When the pandemic shut the doors of the guesthouse Julien and Nobuko Caudron hoped to open in Kamiseya, Kyoto Prefecture, they quickly pivoted to beer. Combining Julien's Belgian heritage and brewing experience with Nobuko's business skills, the two launched Kohachi Beerworks earlier this year.

“It was something we always planned on doing, so we took the opportunity,” says Julien from the old farmhouse he and Nobuko are renovating; on-site brewing and sales are planned for autumn 2021. Tucked deep in the mountains of the Tango Peninsula, with a population of less than 30, Kamiseya is a far cry from the bustling urban setting many craft breweries enjoy. While this village of farmers and artisans may seem an odd location to start a brewery, the Caudrons see it as the perfect place to bring their vision for a taproom serving brews made only from regional ingredients to life.

“The economic, social and ecological aspects of our business are very important for us,” Julien says. “It’s not just making and selling beer to make money. The idea is to have a product that can include everyone here. How can we help each other? Beer is good because we can use a lot of different ingredients and incorporate others in Kamiseya in the process.”