hopulist issue 4

hopulist

Welcome to issue 4 of Hopulist. This month we feature Signature Brew, Bison Beer, an exclusive interview with Kasper Ledet, an adventure in the Japanese craft beer scene and much more...

大 阪 市

OSAKA

Speaking candidly, Osaka is my favourite city in

Japan. I have visited on a couple of occasions before

and it’s home to some of the best food you will

find in the country (okonomiyaki pancakes and

octopus balls) as well as a more relaxed vibe than

other cities in the country. It is just half an hour

from Kyoto on the train but feels like a world away.

Sky scrapers return and with them comes a little

more wealth – there’s a big banking industry here

as well as some designer shopping streets to rival

London or Paris. But none of that is why I love the

city – it’s the people. To showcase that, we headed

to a bar I’d actually attended before, Yellow Ape

Craft Bar in the Kitahama area of the city. Having

recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, this bar is

well-established among locals and we get a warm

and friendly welcome as we take up a couple of

stools around the bar. The menu has offerings from

Japan, the USA and in particular Scandinavia –

they are big fans of To Øl here, it turns out. We take

recommendations on a couple of beers and then

get chatting to the staff about their bar and how it

has grown in popularity over the years. Eventually

a regular customer enters and is eager to show

off a few cans he has bought from a nearby craft

bottle shop. A couple are American and a few are

British, so we immediately get involved chatting

to him (albeit in broken English). Eventually, the

chap decides he wants to share one of his cans

with all of us and orders six glasses so we can

all sample it, including the bar staff. It’s Rogue’s

Straight Outta Newport IPA, which is a belter,

and we enjoy several toasts of ‘Kampei’ together.

We only intended to stay for one drink here, but

the atmosphere carries us away and we end up

staying for a few more. The conversation eventually

reaches a point where one of the charismatic bar

staff wants a photo of our hair so he can tell his

barber he wants it dying this colour next time he

gets a cut. Many laughs are had, and we are seen

off by the staff all coming to the door to wave at us

as we stagger down the street. Yellow Ape is a fine

example of Japanese people’s genuine keenness for

craft beer. They wanted to know what we normally

drank, what we would recommend as British craft

drinkers and to share thoughts and ideas on their

favourite beers. I can’t recommend enough going to

this bar if you ever make it to Osaka.

But undoubtedly, one of Osaka’s biggest names

is Minoh. It has grown at a strong rate since its

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