From Beer Lover to Beer Brewer
Koza Bakushu Brewery, located in the Koza District of Okinawa City, was built by love… love for beer! Yasuhiko Ohama, the owner of Koza Bakushu (Beer) Brewery, is what you might call, a beer enthusiast. He just loves to drink beer. It is his passion. He has taken that passion and decided to take it one step further – making more beer!
Mr. Ohama first started out as a liquor store owner. He would later go on to get his sommelier license. That is when he realized the potential of starting his own brewery. And so, he dedicated many hours of research into this new venture. What he came to realize was how deep and diverse the beer culture was around the world. Thus, he began to import many kinds of beers from all over the world, especially from Belgium, to sell at his liquor store.
His research further solidified his passion of starting his own brewery. He wanted to create something original, a sense of satisfaction of providing a taste found nowhere else around the world. So, he diligently continued his endeavor. He went as far as to mainland, Japan to study various techniques in the beer making craft. Upon his return, he opened his own brewery and Japanese ‘izakaya-style’ family restaurant in the same building of his liquor shop, Tohyama liquor.
All in all, he has made 10 original craft beers, with some of his selections being served seasonally. You can try them at his restaurant, and you will know by their names, that they originated from Okinawa. Take for example, “Eisa IPA”, “Shiisaa Brown Ale”, “Sanshin Pale Ale”, “or the Kuro-obi (Karate belt) Stout”. Besides their great names, they come with a great taste! They also have a brand-new craft beer, named “Koza Lager” and will be featured at the BeerFes Okinawa 2018 at the Okinawa Times Building from July 27 to the 29th. Both his Koza Lager and Kuroobi Stout will be sold in bottles this summer and would make for great souvenirs for the family back in your hometown.
Mr. Ohama believes that locally-made craft beer, with its unique flavor, can attract people to his hometown. He hopes with a name like “Koza Lager” will help spread its popularity and put Koza on the map. For this very reason, Mr. Ohama enjoys going to craft beer festivals. He wants to help spread his unique taste and to spread the name Koza, a name which has deep roots with modern Okinawa culture. He hopes foreigners will try his craft beer and to take back with them a little special memory of Okinawa.
The Koza Bakushu Brewery is located of the 2F at 1-24-13 Chuo, Okinawa City, just a couple of minutes from Kadena Gate #2. It opens from 17:00~24:00 Tuesday through Saturday.
Tel: 098-975-6119. The 1st floor of the building is his Tohyama Liquor Shop. There you will not only find a great selection of beer, but huge selection of wines as well. Find them on Facebook, search term “kozabrewingokinawa”.