Tour Nagahama Roman Beer, the craft beer brewery with Japan’s smallest distillery, by the shores of Lake Biwa. See the inner workings of a locally-owned enterprise, and pair award-winning beers and whiskies with local Omi cuisine at their restaurant.
• Tours must be booked at least 45 days in advance • COVID-19 prevention measures are in place, including disinfection of facilities, temperature checks, mask-wearing, and hand-washing for staff and guests, and increased ventilation - Participants must be aged 20 or older - This tour requires at least four participants; groups of three or fewer can book by paying the four-person price
Nagahama Roman Beer brings the craft beer boom to the shores of Lake Biwa in charming, rural Shiga Prefecture. Opened in 1996 after the founder studied brewing in the US, they went on to open a distillery in 2016. Now they produce award-winning ales and spirits, and give brewery and distillery tours to those who come and escape the city. In the historical townscape of Nagahama, fed by the meltwaters of Mt. Ibuki, come see local artisans at work and sample their wares in a remodeled Edo-period rice granary that serves as a beer hall. The tour is available every day between 10:00 and 16:00, lasts about 1 hour, and roughly follows this example itinerary: 12:00 — Gather at Nagahama Roman Beer to start with a quick orientation, and find out how Nagahama Roman Beer supports sustainable tourism. 12:05 — Tour the brewery and distillery of Nagahama Roman Beer. You’ll meet the team, who’ll each explain their part in the process — feel free to ask questions! With just nine people running Japan’s smallest distillery, it’s a great opportunity to discover not only the nuts and bolts of making craft beer and whisky but the thoughts and passions of the local people behind it all. 12:15 — Beer and whisky tasting. Nagahama Roman Beer is neither filtered nor heat-treated, and served straight from the brewery it’s a fresh as it gets. You’ll taste two beers and two whiskies, from a lineup that includes World Whiskies Award 2020 and World Beer Award 2019 gold award winners. 12:30 — Drinks pairing in the restaurant attached to the brewery. The tour includes a light lunch, and hungry guests can always order more. The restaurant focuses on beer hall classics made with local ingredients, like beer-batter fish and chips, or Omi beef wagyu (all grade 4 or higher). Omi Province is the old name for Shiga Prefecture, and the restaurant has several tastes of Omi cuisine to sample. Try the infamous “funazushi” — a kind of sushi dish using fish from Lake Biwa, fermented more than a year before serving! 13:00 — Tour ends. Feel free to stay on at the beer hall, or explore another of Nagahama’s hidden gems!