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Oofuna Beer Festival 2015

by BeerTengoku Writer
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The second Oofuna Beer Festival took place this Friday and Saturday. BeerTengoku schlepped up the near-vertical hill to the temple to check out if the Goddess of Mercy was smiling on the breweries in attendance.

Oofuna Beer Festival 2015 Walk
The long schlep to the top of the temple.
Oofuna Beer Festival 2015 Walk 2
Are we there yet?
Oofuna Beer Festival 2015 Drink
A small drinking area.
Oofuna Beer Festival 2015
Ofuna Kannon stands her ground.
Oofuna Beer Festival 2015

The forecast was for rain on the Saturday, so we were prepared for the worst; although it was overcast when we arrived at 12:30, it began to clear as the day drew on. Due to the arrangement of the tents, the event seemed smaller this year; there were a few more food stalls as well. Also, whereas last year the interior of the statue and the precarious hillside pathway were closed off, this year drinkers were free to walk around like normal people. We must have behaved ourselves well enough last year, then.

Breweries at Oofuna Beer Festival 2015

Brimmer Brewing

A smaller range this year for Brimmer. I really like their Golden Ale.

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Sankt Gallen

A strong showing as usual for Sankt, who were offering tasting flights of 2 (for one ticket) or 4 (for two) beers.

Shonan Beer

Still with the diddy glass size, I tried the IPA but I’d been to S-46 Beer Market recently so was a bit Shonaned out.

Antenna America

  • Lagunitas IPA
  • Little Sumpin Extra Ale
  • Summer IPA

AA had a stronger presence this year, and there was no Heartland in sight. They were also offering a cute little moulded glass jar with the Lagunitas dog on it for one beer ticket.

There was also a wine tent and a German beer tent selling bottles of Bitburger and Köstritzer.

My Impressions of Oofuna Beer Festival 2015

It may have been the weather forecast putting people off, or the odd decision to hold it on a Friday and Saturday rather than a Saturday and Sunday, but this Oofuna Beer Festival didn’t quite have the same spark as last year. Having almost exactly the same beers on offer didn’t help, although Sankt Gallen’s tasting flights were a welcome feature, and we saw them explaining the details of each of their beers to people buying them. There were fewer people, and the average punters seemed to be very old people taking advantage of the seats.

Next year, I’d like to see some other breweries show up and introduce some variety. The flights should be available from every brewery stall, and maybe the events should be geared towards the beer drinking crowd rather than children’s magic shows and overlong interviews with monks.

I’m still glad that the event happened again this year, as it’s so convenient for me, but if they’re not going to change it up a little and make it a bit more interesting then it’ll be more trouble than it’s worth to drag yourself up that hill.

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