Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Taste Fresh Beer At Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery
One stop from Hakata station is the very popular Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery. We took the brewery tour, where you can taste fresh beer for free! You can also touch the malt and hop used to make the beer, making it a great spot for sightseeing in Hakata.
Written by Norihisa Hasegawa
Japan boasts many beer companies and brands, each having its own unique taste and characteristics.
For example, Asahi Beer's Asahi Super Dry has a refined taste and sharpness, and is a karakuchi beer that represents Japan.
Today we'll be introducing the Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery Tour, where you can drink just-finished fresh beer at its best.
Tourists Welcome! Brewery Tour
Photo courtesy of: Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery
The Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery is a hugely popular tourist spot, with 170,000 visitors every year (2015).
This brewery holds 90-minute tours where you can see the manufacturing process of their beer.
The secret to this tour's popularity is the fresh beer you can drink at the end of the tour. It's free! Its easily accessible location, just one station away from JR Hakata station is also a reason it's popular among tourists.
How to Reserve a Tour
The tour itself is free, but you'll have to make a reservation beforehand through the official website (Japanese) or by phone. There is a reservation form available in Korean as well. However if you wish to have an English-speaking guide, you will have to book by phone.
Once you arrive at the brewery, you'll first go to the reception at the entrance. Tours are separated by time, and a maximum of 50 people can enjoy the tour at once.
If you're a visiting tourist to Japan, you can make use of audio guides in English, Chinese, and Korean. These are available at the reception, but they are limited in number so you should ask about them when you make your reservation.
Now we'll show you how the tour looks like.
On this particular day, we had Pierre, from France, come along with us. He was on a one-month vacation in Fukuoka and Oita. This picture is him participating in the Hakata Dontaku matsuri.
Pierre: "I love Fukuoka because it has especially delicious food, and you can feel the traditional culture as well!"
1. Learn About Beer Making Through Video
Photo courtesy of: Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery (Japanese)
Before the tour, you first watch a video on Asahi's passion toward beer making, and its activities.
2. Ingredients and Brewing Process
Next we tour the brewery.
Don't worry if you don't understand Japanese, you can listen to the same explanation at places with the audio guide mark.
2-1. Touch and Taste the Ingredients
Here you can actually touch and taste the malt and hop, which decides the flavor and taste of the beer.
The malt is edible, try and taste it! It has a moderate sweetness and aroma. Just this alone is pretty good!
From the hop came a fresh scent that made us want to smell it more closely.
2-2. Watch From Preparation to Bottling
After trying the ingredients, we watch the whole process until the beer is bottled and packed in boxes. The brewery is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, so if you want to see the manufacturing in process, you should come on a weekday.
At this brewery, they say they can make 1500 cans of 350 ml beers in one minute.
3. The Long-Awaited Tasting
After the tour is over, it's time for some tasting. They even have snacks ready for you in the roomy tasting space, where you can drink up to 3 cups of fresh beer in your 20 minutes of tasting time. For those of you who are driving or underage, soft drinks like Mitsuya Cider and Calpico are also available. Just ask one of the staff.
We tried a flagship product: Asahi Super Dry. The pure flavor, free from any strange aftertaste relieved our throats.
Pierre: "The long-awaited tasting! I drank mine before I sat down."
We also tried the Dry Premium Hōjō, renewed with the highest class of flavor, aroma, and alcohol percentage. It has a stronger taste and flavor than the Super Dry.
Pierre: "The Premium is delicious as well! I drink it all the time when I'm in Japan!"
What did you think? It was a very satisfying tour, we can't believe it's free. When you're in Hakata, definitely stop by the Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery to try out some fresh beer!
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Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery
Address: Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku Takeshita 3-1-1
Hours: Tour Admission (9:30-15:00)
Closed: Year End and New Year's holidays, designated holidays
Credit cards: Yes
Languages: English, Korean
Menus in other languages: English, Chinese, Korean
Nearest Station: Takeshita Station (竹下駅) JR Kagoshima-honsen
Access: 4 minute walk from Takeshita station
Price range: -
Phone number: +81-92-431-2701 (Phone hours: 9:00-17:00)
Website: Asahi Beer Hakata Brewery (Japanese)