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“Toriaezu Nama Onegaishimasu” =とりあえず 生 お願いします。

Have you ever heard of this phrase at an Izakaya (Japanese Bar)? Toriaezu means “To start with”, Nama means “Draft beer” and Onegaishimasu means “Please”.

If you see a group of businessman walk into an Izakaya, watch how they order their first drinks. I am sure you will hear “Toriaezu, Nama Onegaishimasu!” 🙂

However, this post is not about Izakayas but about beer factories in Hyogo Prefecture.

When you think about Japanese beers, which brands come to mind? For me, I think of the brands Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Premium malts etc…

There are two beer factories easily accessed from Kobe. One is in Hyogo Prefecture and the other is in Osaka. Both can be easily reached by train and free shuttle bus. Let me introduce them to you.

KIRIN BEER KOBE FACTORY

 https://www.kirin.co.jp/entertainment/factory/english/beer/  Monday closed

ReservationTime RequiredOpening HoursFee
TourYou need to make a reservation60min9:40am to 3:40pmFree

*The factory tour is only in Japanese.

*Please look at their website for the free shuttle bus’ timetable.

There is parking available, so you can go there by car. However, please keep in mind that drink driving in Japan (like most countries) is strictly prohibited and considered a criminal offense. So if you intend to enjoy their beers, please err on the side of caution and use the train and their free shuttle bus. This way, you will get a chance to ride the special Kirin Bus! 🙂

The tour I participated in takes approximately 60 minutes. There is also a 40-minute tour that covers the commitment and processes involved in the production of Kirin’s delicious Ichiban Shibori beer.

You can experience the difference in both sight, scent and taste between the first and the second squeezing in the production process.

All the Kirin beer available in the Kansai region are produced in this factory. Here you will also see the canning process and how 2000 cans / 1 minute are produced as it pass in-front of you! As you marvel at their production volume, keeping in mind there are other Kirin factories in Japan!

I cannot imagine how all this beer can be consumed, yet Japan is apparently ranked 7th in the world in terms of beer consumption!

Do you remember what the Kirin Beer logo looks like? It looks like a cross between a horse and a dragon. Actually, it is supposed to represent a legendary sacred beast in Chinese mythology.

When the Kirin logo was designed, the designers incorporated a little secret. During the tour you will be asked if you can spot the little play on design 🙂

Finally, at the end of the tour there is a 20 minute tasting session! Yay! Here you can taste 3 types of Ichiban Shibori with Japanese rice crackers. For those who cannot or do not want to drink beer, Kirin soft drinks, tea and juices are available for you to enjoy.

There is also a restaurant within the factory grounds for visitors that want to continue their Kirin beer drinking experience. The restaurant has both a lunch and dinner menu where you can enjoy salad, bread and rice sourced from local Hyogo farms and producers. The main lunch menu ranges from 1280 yen to 2380 yen, while a glass of beer ranges from 550 yen to 580 yen (400ml).

ASAHI BEER SUITA FACTORY

 https://www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/language/english/

ReservationTime RequiredOpening HoursFee
TourYou need to make a reservation90min9:30am to 3pmFree

The Asahi Beer Suita Factory is a 10-minute walk from the Hankyu Suita Station and the JR Tokaido Suita Station. There is parking available, but we recommend that you go by train. Please note, advance reservations are required.

The 90 minutes long tour will introduce you to Asahi’s beer manufacturing process. Part of the tour involves a watching a video that explains in some detail the raw materials and processes within the Asahi brewing process.

You will also have an opportunity to see the production line where beer is produced at tremendous speed.

At the end of the tour, there is a beer tasting session which lasts approximately 20 minutes where you can sample the standard Asahi Super Dry and Asahi Super Dry Dry Rack.

These two factories are easily accessed from Kobe city. However, if you are interested in touring other beer factories around Japan, please have a look at the following links: