Domestic and imported craft beers have found an ever-growing number of Japanese fans in recent years, and festivals in major cities and smaller towns have offered the public a chance to sample numerous ales, lagers and porters, as well as a variety of German beers and more exotic concoctions that contain everything from sweet potatoes to oranges and chocolate.

Attend a festival or drop by a craft beer restaurant and it's likely the owner, as well as the punters, will know Phred Kaufman.

The Sapporo-based American is one of the founding fathers of the domestic jibiiru craft beer movement, but the Southern California native got his first taste of Japan well before he became a jibiiru sensei.