Craftsmen of Shimane

[Iwami Beer] Promoting the original brewing methods nationwide

~Bottling thoughts over local farmers’ devotion~


Iwami Beer Itsuo Yamaguchi

Mr. Yamaguchi developed "Iwami-style brewing method" that does not require large-scale equipment or space. It can produce a wide variety of craft beers in small batches. His technology has attracted so much attention from all over the Japan that the phone calls did not stop even during the interview.

He contributes to the craft beer industry by generously offering his technology to breweries all over the country.
We interviewed to Mr Yamaguchi of Iwami Beer Brewery, which he has a brewery on the grounds of the nature-rich resort “Kaze no Kuni (the country of winds) in Gotsu, Shimane Prefecture.

Mr. Yamaguchi of Iwami Beer. His history and technologies.

Tell us what inspired you to make a craft beer.
I've always liked alcohol.
One time, I went to a lecture in Gotsu City about a brewery in Tottori called Talmarly who try to take on the challenge of creating craft beer.

I was fascinated and I visited Talmary next day to learn more about them.
The craft beer industry, including Talmary, is an open-minded industry; they taught me so much.
Without this encounter, I am not here now.
Tell us about your products and technology development.
At our brewery (beer workshop), we put ingredients in a special plastic bag and ferment in a refrigerator to make beer. We developed this plastic bag as well as the original machinery for filling bottles and cans. Our machineries are used by most breweries in Shimane.
We focus on small-scale investments and produce beer in small batches with a verity of flavors. So if a customer asks us to make beer with certain ingredients, we can immediately take on the challenge of craft beer with a new flavor. We blend barley malt, wheat malt, and hops to make them compatible with the customer's ingredients. Whatever the ingredients we receive, we always try to find a way to materialize the requester’s wish; even if their ingredients cannot be made into beer, we could try to make them into ciders or liqueurs.

What attracts people to craft beers.

How do you want your customers enjoy your beer?
Our beers, with carefully selected secondary ingredients, is a specialty both within and outside Shimane Prefecture.
・"Sansho (Japanese pepper) " from Ohnan town
・"Lemon" from Hamada City and Hiroshima prefecture
・"Yuzu" from Masago District in Masuda City
・"Coffee" from Namakemono Coffee in Hamada City

The heart of the farmers who provided the ingredients are also packed into the beer.
The farmer's thoughts and stories are on the back of the bottle; we would be very happy if customers think of them when they drink our beer.
Tell us what attracts people to craft beers.
There is a freedom in making craft beers.
You can freely choose the alcohol content, color, bitterness, and secondary ingredients; it is fascinating that you can make almost any kind of alcoholic beverages.

‘Yunotsu Ale’, which was created in collaboration with the Yunotsu Girls' Association in the neighboring Yunotsu Onsen Town of Oda City, sold 10,000 bottles annually.
It has established as a refreshing and easy-drinking local beer made with locally harvested rice and citrus fruits. New products such as “Yunotsu Beer” and “YUNOTSU Cider” are being released one after another, helping regional revitalization.