Yahata’s award-winning brew, the Weizen, is being stocked in Australia for the first time courtesy of BWS in their world's rarest six-pack, and she suggests it’s best sampled with a group of mates “any time you want to relax.” So crack a coldie, sit back, relax and find out what it takes to make it as a female brewer in Japan…
“I've been working in the brewing industry for 20 years. My father started Minoh Beer 23 years ago and taught my older sister, Kaori, how to brew. One day they asked me to help them and the rest is history.
Now me and my sister run the brewery together; she’s very strict, but also reliable and easy to talk to about work.
In Japan it isn’t super common to see female brewers; people are often surprised by my grip strength when I shake hands with them.
I’ve met a few female brewers and everyone in the industry is very close; we respect and help each other when we can. I’d love to see even more women in the industry.
The hardest part of being a brewer in Japan is keeping the beer condition throughout the different seasons. Temperature control, especially in summer when it’s really humid, is particularly challenging.
Once, I accidentally put the wrong yeast into a batch of beer. I was worried about the taste, but it was a delicious beer. We can’t brew it again though because it was an accident.
I do a bit of everything depending on the day; from brewing with the team to bottling, kegging, cleaning tanks and setting up for events. I don’t drink while I work – except for a tasting in the morning.
I think there is a misconception that women don’t drink beer – not true! My favourite beer in Minoh Pale Ale and Minoh Stout. Our beer was served at the global G8 Summit in Osaka this year, so some pretty famous people might have drunk it then. I feel really happy when I see people drinking our beers and having fun.
My go-to hangover cure is miso soup. Works every time.”