The vast majority (c. 90%) of Japanese beer is brewed by 4 companies. Most is bland – Asahi Super Dry, Kirin & Sapporo’s basic lagers and especially Suntory Malts. Kirin Ichiban (16%) and Sapporo Yebisu (1-2% market share) are reasonable and good respectively, with depth of flavour and complexity. Thus, finding a microbrewed beer from the (very well watered) hills of Nikko temple complex was entertaining. Unfortunately this is only slightly less bland and tasteless as Budweiser. God knows what they’ve been doing “since 1999”. Slightly buttery flavour the only interest.
The local strawberry and mulberry wines were marginally better and drinkable if very well chilled… stick to sake boys…!