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Oedo Beer Festival Report

by Rob
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Oedo Craft Beer Festival Beer Tower

Oedo Beer Festival One Paragraph Report

The Oedo Beer Festival 2016 was disappointing on a personal level. Compared to the 2015, the sterile inside atmosphere had lost lots of its charm from the building site event of 2015. The wrestling had gone and replaced with some idol bands instead. However, it was good to see some of the smaller, lesser known breweries turn up and have a chance to show off some of their beer, but some of them really need working on. Overall, it’s was a welcome event though could do with some more thought about location next year.

Oedo Beer Festival 2016

First day business but soon died down.

Oedo Beer Festival Full Report

Oedo Beer Festival started in 2015 and was widely regarded as one of the most fun events on the craft beer calendar for Kantoites. It’s unique atmosphere was partly down to it being situated on a building site in the middle of Jimbocho in Tokyo – no mean feat considering all the healthy and safety issues that have to be followed. Moreover, with an eclectic schedule of wrestling, performance art, and some ugh J-pop bands. The Oedo Beer Festival 2016 event was no longer located on a building site, perhaps the 安全第一, anzen daiichi aka safety first, signs had been observed. Instead, it was located in the event hall of a massive sprawling apartment complex located about 10 minutes from Takadanobaba station.

Oedo Craft Beer Festival Brewery 1
Inawashiro Beer
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Brewery 2
Outsider Brewing
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Brewery 3
Hokkaido Brewing
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Brewery 4
Tainai Kougen Beer

The breweries at Oedo Beer Festival 2016 were far different than your usual festival. None of the “big” craft beer breweries had turned up, so if you were expecting some Baird Beer, Minoh, Shiga Kogen, or Yo-Ho Brewing, then you would have been majorly disappointed. There was no explanation for the lack of these breweries, but with Keyaki Spring Festival just around the corner and also the Nikufes on in Shibuya at the same time, then perhaps this event was just a stretch too far. This meant Japan’s smaller craft beer breweries had their turn to shine – and some of them did while others, well, let’s just leave it at that.

Oedo Beer Festival 2016 Beer 1
Devilcraft Clockwise from top left Pale Ale, Red pilsner, IPA, Smoke porter
Oedo Beer Festival 2016 Beer 2
Tainai Kogen. Clockwise from top-left: Sakura, Rauch, Weizen, Citra-weizen
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Beer 3
Tokorozawa Beer Tasting Set Clockwise from top left Pale Ale, Cannonball IPA, Pharoah Smoked Porter, Dark Horse Black IPA
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Beer 4
Hokkaido Brewing Tasting Set Clockwise from top left: Pilsner, Stout, La France Lager, Weizen
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Beer 5
Yokohama Bay Brewing Tasting Set Clockwise from top left Pilsner, Amber Ale, IPA, Imperial Lager
Oedo Craft Beer Festival Beer Tower
No festival would be complete without a beer tower.

Prices varied from brewery to brewery, but the main point of these festivals is being able to try as many different breweries as your wallet / liver / brain can handle. Most breweries offered a tasting flight of four beers for ¥1,000 to ¥1,200, with the majority of them being 7fl oz oz, or 210ml, size portions. Some breweries offered up three beers instead while some breweries gave less than 7fl oz, so those were skipped out by us. Some personal highlights of the festival were seeing Devilcraft pulling out all the stops for their beers – on both days we went to the festival, their lineup was completely different besides their collaborative effort with Victory Brewing, the Victory Devil Craft Lager. Hokkaido Brewing also put in some good efforts, with their La France being very refreshing.

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Oedo Beer Festival 2016 Music Thankfully the J-Pop idols were only on for a short time.

The major down point for this festival though was the location. The 2015 was held at a construction site, which gave the event a unique atmosphere and feel to it. Along with the wrestling, the Oedo Beer Festival had an atmosphere that other events lacked. This year though, the event was inside some sterile event hall that simply lacked an atmosphere suited to a beer festival. The high ceilings and echoey nature meant all noises were carried throughout the hall, making it at times a deafening experience, especially when the dreaded J-Pop girl band idols came on.

Thankfully they were only on for less than 30 minutes though very few people seemed interested in them and were more concerned with drinking.

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