Japan makes quality rice beers, from Yebisu to Asahi and Sapporo, but traveling around the country and attending a local beer fest, we realized there is a thriving micro-brew community here.  While visiting the Snow Monkeys in Nagano Prefecture we stopped at a local store.  Angela always scans the candy looking for unique local Kit-Kat flavors while I check the sake section (I have not developed a taste for sake yet) and I happened to find a sample pack of a local brewery.  The brewery made quality pale ales, IPAs, and even a porter.  Usually Japanese breweries attempting barley and wheat based beers have difficulty getting it balanced, but these were good!  I only question the authenticity of the brewery founding, as they claim it was early 1800s… prior to Japan opening to the outside world.  Maybe they had a sake distillery?