Japanese beers have long been famous for variety and quality. There are many enthusiasts around the world for Japanese beer. Fortunately, the Kiroro Resort is located near Otaru, Yoichi and Niki. These are three districts known for liquor.
So in between enjoying outdoor activities at the resort, you can go for beer tours and wine tours nearby. You’ll be spoiled for choice, too. Some of the best craft breweries, sake breweries and wineries in Hokkaido are located with a short drive of Kiroro.
Hearing about our interest in beer, sake and wine, the concierge of the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio Hotel gave me an English brochure on the places to see and the best things to do near and around the Kiroro Resort.
ABOUT THE TANAKA SHUZO BREWERY
Fortunately for beer and sake lovers, Otaru is ground zero for great craft beer and sake. One of the best sake breweries in Hokkaido is the old-fashioned Tanaka Shuzo Sake Brewery. It’s been making sake since 1899 using Hokkaido rice.
ABOUT OTARU BEER
“You should also try Otaru Beer while you’re here,” said one of the restaurant team members at the Kiroro Premium BBQ. This is the outdoor barbecue dining venue organized by the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio Hotel. He added: “We’re very proud of our local Otaru beer. And the brewery tour is worth it.”
Needing little more encouragement for this, we drove to the Otaru Beer Brewery to join their tour and buy some beer to take home.
THE BEST WINES IN HOKKAIDO
Returning to the Kiroro Resort, we decided to stop by some well-known wineries along the way. Many of Hokkaido’s best wineries are located in the Niki area. Of course, even the best wines in Hokkaido are not as famous as wines from Europe or other traditional wine-producing countries. Nevertheless, these wineries have a growing following among some serious wine lovers.
At the top of our list was the Niki Hills Winery. This was highly recommended by a waitstaff at the Alla Moda Italian Restaurant of the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio Hotel. He said this winery produced excellent local wine.
“This winery makes use only of the best quality grapes, ” the Alla Moda waitstaff explained. “The grapes are grown right in a field in Yoichi.”
ABOUT KIRORO TRIBUTE PORTFOLIO HOTEL
This luxury hotel is the crown jewel of the Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido. The Kiroro Resort is an all-year round leisure destination 90 minutes from Shin-Chitose International Airport. It’s known for excellent skiing and winter sports. In the summer, it is a nature paradise for outdoor activities.
THE VERY BERRY FARM & WINERY
We also visited another winery mainly because of its interesting name. The Very Berry Farm & Winery Niki has been creating organic wine since 1999. They combine grapes and blueberries grown on the premises.
There’s also a winery in Otaru with a popular wine tour. Hokkaido Wine is made from 100% Japanese grapes. Many visitors seek out this winery because the tours are so fun. We certainly enjoyed ourselves, never lacking for interesting things to do on our stay at the Kiroro Tribute Portfolio Hotel.
Read more about the best hotels and resorts in Japan in Travelife Magazine.