Paying It Forward

Because Kaeru Beer believes in the influence wielded by Social Media and its latent marketing muscle, we have decided to start occasionally paying the compliment forward by randomly selecting an organisation or group from our Social Media followers. We shall spend 5 minutes briefly investigating what that organisation or group does before writing a short summary of what we have learnt.

See Also: Culture Contact

Beer Kulture, USA

Urban. An adjective I rarely use. Especially in relation to who I am or what I’m about. And yet, I love the world of beer for its variety, its diverse flavours, its opinions, and the insight it gives into how the most social of beverages is enjoyed and savoured as a cultural focus in all walks of life.

As a champion of thought-provoking, progressive and forward-thinking ideas, I’m pleased to have discovered Beer Kulture today, and it’s a shame I’ve not encountered it sooner. I know a few people who will also relish some of the stimulating comments and thoughts — it’s certainly worth a look.

Beer Kulture is a movement of beer-lovers who want to change how beer is represented in the urban communities: “good vibes, good people, good beer and great memories.” I’m happy to support that journey.

Tap Stand, Japan

Tap Stand新宿では オランダのクラフトビール醸造所「Oproer Brouwerij」の造りだしたビールが愉しめます。是非この機会に訪れてみて下さい!

Just a few minutes’ walk from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station is Tap Stand, a small but popular Craft Beer Bar with 20-taps serving a variety fine international and domestic beers in a relaxed, chilled atmosphere. It’s as well-known for its pizza as it is for its well-curated selection of impressive beers.

Currently being served at Tap Stand are a handful of beers from Oproer Brouwerij in the Netherlands, a renowned brewery from the city of Utrecht that exemplifies the high-standard and impressive quality of Dutch Craft Beer.

It’s a busy bar, so get there early (or reserve a table if you’re planning to eat) and enjoy a beer or two from Oproer Brouwerij. The rewarding taste of the Netherlands is difficult for beer-lovers to forget.

Visual Violence, Netherlands

This is a weird one for us because there’s no immediate connection with the world of Craft Beer or cider in the photographic work of Visual Violence. However, there is a direct correlation between the aroma, taste and mouthfeel stimuli of a ferocious beer or cider and the visual assault stimuli of ferocious photography. Excluding the holiday snaps and the omnipresent ‘selfie’, the three most photographed things in the world are perhaps beer / cider, live music events, and human skin that’s unblemished by the trappings of fashion. An infinite number of websites dedicated to flesh exist (presumably!) so let’s stick with beer/cider and live music — especially the latter, of which Visual Violence excels.

The name is a clue. There is unlikely to be any photograph containing a fluffy bunny, a sad puppy or a cute pussy. Not here anyway. The name is as loud as the photographs are bold, unflinching and in your face. From the wonderfully emotive silent photographs that capture the very essence of the punk, metal or whatever-core event can be heard the uncompromising sounds that define the power and attitude contained within.

Rock music fans will love the photographs; if you’re in a band, or you’re a concert promoter who hopes to capture forever the mood and sentiment of the action at your event, you need look no further; if you have a bar, event-space, social or cultural outlet, or simply enjoy displaying photographs, there is an exhibition waiting for you. Visual Violence will literally strike a chord in many arenas of pictorial art.

Robin Reist Rond, Netherlands

Robin travels around — travel, beer and singing. In this case the travel-blogging, beer-loving, singing Robin is the thrill-seeking and adventure-worshipping Robin van Sundert, a familiar face on the Dutch Craft Beer scene. You may think the world of Craft Beer is shark-filled and cutthroat, an environment in which even the hardiest of intrepid explorers may tread in trepidation. However, a quick scan of Robin’s writing reveals she has actually dived with white sharks, amongst other thrills, so working in a beery-world must be a breeze, a drop in the beery ocean. If, like Robin, you’re motivated by great beer, great food and great travel, following Robin Reist Rond may satiate you own desires and wanderlust.

Constant Companion, Sweden

“Let the Beer Speak” is the motto of Constant Companion, a discerning beer importer based in the south Sweden naval city of Karlskrona. Constant Companion wants to introduce its customers to fine beers that offer something new, beers that offer a flavour experience beyond the everyday beers that people are used to. Choosing small, artisanal brewers is important because it is these beers that have a personality and depth unlike any other. Now in its fifth year, Constant Companion distributes to many Swedish beer outlets and also appears at beer festivals and tap takeovers. Sharing great beer is important, and a few examples of its range include popular beers by Hof ten Dormaal, OWA Brewery, Oersoep, Brouwerij Alvinne, Tommie Sjef Wild Ales and Telegraph Brewing Company.

Seed and Stone Cidery, USA

Seed and Stone Cidery produces small-batch cider using local apples from the New York state area. Centrally located in the City of Rochester, New York, it’s a new endeavour for the father-and-daughter team of Bill and Chris, who only launched their first cider within the past couple of months. Unlike industrial cider manufactures, who mostly rely on artificial ingredients and processes, Seed and Stone Cidery uses little more than nature’s ingredients and a lot of time — this is real cider. Some of the cider produced at their Urban Cidery ferments for more than six months, so it has been a labour of love for them since moving into the basement of the historic Hungerford Building late last year. Ironically, the Hungerford Building was once the home of a fruit-syrup manufacturer, but there’s nothing syrupy about the fruity goodness being produced in the building’s present guise. Seed and Stone Cidery has a portfolio of four ciders: the flagship, traditionally-styled Heritage, the whiskey-barrel aged New England, the dry-hopped Citra, and the funky, cellar-aged Farmhouse.

The Italian Job, UK

The Italian Job is not merely a classic heist movie (and pointless remake), it is also a London-based pub chain specialising in Italian Craft Beer. Anybody who’s visited Italy for its beer-scene knows it’s perhaps one of the world’s most underrated beer countries, and anybody chancing upon one of The Italian Job’s outlets is likely, therefore, to taste something wonderful in the best of Italy’s artisan brewing. There’s much more to Italian beer than Birra Moretti, Peroni or Menabrea.

The Italian Job’s story began with its first pub in West-London’s leafy Chiswick, following closely by another pub in hip and trendy Notting Hill. It also has an outlet in the Elephant and Castle, at London’s premier Italian Food Market — if course it does! The Notting Hill pub even has a speakeasy, squirreled away on an upper floor, in which furtive drinking in an Italian prohibition-style, laid-back and jazzy bar is possible…if you have the right credentials to be admitted!

The pubs serve both draught and bottled beer, plus a wide-range of no-nonsense Italian eating delights, so The Italian Job is a must if you like Italian beer. Even if you’ve not tasted it or only know the larger industrial beers, it’s a must.

inCiderJapan, Japan

inCiderJapan is a publishing, media and consulting company based in Yokohama, Japan, and it is perhaps most widely known as the publisher of Japan’s only bilingual (English-Japanese) magazine dedicated to cider. The InCiderJapan magazine is published quarterly, and aside from distribution across Japan, it is available in selected locations in the USA, the UK and Europe. InCiderJapan has a simple ethos: to inform, educate and enlighten people about cider; to promote the joys or cider; and to inform about global cider-news. Besides publishing and media, it imports, retails and manufactures cider-related products, such as cider-merchandise and cider-making equipment. Cider-lovers outside Japan may find the magazine interesting, and it can be downloaded for a nominal fee (JPY 100-EUR 0.79-USD 0.91)):

Le P’tit Houblon, France

Le P’tit Houblon (the little hops) is a beer store in the heart of Aix-les-Bains, the famous spa town in the south-east of France. It sells both craft beer and traditional classics, plus many wonderful national beers of France. Le P’tit Houblon is a self-confessed boutique for the enthusiastic beer-lover, and it is dedicated to inspiring its customers to be confident in discovering new tastes and great beer. Like many great beer stores, it can supply its customers with both beer and the draught serving equipment for their own events and parties. It even holds its own events, such as beer-tasting with brewers. The store is located in the city-centre, directly opposite the Parc des Thermes, so why not pop over, grab a relaxing armchair, listen to some great music and discover some great beer to take home and savour? The store’s mantra appears to be, “Ne dit t’on pas que le monde s’est créé autour d’un verre de houblon ?! Passez cette porte afin que nous puissions continuer à l’embellir … !” Roughly translated (plus a little artistic-licence), it says that if you don’t believe the world was created around a glass of hops, just walk by and the world will continue to get better! We agree wholeheartedly.

Goede Kant van het Spoor, Netherlands

Far from being on the wrong side of the tracks or in any way off-the-rails, Goede Kant van het Spoor (good side of the rail) is doing everything correctly. What this small brewery and beer webshop lacks in size, it makes up in credibility. Based in Geldrop, south-east of Eindhoven, Goede Kant van het Spoor is Social Media-savvy and proactive in its online presence. In today’s fast-paced capricious world of instantaneous communication, an active Social Media presence favours the acorn over the mighty oak; size, roots and longevity are immaterial without an active voice enticing potential and future consumers.

Goede Kant van het Spoor has a fondness for the unusual in its beer webshop, selling beers that are rare, unusual, hard-to-find or simply new and unfamiliar. What’s found in its webshop is unlikely to be found in any generic high-street beer store. What can be found in discerning beer stores across the Netherlands, as well as many reputable online beer stores and food/drinks festivals, are Goede Kant van het Spoor’s own beers. As a small-batch brewery, the predilection for unusual beer is continued in Goede Kant van het Spoor’s beer styles, choice and recipes. If you’re a fan of the unusual, Goede Kant van het Spoor beer could be an opportune find.

Domis Reviews, Germany

Domis Reviews is the German-language Craft Beer Blog of the intriguingly named beer sommelier, Domi No, who’s based in Großhabersdorf, near Nuremberg. Bringing its readers and followers all the latest news from the world of beer, Domis Reviews’ content covers all aspects of consumers’ beer needs. Whether it’s tasting and reviewing beers, writing about breweries and their methods and practices, or recommending other beer blogs for readers to follow, Domis Reviews is clearly focused on what it calls the “kostbaren gerstensafts” — the precious barley juice. We agree. Getting out and about to personally experience the precious barley juice is important to Domis Reviews, too, since it writes about beer festivals, restaurants (and their beers), and the all-important visits and tours of breweries. Despite not speaking German well, it is apparent that Domis Reviews is well-subscribed and popular judging from the interaction it has with readers and the beer industry.

Antiga Artesana, Spain

Antiga Artesana is a Spanish microbrewery known locally for its artisanal Valencian Craft Beer. It is based in the municipality of Catarroja, a couple of kilometres south-west of Valencia, sitting on the banks of a freshwater lake and lagoon — the Albufer. The region is renowned for its wetlands, fresh Mediterranean air, agriculture, fishing, rice and local cuisine. As expected, Antiga Artesana’s ancient methods of hand-brewing quality beers with natural ingredients define the area too. The brewery seems to have five core beers: a Hefeweizen, a Pale Ale, a Golden/Blond Ale, a Porter and a ubiquitous IPA, all of which can be found locally and regionally, via the brewery’s online store or at various beer-events and launches. Special or seasonal beers are available, too. If you’re in the area and would like to see the brewery, everybody is welcome to visit for a tour — groups or individuals — followed by an opportunity to taste what appear to be great beers.

Bierwinkel Hop, Netherlands

Bierwinkel Hop is the only specialist beer store in the city of Amersfoort, located approximately in the middle of the Netherlands. It is well-stocked with over 500 different beers — local, national and international. Also well-stocked with 12 draught beers and a selection of 40-bottles is Kafé van Zanten, a local bar / café that collaborates with Bierwinkel Hop. They even have a mobile bar for events and festivals. Bierwinkel Hop’s owner is not a mere beer connoisseur who enjoys personally advising customers about the beers, he also sells his own brews, too. Furthermore, if you’re having your own party or event, Bierwinkel Hop offers beer-tap rental with your specially selected beers. Even if you’re not having a party or event, there are plenty of other customer events and activities happening at Bierwinkel Hop, such as beer tasting and suchlike. Unusually, Bierwinkel Hop is open every Sunday, although it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Bikes and Beers Adventures, Canada

Bikes and Beers Adventures are a Canadian group with two key passions, both self-evident from the group’s name. Based in the Burlington/Hamilton area of Ontario, which is at the western point of Lake Ontario, the “Bikes” in this case are mountain bikes and the “Beers” are Ontario Craft Beers or other crafty brews in the region. The group organise Local Rides for up to 20-people on nearby trails twice a week — a midweek evening and Saturday morning — and also Adventure Tours that take a group of 10-people further afield. Training Rides are also provided to increase people’s mountain biking abilities. The group’s aim isn’t exclusively to introduce people to the beautiful biking trails in Ontario and across the rest of Canada, it’s about being rewarded for a hard day’s cycling with great craft beer and perfect beer/food pairings; understandably, many rides will end at a brewery or taproom!, UK

Seemingly named after three-arched viaduct that gave its name to a pub in which this group of British beer enthusiasts first met in Cardiff. The key focus of the group appears to be an Annual Trip, a once-yearly outing to a finely chosen pub somewhere in the UK, at which all the members — seemingly known as The fourtharch Old Boys Tankard Club — have a meeting, followed by a day or two or merriment. The escapades are documented afterwards for prosperity. The website also features various writings about the important beer matters of the day.

Diagonal, Japan

As the name suggests, Diagonal is a craft beer bar. It’s located in K?fu, the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan, pretty much in the centre of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Yamanashi Prefecture is home to Mount Fuji. Diagonal stocks around 80 Japanese or international beers from the likes of BrewDog, De Molen and its most recent addition, Modern Times. Beer is mostly bottled, apart from BrewDog on draught. It’s only open regularly between 6:30pm and 10:00pm on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays — on the other days of the week there may be special events happening.