Today I went on a tour of the Yebisu Beer Museum at the Yebisu Garden Place. As it is located in the town of Ebisu near Shibuya, I assumed that is where it received its namesake. However, I learned that it was the town that got it's name from the beer!
Originally, the beer was named for Ebisu the god of commerce, one of the seven gods of fortune. As the small business grew into a large company, it built its own railway station, and the surrounding areas of Shibuya were renamed Ebisu.
Yebisu, like Kirin, and Asahi is one of the major Japanese beers. The museum is close to the station and very easy to find. After the tour and 4 or 5 beers, however, it wasn't so easy to get back!
The tour cost \500, and included 2 free beers after the tour. The tour was about 20 minutes, and consisted of an explanation of the history of the company. It was interesting to learn where the name came from, and the fact that during WW2, the company was seized by the government and had its name removed from the beer.
After the tour came my favorite part, the tasting. I learned how to hold the glass properly, and to have good posture while drinking. I had to admit that I had a little trouble keeping up with the old Japanese guys that gulped down their beers.
Finally, after my two free beers, I bought 2 or 3 more beers and enjoyed them as I sat down to write this article.