Enjoy Original Craft Beer in a Townhouse Built Nearly 100 Years Ago! Spring Valley Brewery Kyoto

In September 2017, the craft beer specialty shop, Spring Valley Brewery, opened near Kyoto’s Nishiki Market (Nishiki Ichiba) in a remodeled machiya (old merchant's house). Beer-loving university students infiltrated this store, which has its own joint-established breweries, to give all of you the scoop! What kind of store is it?

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What is Spring Valley Brewery?

ⒸK.G.G.project

With branches in Tokyo and Yokohama, Spring Valley Brewery (henceforth abbreviated as SVB) finally opened in Kyoto in 2017. Operating with the concept of “an exciting future of beer”, it is a craft beer specialty shop that aims to serve up perfectly balanced beer that is not only unique, but is also something that people won't get tired of drinking. Naturally, they choose the best ingredients for their beer, but they do more than that: picking specific glasses and pouring methods depending on the brand of beer that they’re serving and being highly selective and thorough about the flavor of their beer. This is what makes them an appealing shop to many.

ⒸSVB

SVB’s biggest feature is the brewery established inside it. You can enjoy a beer brewed on the spot from lunchtime onwards. Fermentation and storage tanks for beer are normally made from metal, but at SVB, transparent glass is used so you can directly see the condition of the beer.

At SVB Kyoto, it's worth taking a look at not just their beer, but also their "Wa Craft" menu. This menu consists of dishes that make use of ingredients that are unique of Kyoto, such as koji (a type of mold used for making sake) and nama-yuba (raw tofu skin). These dishes are made to enhance the flavor of their beer.

A Visit to SVB Kyoto

ⒸK.G.G.project

To bring you the scoop, a couple of university students dropped by SVB Kyoto and actually tried some of their beer!

Located en-route to Nishiki Market, which is famous among locals and tourists as "Kyoto's kitchen”, SVB Kyoto is a large building with a wide facade that comes into view as you turn down a small alley. The building is a remodeled traditional Kyo-machiya (Kyoto's old merchant's house) that was built nearly 100 years ago. The building still possesses remnants of Kyoto's past.

ⒸK.G.G.project
ⒸK.G.G.project

Pass under the noren (curtains hung outside Japanese stores and restaurants) and you'll enter a bright, calming space. The modern interior matches surprisingly well with the classic decor that hasn't changed since the building was constructed. There are terrace seats where you can enjoy the changing seasons together with your beer.

ⒸSVB

If you visit SVB Kyoto, then you must try all 6 kinds of their standard beer, known as their "Core Series". Each one has its own unique flavor.

You can drink and compare the entire Core Series by ordering their Beer Flight for 1,300 yen. It was made with the desire of wanting customers to “know the pleasure of choosing”. If there’s a certain kind that you like the best, then by all means, order a full size. You will be able to enjoy how the flavor changes depending on the glass that it's served in.

To go with the Beer Flight, it’s recommended to order the Pairing Set for an additional 1,000 yen, which comes with a varied selection of otsumami (snacks that go well with alcohol).

ⒸK.G.G.project

One of the great things about SVB Kyoto is that you can taste original beer brews that are matched to different themes and seasons. The focus of this article is their Kyoto2017, which is a beer that's only available there. This light ale uses ingredients sourced from Kyoto. It has a mild and well-rounded texture. It’s really easy to drink, with a flavor that'll make you want to drink glass after glass!

ⒸK.G.G.project

Inside the shop, there's a machine called a “beer infuser”. This device allows you to customize beer and add flavors from natural ingredients like hops, fruits, vegetables, and more.

Core Series

SVB’s pride is their Core Series, consisting of 6 standard flavors. It’s highly recommended because you can experience a wide range of beer flavors with it. Below is an introduction of each of them!

496

ⒸSVB

This is SVB’s flagship beer. It is known for being as rich as ale, sharp like lager (a type of beer created using cool fermentation), and possessing a density similar to hops. You’ll enjoy the balance of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness, as well as its complex aftertaste.

Copeland

ⒸSVB

This beer uses Czech hops, which has an aroma with plenty of depth and high-quality bitterness. The sweetness and umami (Japanese savory taste) of the malt, the high-quality aroma of the hops, and the bitter flavor come together in a complex yet harmonious arrangement, making this a beer that you’ll want to drink again and again.

AfterDark

ⒸSVB

This black beer uses a special malt in an original way. This method brings out the high-quality bitterness and gentle sweetness of the beer, while suppressing the astringency and roasted flavor. It has a flavor that enhances the taste of food.

On the Cloud

ⒸSVB

This beer uses New Zealand hops, which has a fruity and floral aroma. It has a bright and fresh flavor that's reminiscent of white wine, as well as a finish that anyone can casually enjoy.

Daydream

ⒸSVB

This Japanese white beer uses unique Japanese ingredients like yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit) and sansho (strong Japanese pepper). The appeal of this beer is its unique aroma and delicate flavor.

*Note that it is categorized under Japanese liquor tax laws as happoshu (low-malt beer).

Jazzberry

ⒸSVB

Raspberry juice is added before brewing, resulting in this fruity beer's refreshing taste and brilliant ruby color. It goes perfectly with meat or seafood dishes.

*Note that it is categorized under Japanese liquor tax laws as happoshu (low-malt beer).

 

Whether you’re a beer lover or someone who doesn’t normally drink beer, SVB Kyoto is highly recommended. Even if it’s just a single sip of beer, each make has its own uniqueness and there’s an infinite variety of flavors to be discovered.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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