Let me tell you the magical story of our visit to the Kirin beer factory! Probably one of our most absurd adventures in Japan. Kirin is one of the biggest beer brands of Japan, and as of today we know exactly how it’s made:-)
How did we end up there? You know, I don’t really know myself! We were invited by a colleague who had befriended the chef of an Italian bar who in turn was friends with a guy from Kirin, and that guy then invited that chef to come over to the factory and bring as many friends as he wanted. Apparently, friends of friends of friends was also ok. So, there we were, in the company of a group of deep Osakan beerlovers, including a ramenchef with one tooth who called himself Bambino. You know I’m not making this up?
Anyway, the story began when we were picked up from the station in a lovely beercan bus! This beercanbus had two screens with non stop beer commercials and a small beercan showcase with all the types of Kirin beers! After about 20 minutes we arrived at the factory. There we were awaited by a lovely Japanese lady with a glittering hop staff (no really!). With her staff she magically transformed the hop and barley on the televisionscreens in to real barley and hop we could touch and smell (really, stay with me here).She was not alone though, the whole time the big Beer God accompanied her on big television screens and they interacted with eachother, him making jokes and she laughing and stuff. The Beergod also had a magical hop staff. I’m not making this up! You know she made us wave him goodbye as he flew away on his magical beercan at the end of the tour? We waved. We didn’t know what else to do.
Then, She took us into the depths of the factory. The entrance was a huge Kirin box of beercans.
The factory was actually pretty cool, we saw the whole creation process up untill the beercan production. Every minute 2000 cans of beer are produced:
This to supply to the hordes and hordes of drunk Japanese salarymen we all know and love!
But the tour wasn’t over, because this was the special tour, so we were invited in the VIP room with its own bar and bartender, delicious food and a beautiful view!And ofcourse beer. Lots and lots of beer. It was about 1 in the afternoon, but you know, it’s called a tasting and that’s classy!So we had several types of beers, even a special premium beer which was pretty nice. Our tourguide gave us a demonstration on how to pour a can of beer in a glass.Bambino surprised us all by drinking the whole glass in one go! He then proceded to take off his shirt when the staff interrupted and gave us all a nice souvenir, a very cool Kirin beerglass!After an hour of bingedrinking (all free!) we returned in our beercanbus to the station where we all went our seperate, wobbling ways. It was 3 in the afternoon. This is perfect, said one guy, because now we have time to sober up for work tomorrow!
It was really fun :-)