I have been on a lot of brewery tours. In Halifax in the early 1980s it was a euphemism for college kids being locked into a room at the brewery and given all the beer they could down in a Friday afternoon hour. More recently, it's the chance to hear craft brewers explain their processes. At one Japanese brewery, however, it's now a chance to test out their equipment and your own ideas:
Soon they called our group, and we entered the brewing room. Our brewmaster sat us at a picnic table and brought us more beer. She asked us to taste all of their standard brews and choose one to use as a base for our own beer. We chose an amber ale and increased the alcohol content by adding more sugar, in the form of grain, for fermentation. We also increased the amount of hops added to bring up the bitterness and add more flavor. The whole process took about four hours and we did all the important things ourselves. We measured out the grain, milled it, threw it in a pot and boiled it. There were even tasks — as our brewmaster warned us — that, if done incorrectly, would allow bacteria to contaminate our beer.
I like this concept - even if the cost of $235 for a delivery of 15 litres of beer seems a bit much. But for all I know that might be the cost of a donut and coffee there, too. The brewery in question is no dud - the Kiuchi Brewery in central Ibaraki Prefecture is the maker of the Hitachino Nest line of craft beer imported into North America like this stout and this wit I had a few years back.
Could it happen here? I don't know. There are likely 15,387 regulations between here and there but what a great way to reach out to your customers and to let them know how your business works.