There is something about the madness of entrepreneurship that really inspires me. Throwing all your money into your passion in order to make your dreams come true, even if it may ruin you? How could one not admire that? It is a modern-day act of true nobility and bravery, in my opinion.
That is why I was drawn to Oriental Brewing, the craft beer start-up in Kanazawa City. Situated on the edge of the famous Higashiyama Higashi Chaya District (Kanazawa's geisha quarter), this little spot has all the potential of a future neighborhood favorite. Although it may not be very big, the spacious bar and open plan room have welcoming energy about it. The staff are warm. The furnishings are simple and laid back. It’s a good place to be on a hot September’s day, and the many patrons it had seemed to agree with this opinion.
The bar’s owner, Makoto Tanaka, was friendly and hospitable when I stopped by to check out his place after a long day of sightseeing. He enthusiastically gave me a tour of the bar’s very own on-site brewery, which will be churning out delicious craft beers in the coming months. Until then, visitors have a wide selection of tipple to choose from. All of the on-tap beers are from various Japanese breweries, and their selection of bottled drinks furthers this national focus.
If you are after some nibbles to go with your drinks, there is a pizza oven to satisfy your hunger pangs. There is also a selection of small plates, which feature both Japanese and international dishes. I couldn’t help but lust after the freshly-sliced parma ham one customer was happily tucking in to…
Kanazawa has surprised me with its enterprising spirit. The team at Oriental Brewery gave me the impression that the city’s youth are daring to live out their dreams, to shape their metropolis into something bold, exciting and thoroughly cool – a place to rival trendy Tokyo, even. And, judging by the warm reception the bar was receiving during my visit, they may even succeed at this, too.