Plenty of Biere- but was it Grande?

The first Grande Biere Festival is in the books and while I enjoyed my time drinking my way through as many of the 110 beers on offer as I could, I couldn’t help but notice how sparse the crowd seemed.  I can’t speak for Sunday’s attendance, but I was drinking all day Saturday and was a little disappointed with the crowd.   grande-biere-14mar2009-0181Well, that’s not entirely true.  It was perfect for the drinker, like me, who hates massive festival crowds.  If I’m spending most of my time fighting off the crowd and waiting in line then I’m not having fun, but I actually started to feel bad for the venders.  Maybe I’m used to the bigger fests in the States, and maybe it was expected since it was the first year for Grande Biere, but I know there are more beer geeks in Japan than the amount of people that attended.  Oh well, it was still a bunch of fun overall.  My favorite beer of the day had to be Kinsachi’s Imperial Stout (though Gotenba Kogen’s Schwarz was fantastic, also).  Kinsachi really seems to have improved their quality as the last offering of theirs I had was mediocre at best.  I was also happy to try out many breweries I’d never been able to get hands on up to this point.  Breweries like Atsugi, Kamikaze, Michinoku Fukushima, to name a few.  The surprise of the event, for me, occurred while speaking with the Brewmaster of Miyoshi Becken, who had some very nice German style brews available.  He told me that the base for many of his beers were American home brew recipes.  A bit shocking?  I guess that just shows how far home brewing has progressed over the years.  

I hope they did well enough to hold this again next year as this event hold a lot of potential.


4 thoughts on “Plenty of Biere- but was it Grande?

  1. Yes, I was there o the Friday and it was sparse then. Not so many drinkers at all. I put that down to the pre-opening theme and the fact that hte organisers (if they can be called that!) didn’t seem to want anyone from the ‘drinking public’ inside there. The beers I thought were good quality, much better than at Yokohama. It’s a pity you weren’t there Fri (where you?), because you could have enjoyed the marvellous Nasu Kogen 9 tailed fox which was aged from 1999, Nice drop, there. I heard from friends that the Sat andsun weren’t very busy either. As you say, great for drinkers (no crowds and lots of time to talk to the brewers) but bad for the vendors. Not very well organise at all, publicity wide. The halls were very nice and the large banners were a god idea. Not so sure about the men wearing thsoe scarves, though! The crazy thing was, even up to the actual event, noone seemed to really know that the festival was about. Still, I got to try some fine beer again and I was happy with that. Good entry and nice blog!
    I think I’m gonna chekc out the Stout Week at the taproom which starts tonight.

  2. HA! i found ya! Great Blog, consider it linked! It was good to meet up and hope we can do it again in the future. And for the record, I dont usually wear a scarf.

  3. whitey7183

    Chuwy- thanks for the comments. I wish I could have tried the Nasu Kogen again, I had it a while back at Popeyes and it was mighty fine.
    DH- You guys rocked those scarves about as well as you could have but I don’t know how much that’s worth, ha!

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