DH and Nate and The Quest for the Holy Ale

If you’re not reading Good Beer and Country Boys, you should be.

Greetings! You have found Good Beer and Country Boys, a blog created about the first by the latter. Two native Kentuckians chronicle their search for great beer in The Land of the Rising Sun!

It needs no more explaining- two down-home Kentuckyans scour Japan for the finest in alcoholic wheat beverages. From insider brewery reports

DH, Miyuki, and myself spent all of last saturday helping brew at the Hansharo Brewery. We didn’t actually make Hansharo Beer, we helped brew up a new creation from Rainbow Brewing.
Lacking a brewing facility all their own, the Rainbow contract brew at
Hansharo on certain saturdays. As of now Rainbow Brewing only markets Dusk Ale,
a ruby colored amber ale stacked with malty goodness. Our homebrewer
friend, Kawano-san, is the head brewer for the Rainbow operation.
Besides the contract brewed Dusk Ale, he homebrews a mean coconut
porter and yuzu ale. Little known fact, the current seasonal chocolate
stout at Hansharo Brewing is one of Kawano-san’s recipes. No offense to
Hansharo, but it was blowing there regular line-up out of the water!

[![](http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2NnLciOtclU/ScrMd1yF_GI/AAAAAAAAAYc/gacJxj6Rey0/s320/han+everybody.jpg)](http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2NnLciOtclU/ScrMd1yF_GI/AAAAAAAAAYc/gacJxj6Rey0/s1600-h/han+everybody.jpg)We showed up at 9 am to start work by dumping bags of crushed grain into the cooker. Hansharo Beer has a 1000 liter system, but Kawano-san was only making a 700 liter batch. On hand in the brewery that day was Hansharo’s brewer Watanabe-san (blue fleece), Yokohama’s new brewer Gojo-san (cute green overalls), Hansharo’s heir to the throne Hide-san (double peace signs), Kawano-san (Yokohama 08 shirt), the Good Beer Country Boys (‘I got my thumbs up’ DH) and Miyuki. It was a regular brewing party!

to hard-hitting investigative journalism,

Obviously you are passionate about Japan and the Japanese. When did you first become passionate about beer? Ever since I began drinking some in my late teens I always loved beer. When I was young and in college I drank copious amounts of industrial beer (Old Milwaukee was a staple at my college). As I got older and the craft beer movement in the U.S. progressed, I began drinking better beer (Anchor was an early favorite). During graduate school in D.C. in the mid-90s, I fully woke up to the glories of characterful beer.Good Beer and Country Boys is a site read mostly by English speaking foreigners in Japan. Most of the readers have at least a basic idea of what life in like here. That being said, when you were getting your start–did you ever take any flak for being an ‘outsider’? If so, how did you shrug it off?
Being an “outsider” in Japan never much bothered me. In fact, I enjoy Japan more because I am not Japanese and therefore I don’t have to deal with the same expectations and social constrictions that many Japanese face.
I’ve asked this question to others, and I will pose it again to you: You have a microbrewery in view of Mt. Fuji where you brew great beer with your wife. You are living the dream! What is your secret?
Loving what you do and doing it together with the people whom you like and respect the most are the real secrets. Courage in you[![](http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OL_CrSvZRyQ/SasTwfN1PwI/AAAAAAAAAaQ/5MLSzUdP-0U/s320/rising-sun-logo-W200.jpg)](http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OL_CrSvZRyQ/SasTwfN1PwI/AAAAAAAAAaQ/5MLSzUdP-0U/s1600-h/rising-sun-logo-W200.jpg)r convictions makes that possible.
We all know about the Japanese fondness for Super Dry and other beers……with less character–to put it politely. Knowing this, how do you create brews that are catered to the Japanese taste?
We cater to no ones taste other than our own. If I were in the U.S. or Europe or on Mars, I would be pursuing beer exactly as I am now. As soon as your finger is up in the air gaging the wind, you are lost.
To [poetry,](http://www.jibeer.com/2009/03/beer-poetry-1.html)
To a sakuraIt is hanami so we lay Our tarps around your hallowed trunk. Blossom friends and beer rise, In this we are sunk. So fleeting are your flowers Beneath which we get crunk. If your beauty last throughout the year We shall always be drunk.
[Good Beer and Country Boys](http://www.jibeer.com/) delivers the goods. They make it crystal-clear what they’re about, and never fail to be about just that. Hats off to you, DH and Nate, hats off.