When Masachika Nakato and his partner, Mika, began selling their craft beer at the weekly Eat Local Kobe farmers market, little did they know it was the first big step in realizing their dream of a true local brew.

The couple founded their craft beer brewery In Tha Door Brewing in 2015 when the idea of craft beer was still a relatively new concept in Kobe. They were on the lookout for new opportunities to showcase their work when a customer mentioned that they should check out the market. The two went for a visit. They liked the laid-back vibe and the philosophy — all Kobe, all the time — and soon had a stall of their own. Not only did they find more customers, but they started meeting farmers and fellow producers.

“We had no idea so many farms existed in Kobe,” Mika says. “Our first reaction was, ‘Wow! They’re just like us,’ trying to create something that could only be made here.”