Tag Archives: Craft Beer

Along the Shizuoka Craft Beer Trail 3: Orache & Windy Valley Beer in Kannami, Mishima City!

All photographs by Robert-Gilles Martineau when not cited.

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(Courtesy of Orache Co.)

In 1997, when Mr. Tomoyuki Shimono came all the way from Tokyo to Kannami, near Mishima City, he surely had a grand idea: not only he wanted to create his own bio dairy products and beer, but he also knew how to develop it to contribute to a better environment and cooperation with locals.
He certainly needed a lot of courage to achieve his goals: Kannami is far away from urban life regardless of the great numbers of Tokyoites-owned villas sprouting all over a nearby mountain. At the time he arrived there, the land was poor and grew little but oranges due to its exposure to cold winds in winter and searing heat in summer. Oratche’s beer was not called “Wind Valley Beer” because it sounded good, but because it was a fact of life!

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I had already written a few articles about their surprisingly good cheeses when I met their young business department executive, Mr. Satoru Nishimura, by pure chance in Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City. The gentleman most readily assented when I asked him if I may visit and investigate his company. He went as far as picking me up at the station, about ten minutes away from his establishment.

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Welcome to Orache!
It is a bit away from Kannami JR Station and you don’t have your own car, it is a good idea to share the taxi!

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You are in a spot right between Mount Fuji and Izu Peninsula!

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A great place to start a car tour from!

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All great vegetables sold in Orache all year long have an interesting story of environmental cooperation!

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Orache is located in an area called Tanna which also bears a deserved nickname, “Windy Valley”, which is also the name of the craft beers!

When they first came to Tanna, they found farmers toiling for very little in a harsh environment with prevailing winds and poor soils.
Local farmers have their own space where they can sell their own bio vegetables to visitors. Orache had a good idea to recycle the refuse from the many cows they keep for milk and calves they raise for meat. They just give it to the local farmers who can use it as biological fertilizer!
They certainly never run out of it, I can tell you, as everything is well planned and quickly disposed of! They grow their own corn for feed combined with hay directly imported from the States. Knowing the Japanese Customs’ pickiness, I do not harbour any worry about its quality!

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All kinds of events are regularly organised not only in collaboration with local farmers but also with local restaurants, chefs and other gastronomic shops!

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They are also very popular with animal lovers with their small menagerie and very often organic feed for animals, especially dogs, is sold there!

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The regular series of craft beers at Orache!
Incidentally Orache was the first brewery officially recognized by the Japanese Government for producing organic beer!

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A limited brew for the season!
Of course I took a bottle back to Shizuoka City!

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A beautiful Craft Beer limited to the Atama City area! For the beer lovers and label collectors!

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Orache keeps all kinds of animals on their premises: Sheep, goats, cows, ducks, and even a human cow mascot!

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It can be cold country there, so they have a special space called “Flower Greenhouse”!

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They hold all kinds of events inside for kids and adults alike1

Their restaurant caters for all kinds of food and drinks (beers, of course!) and a big shop offers the whole gamut of their own products!

Plenty of souvenirs to bring back home!

ORATCHE & WIND VALLEY BREWERY

419-0105 Shizuoka Ken, Tagat Gun, Tanna, 349-1
Tel.: 055-974-4192
Fax: 055-974-4191
Business hours: 10:00~18:00 (week days), 10:00~20:00 (Sat., Sun. and National Holidays)
Free car park.
HOMEPAGE

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Shizuoka Beer: Naoki Mando and Aoi Beer Brewery in Shizuoka City!

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Naoki Mando/満藤直樹さん!

As I mentioned in my first report of the newest standing bar in Shizuoka City, namely Aoi Beer Stand, his owner, Naoki Mando/満藤直樹さん, will open the newest beer brewery/microbrewery in Shizuoka Prefecture, the 11th, by April 2014!

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First of all, why the name “Aoi”?
Well, the address is Aoi Ku, and “Aoi/葵” means “Hollyhock” in Japanese, whose leaves are represented on the family crest of Tokugawa Ieyasu who retired to shizuoka City, then Sumpu, at the beginning of the 16th Century!

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The ever-changing craft beer menu at Aoi Beer Stand!

Naoki Mando founded BECK Co. Ltd. 4 years ago which firts included Mando Bar, Growstock Bar, Cherry Beans (sold since then) before opening Aoi Beer Stand in July this year.
Everything but the final estate agency contracts to be signed has been made ready.
The experienced brew master. mr. Kouichi Taka, from Ibaraki Prefecture, has been recruited from NEST BEER Co.
Aoi Beer craft beers will be served at the tap at Aoi Beer Stand, Mando, Growstock and in other establishments and marketed in and outside town.

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Hansharo Porter from Kuraya-Nagasawa Brewery in Izu Peninsula!

Naoki will continue offering other craft beers from the Prefecture on a collaboration basis while serving at least 4 of his beers on the tap.
Among the regular and seasonal/limited beers he plans to offer next year one will have the pleasure to taste white beer, IPA pale ale and a novelty, kikuimo Beer!
Kikuimo/菊芋/is Jerusalem artichoke in English or Topinambour in French.
The concept is not only new but so interesting because kikuimo has been confirmed as natural medicinal plant effective for treating diabetes!
Which means that Diabetics will have a beer to enjoy at last!

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Baird Beer Rising Sun!

Considering that craft beer breweries in our Prefecture are concentrated in the eastern and western part, having a new brewery right in the middle in Shizuoka City will at last fill a space for the pleasure of all true beer lovers!

Soon, as the sites have seen quite a few changes during the past year I will report anew on Mando, Growstock and the Oktober Fest events held there!

NAOKI MANDO
BECK Co. Ltd., Growstock, Mando, Aoi Beer
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku-Cho, 2-4-6, Mori Bldg., 1F
Tel. & fax: 054-221-5103
Mobile: 090-3350-6208

AOI BEER STAND
420-0847 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gokoumachi, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK

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-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
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Beer Standing Bar: Aoi Beer Stand in Shizuoka City!

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Baird Beer Rising Sun!

Service: Easy-going and smiling. Very hospitable and friendly
Facilities: Very clean overall. Washroom inside Den Bldg, extremely clean and modern
Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive (but craft beer is never cheap!)
Strong points: All micro brewery craft beers!

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After the recent complete overhaul of Den Building in Aoi Ku a few minutes walk form Shizuoka JR Station North exit, the large street and its pavements were also remade and now we find ourselves with a new space downtown which is slowly starting to attract a new crowd.

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The latest addition is a minuscule standing bar called Aoi Beer Stand which opened on the 1st of July!
It is the last addition to Beck Co. Ltd which already owns Mando and Growstock bar/restaurants in Shizuoka City.
To start with the opening hours are a bit unusual: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm every day!

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The name Aoi is fairly easy to explain as this bar is located in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

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But there is another reason. Mr. Mando, who I should interview soon, is planning to start a brewery of the same name in the very city of Shizuoka! I know where but as this is still confidential you will have to wait until next year for more information! Just know it will become the 11th craft beer brewery/microbrewery in the Prefecture! Whereas the average number of microbreweries in Japan is 5~6 per Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture is simply becoming a major area!

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Ever-smiling Ryousuke Ono/大野良輔さん is looking after the place in day time whereas Mr. Mando take things in charge in the evenings.

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Now, they serve only craft beer and absolutely nothing else!
For the moment they serve 6 craft beer from all over Japan (changing regularly), including 2 from Shizuoka prefecture.
When the new brewery starts they will probably serve only Shizuoka craft beer!
Note that the prices are for large glasses. Add 200 yen for a pint-sized glass.

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Although the place can sit 6 people on high stool, the moment you have reached 7 guests the stools are pushed under the bar counter and you drink standing on some crowded nights patrons can be seen drinking standing on the pavement!

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The door inside on the left does not lead to a washroom (which is located inside Den Building) but a minuscule cellar for the beer kegs as all beers are served draught!

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The two Shizuoka craft beers presently on offer are from Baird Beer Co. in Numazu City!

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Baird Beer Red Rose Amber Ale!

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There is some food available though, but the accent is definitely on the beer!

Will come back with another interview of the owner and of his projects soon!

AOI BEER STAND
420-0847 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gokoumachi, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City