Monthly Archives: December 2014

Kona Longboard Island Lager

Kona Longboard Island LagerI will start off by saying that I am definitely not a beer connoisseur nor do I claim to know more about beer than the next guy. I am just another guy that likes drinking beer and decided that while I was here in Hawaii I would try and find some local brews to try. One of the local brews that I found at many restaurants and also in local stores was the Kona Longboard Island Lager made by the Kona Brewing Company .

The first thing I noticed about the Kona Longboard lager was the great aroma it presented. The smell was grainy with a hint of fruit. I found Longboard to be quite smooth tasting with a slight sweet and spicy taste. Overall, I really enjoyed the Kona Longboard lager and would recommend it to others. I purchased it from a local store for about $9 for a six-pack.

My only wish would be more time so I could try some of the other Kona Brewing Company brews.

Another great thing I enjoyed about the beer was that under every bottle cap was a Hawaiian saying with an English translation. It is a gimmick that I really think is fun and interesting. So, go out and grab some Kona Longboard Lager if you get the chance.

Sapporo Lion Beer Hall

Our last night in Tokyo we decided to check out a place I found while doing my recent photowalk in Ginza. The place I speak of is a pretty popular and famous destination that goes by the name of Sapporo Lion Beer Hall.

The Sapporo Lion Beer Hall located in Ginza is Japans first and oldest beer hall, built in 1899. Even more surprising is how this beer hall has managed to stay standing after the massive air raids by allied bombers during WWII. The fact that this place still exists is enough for me to check it out.

We arrived around 7 p.m. and it appeared that every table had someone occupying it. It was busy but we got right in and seated. The bottom floor has very tall vaulted ceilings and an Beer Hallalmost Gothic styling that I enjoyed. Towards the back of this massive room was a mural that covered nearly half of the wall. I thought the mural really added a lot to the atmosphere and brought the restaurant together nicely.

Upstairs was a little less crowded but it still had crowds of  excited people enjoying a cold beer. After speaking with a waiter, the difference in the floors is the menu. Supposedly, the first and second floors have somewhat different menus. I didn’t get a chance to check out the bottom floor menu but I will take the waiters word for it.

As far as the food went, I had the beef stew and thought that is was surprisingly good. It could have been the two large boots of beer that accompanied my stew though. My wife had some fondue, but I don’t think someone can really mess up fondue.

Another great bonus was every boot of beer I ordered came with a little ticket that I had to open to reveal a prize. Apparently, I won both times and received four ¥500 off tickets which I gave to the party of people sitting next to us. It was our last night and we knew we wouldn’t be back , so I figured the nice people next to us would really appreciate a couple free beers on the gaijin couple.

As far as last nights go, we are pretty happy we stumbled upon the l. The atmosphere, food, and especially the beer were all worth while.

Fish Market

Have you ever wondered what 4:30 a.m. would smell like in Tokyo? Well, today it smelled like a whole lot of fish!

With my second trip to Tokyo quickly coming to an end, I decided to wake up early and head out to the very popular Tsukiji Fish Market here in Tokyo. If you have no clue, Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the largest fish markets in the world. Tsukiji handles nearly two tons of marine product per day and that is evident if you have ever been there during the busy times.

I was surprised that I didn’t see as many tourist as expected until just after 7 a.m. One important thing to remember is Tsukiji is a market and people are there to buy and sell products, so stay out of the way if you can. My biggest advice to anyone interested in checking it out is to get their early and stay out of the way of the people and all of the moving carts.

The best part about all of this is that it is absolutely free. That’s right, free! When you are done checking out the tuna auction and various marine life, go eat some of the freshest sushi you’ll ever eat at one of the local vendors in the outer market.

Here are a couple things to remember for your visit:

  • Do not enter areas restricted to authorized personnel!
  • Do not obstruct traffic!
  • Do not bring large bags or suitcases into the market!
  • Do not take flash photography during the tuna auction!
  • Do not enter the market in high heeled shoes or sandals!
  • Do not bring small children or pets!
  • Do not smoke in the market!
  • Do not touch the fish!