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Asahi Super Dry Duper Fun

Asahi Breweries are famous throughout Japan and indeed the world with their crisp, refreshing ale. Amy, Miriam, Moe, Miyuki, Shinya, Keita and I went to the brewery near Fukushima, on what happened to be the first day of real snow of the winter season. Much fun and hijinx ensued.
Enjoy!

 
Here we are about to start the tour. Moe and Keita were at a convenience store getting breakfast. How inconvenient!

 
A display of Asahi Breweries' beer varieties and assorted fine products.

 
Their flagship silver-emblazoned beer. Fresh and crisp, a year round delight. 'Deliciousness up', indeed.

Then we went on the tour. We weren't allowed to take any photos, which explains why there aren't any photos. Basically it was a lot of vats, some conveyor belts to put stickers on beer, and lots and lots of silver pipes. Miriam informed us that the surrounds were reminiscent of the concentration camps of Poland.
They also hung up a bunch of tiny santas. If you counted them all, you got something. Maybe.
I was hoping for maybe some more Willy Wonka style apperati, or maybe some orange midgets manning the controls, but unfortunately they were not to be found.

After that we went to the dining room area and had free beer for half an hour or so. They also had a quiz and some snacks.

 
Keita, Me, Amy, Miriam
The choices of beer were Asahi Black (a stout beer, much like a weaker Guiness), the old-favourite Asahi Suu-paa Dorai, and a cheeky little cherry flavoured beer (for the ladies). I had some of each, and they were all quite tasty. The cherry beer may be a bit sweet for some discerning palettes, as may the stout be a scotch on the bitter side. If in doubt, you're sure to be pleased with the super dry.

 
Keita goes crazy and spills some beer. Keita!!!

 
Just one of the selections of gourmet snacks on offer. It looks like a yellow sausage, but as a matter of fact, it's cheese! Also available were crackers, smoked meat of some kind, and a few chunks of jerky. Tasty.

Also on the table was a triangular piece of card for each person (see above). We were to remove a part of the paper to reveal either 'winner' or 'loser'. And wouldn't you know it, Amy won! As did some little kid and another guy.

 
A beaming Amy and her brand new Asahi can holder. She's as proud as punch, and really, who wouldn't be?
But, as fate would have it, Amy wasn't the only winner on that day.

After the lucky draw came a true or false quiz. Four true or false questions were asked:
T or F: The world's largest consumer of beer is the United States (False - it's China)
T or F: Asahi Super Dry will celebrate it's 20th year next year (True)
T or F: The name of the flower from the hop plant is called (Something in Japanese...I forget)
T or F: A can of Asahi Super Dry will still be fresh a year after it has been canned (False)

By some fluke, I got all four correct, as did a few other people. As with most disagreements/arguments/problems in Japan, it was to solved by a ferocious game of rock, paper, scissors. The heat was on! Whoever beat the lady at the front got through to the next round.
Sai sho a gu, jan ken po! Paper.
I was scissors.
Sai sho a gu, jan ken po! Scissors.
This time, I was rock.
There were three remaining, and only two prizes to give away. The writing was on the wall. It was either step up or go home.
Three hands will rise. One will fall.
Sai sho a gu...

Jan ken po!

Two scissors and a rock.

How did I fair?

Have a look for yourself.

 
Woohoo! Christmas plate! Rock paper scissors saves Christmas!

During the game some creepy 50 year old guy was hitting on Miriam and Amy. He was kind enough to explain to me that I had indeed won a plate. You may be surprised, but we don't actually have plates in Australia, only bowls and trofts.
After that he gave Miriam his own can holder, the same as Amy's. So we were all winners on the day!

 
The faces of champions. And Matt.

Then we ate some tasty hot pot at the adjascent restaurant, and had a good old snowball fight.

 
Amy, Shinya, Miyuki, Me, Moe, Miriam
With their adventure over, our weary travellers make their way to the train station. On the way, they spy one last golden photo opportunity.
Amy and Matt both won a prize, and Miriam got given one, but the real winner on the day was beer and friendship. And light snacks.

THE END

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Images (most of them anyway) and words Matthew Strain 2006.