Prep your palate for the liquid gold (aka beer) that hails from Sapporo – and shares its name. The Sapporo Beer Museum, the only museum of its kind in Japan, provides an educational experience that also teases your tastebuds. Learn about Japan’s storied history of brewing before sampling a selection of Sapporo beers at the end of your tour.
The building that’s home to the Sapporo Beer Museum came from modest beginnings as a sugar refinery and factory. In 1903, the Sapporo Beer Company, one of Japan’s first breweries, stepped in and transformed it into a malt house. Then, in 1987, the Sapporo Beer Museum was born. Today, modern exhibits take you through the brewing process and showcase the tools involved so you come away knowing a great deal more about one of the world’s favourite beverages. Advertising posters, labels and the design of the bottles themselves interestingly highlight how Sapporo beer has evolved over time. Be sure to come thirsty, as the end of your tour offers an optional 30-minute all-you-can-drink tasting pass. Give them all a try, or pick your preferred pint. The entry fee and tours are free, though there’s a small fee for the tasting.
Want some food to go along with your Sapporo suds? Head to the attached Genghis Khan Hall at the Sapporo Beer Garden. But you’d better have an appetite as big as Mount Fuji. The hall, which is decked out like a German beer hall, specialises in local mutton barbecue and puts your tummy to the test with its 100-minute all-you-can-eat-and-drink offers. And though the space is massive (like the portions), it still gets crowded, so come early, or better yet, make a booking.
The museum is closed on Mondays but is otherwise open daily from 10:30am to 6:30pm (with last entry at 6pm). One final piece of advice: don’t leave without trying the special Sapporo Five Star, which is available only in the Beer Garden.