are fools for not canning that up years ago.

More Marihana from them and less Tsuyu saison.