Expertly-Brewed Craft Beer
When you’re done exploring all that Matsumoto has to offer, or just need a break along the way, it’s great to enjoy some of this area’s most famous food, like handmade soba, farm-fresh apples, and expertly-brewed craft beer in a local beer brewery.
Matsumoto Brewery came onto the scene early and has almost become synonymous with the nascent Matsumoto craft beer industry – and in more than just name. Their “We Need More Beer Now!” slogan can be seen on Nakamachi-dori, in the Media Garden building where they occupy some prime space up on the third floor, and in the Old Rock pub just down the block that will almost make you feel like you’re in England.
Meanwhile, on the west side of the train station is the intimate taproom of the Bacca Brewery. Bacca changes its brews regularly with the season, but you can always be sure you’re getting some premium suds. Since their place is not real big, you’ll be getting up close and personal with the brew master, his brewing operation, and the locals who show up to enjoy it all in a cool, classic setting. Prepare to rub shoulders and clink glasses with your new friends!
As a bonus to Matsumoto’s craft beer scene there’s the Hop Frog Café where you can sample a number of craft beers from across Japan. As of this writing they have on tap microbrews from Hokkaido, Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo, along with a fruity brew from Bulgaria! Chances are these will change by the time you get there, but they’ll be replaced with other brews equally, eminently drinkable. And for a great German beer head for Baden-Baden, just east of Yohashira Shrine!
Matsumoto has a whole lot going for it, from the historic castle to the town that surrounds it to the soba and the apples out in the fields. But mixed in among all of it is one more thing we suspect this town may soon be known for: lots of expertly-brewed craft beer.
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