I’m blogstipated already…

I’m behind on my blogs. I’ve got four waiting to be pushed out: Akita Stout Fest 2014, two literary journeys (one on discovering Dazai Osamu in Aomori and another on discovering Miyazawa Kenji in Iwate), and the last one on eating & drinking in Iwate’s Hanamaki City.

Stout Fest V pt.2–getting ready!

Stout Fest is a little tradition a few friends and I started back during my days in Hokkaidō. How it started is a little hazy, but I seem to remember it like this:

One weekend we went to Tyler’s place in Iwamizawa. Tyler is a foodie, a great cook, and an admirer of fine beers. He had collected a bunch of stouts from Japan and his native Chi-kacky. One weekend a bunch of us had gathered at his place from near and far for a weekend of debauchery. Maybe it was a Saturday morning, or the Sunday of a three-day weekend, but upon awaking hungover from the night before, I hear Tyler say that he is going to open a couple “breakfast stouts.” I can’t remember the menu from that morning, but a few limited Bourbon County Stouts from Goose Island Beer (R.I.P.) were definitely in the mix. We’d open a bottle, hear Tyler say a few words about the beer, how he got, what made it unique, etc., then he’d pour a little bit into each of our glasses. Just a bunch of friends, sitting around with a bunch brews, laughing and talking–what better way to spend a cold winter morning?

Stout Fest 2011, Niseko: This seems to be the only photo I have! We had spent the entire day snowboarding in crazy powder, off piste where ever possible and were BEAT that evening. It's a shame I don't have more pics--since this was the 1st official STOUT FEST! we definitely had collected the most quantity & quality.

Stout Fest 2011, Niseko: This seems to be the only photo I have! We had spent the entire day snowboarding in crazy powder, off piste where ever possible and were BEAT that evening. It’s a shame I don’t have more pics–since this was the 1st official STOUT FEST! we definitely had collected the most quantity & quality.

Well, by the end of the last bottle, we decided that we’d do this every year–we’d each collect as many stouts as possible from our travels in Japan and going home for the holidays and what not, then we’d all get together and have a stout-tasting–STOUT FEST!

Stout Fest 2012, Furano: about 16 or 17 varieties (2~3 bottles of each!)

Stout Fest 2012, Furano: about 16 or 17 varieties (2~3 bottles of each!)

That was back in 2010. The environs and faces have changed, but I’ve been keeping the Spirit of Stout Fest alive. Two weeks ago I had the official STOUT FEST 2014 up in Sapporo at Hikaru’s place, but my Akita friends caught wind of it and wanted to do one, too. So this Sunday, March 16th will be STOUT FEST 2014: Bonus Track, at my place.

Stout Fest 2013, Akita: wasn't sure it was going to happen this year since I was in a new place and the core group had been scattered to the four winds.

Stout Fest 2013, Akita: wasn’t sure it was going to happen this year since I was in a new place and the core group had been scattered to the four winds.

There will be 14 stouts, which are a surprise until Sunday, so I can’t mention them here. Look for the next post.

Stout Fest 2014 (Vol.1) Sapporo: 19 Stouts from around the world, 45 bottles/cans.

Stout Fest 2014 (Vol.1) Sapporo: 19 Stouts from around the world, 45 bottles/cans.