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Island Brewing (Miyakojima City). In pursuit of making Okinawa’s most cherished craft beer.
post : 2022.11.30 23:00
A Surfers’ Hideaway
As you make your way to a side street from Shimozato Street in downtown Miyakojima City, you’ll see Island Brewing with its eye-catching white wall, big windows, and stylish sign.
Island Brewing opened in November of 2021, specializing in craft beer. The shop’s owner is Gen Tsuchiya, an ocean lover, and a beer enthusiast. The ambiance and impression of the shop are inspired by the concept of “a surfers’ hideaway”.
An Ocean-Loving Brewery
Since moving to Miyakojima from Yamanashi prefecture in 2001, Tsuchiya-san has owned and operated a curry specialty shop, Kushikatsu (skewers) shop, and others. It was about four years ago when his interest in beer began, intrigued by his first encounter with lambic beer. Lambic beer is a type of Belgian beer that is made by exposing wild yeast to ferment naturally. Experiencing the firm acidity and the distinctive aroma of lambic beer for the first time “was like being hit by lightning,” recalls Tsuchiya-san.
“Beer is fascinating,” he thought, and with that, he began trying out various types of beer.
It was the first time he drank a beer that was produced using mango, when he decided, “I’m going to open a shop that specializes in beer.” He wondered, “Miyako Island is Japan’s top producer of mangoes, but there’s no mango beer here.” He started Island Brewing committed to giving his all. “If there’s no mango beer here in Miyakojima, then we’ll just have to make it. If we’re going to make it, then I want to aim for it to become Okinawa’s most cherished craft beer.”
Attention and Care for Both Beginners and Experienced Beer Drinkers
The stylish interior has a tropical, beach concept, with a surfboard hanging on the wall and a welcoming feel created by the wooden furnishings. There are tables where customers can stand and enjoy their beer, as well as table and sofa seats to meet any style.
Partitioned at the far end of the shop are sofa seats that can accommodate larger groups.
At the counter, where the customers walk up to order, are the types of drinks they offer, written on a blackboard. The names and prices for the variety of beer are neatly presented so even novice beer drinkers can see the different types of tastes.
Beer Made with Miyako Island’s Mangoes
They offer 12 varieties of draft beer, but if you’re unsure of which one to choose, Tsuchiya-san recommends the #2 on the menu, the Mango IPA (with 5% alc. Volume), made with mangoes harvested on Miyako Island.
The refreshing acidity and just the right amount of bitterness bring out the sweet, fruity aroma perfectly. Its clean aftertaste makes this beer an enjoyable choice.
If you still can’t decide what to order, you can also go for the Tasting Set, too. The set offers three to six varieties of beer served in smaller glasses, so you’ll quickly find a new favorite.
Mexican Cuisine Made with Ingredients from the Island
Photo courtesy of Island Brewing
Photo courtesy of Island Brewing
At Island Brewing, you can also enjoy Mexican dishes, offered by Viva45°which is a new branch of Amore n Amigo originally in Kita Aoyama in Tokyo. The Mexican food offered here is prepared with ingredients procured on the island, and is a fantastic match with the refreshing beer from Island Brewery.
At the center of the shop is an area where you can buy beer from various parts of the world. They also rent beer servers, which they started in hopes of offering their customers a chance to enjoy delicious beer at home. The rental service has become increasingly popular through word-of-mouth, and in the summertime, the shop saw more customers looking to rent the servers to take to their outings like BBQs and camping trips.
Tsuchiya-san says, “I hope that Island Brewing will be the place to go for beer lovers, ocean lovers, Miyako Island lovers, and people of all nationalities and backgrounds, gender, and age. In the future, I hope to offer beer made on the island.”
When you’re on Miyako Island, stop by Island Brewing for a nice cold beer. They offer Mango IPA made with mangoes grown on the island, as well as beer from around the world.
Address: 615-1 Hirara Shimozato, Miyakojima City, Okinawa
Hours: 12:00 to 25:00
Open Year Round (Except during typhoons and other natural calamities.)
*Reservations are accepted through the LINE (app) only.
LINE ID: lin.ee/p2s8yzn
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Tetsushi Miyaguni