Browse through our archives to read out about past Genius Table events and the unique venues in which they were held.


Having craft beer at KBC



Chris Hainge

KBC Founder

Mr.Chris Hainge is from Springfield, Virginia. When he was studying in Japan in 2001, he firstly drunk beer,"Guinness". Later, he begun to work in Irish pub after coming back to America. Two beers that had a huge influence on Chris were Saison Dupont (from which his interest and love in saison beers developed) and Girardin Gueuze, which demonstrated to Chris how different the flavors in beer really could be.Chris started to pursue his interest in becoming a brewer, as most brewers do, at home. After turning his and his very accommodating girlfriend's (now accommodating wife's) home into a lab for a beer obsessive and pushing his limits there, he took the plunge and went over to study brewing formally on the American Brewers Guild program, where he also had the opportunity to spend some time working on an internship at Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, and where he had the chance to brew both American and Belgian styles of beer.


As we walked in the rain, an ultramarine wall appeared in front of us. Today, we set a table here, the factory of Kyoto Brewing Company (KBC). The factory stands in harmony between a quiet residential area in Jyujo which was a suburb of Kyoto. We found silver tanks used for fermentation and aging standing in a row as we walked in. This is the place where the movement of new beer starts. With cutlet sandwiches of the western-food restaurant Cotelette in Fushimi, Kyoto for lunch, we raised our glasses of “Natsu no Kimagure”, the craft beer of KBC, to celebrate our meeting. Today’s TABLE started here. GENIUS was Chris Hainge, the founder of KBC. The lively conversation with participants proceeded with topics based on the backgrounds of starting up the craft beer company, flavor of craft beer and the values that produce. The most impressive topic was the difference of beer craftsman’s mentality between Japan and the US that Chris found while making beer as “a foreigner” in Japan. American craftsman value learning techniques as well as teaching it to others, so beer-making is done in large scale in the US. On the other hand, Japanese craftsman tend to avoid one’s techniques from spreading widely and therefore they have rather more personal connections between craftsmen. Chris has a Japanese wife is now concentrating on making tasteful beer. After the lunch, all participants visited the factory with him and enjoyed this unique mini-tour.


Kyoto Brewing Company

Kyoto Brewery. Located in Jyujo, suburb of Kyoto city. A craft brewery pursuing new style, founded by three men from the US, the UK and Canada. Under the value of “brew the beers you want to drink”, the company brews various beers using yeast from Belgium and hops from the US. Combining the good points of both American beer and Belgian beer, they produce a more unique and rewarding new beer. A sampling space in the factory will be opened in the beginning of October, 2015.

The owner Satoshi Kurogouchi is a famous French chef who worked in Hotel New Otani. He had trained in restaurant “Nandron” in Lyon, France, and won France Ambassadress Special Prize at All-Japan Dish Contest. Provides various cuisine at the reasonable price to have local people enjoy genuine western-food. The “Kids’ Lunch of Adults” is the most popular menu here.


Yukari Isobe

University Teacher

I was very much inspired by his interesting talk. By learning that there are people challenging new things in Kyoto like Chris, it made me want to support them.

Hajime Suzuki

Licenced guide

The lively conversation was very fun. The lunch was delicious too.