Atsushi Murakami, 58, is a researcher with Kirin Brewery and creator of the Murakami Seven hop variety. He has published peer-reviewed studies on the molecular phylogeny and genetics of wild hops, and acts as an adviser to BrewGood, a community-building social initiative in Tono, Iwate Prefecture. He also runs Brew Note Tono, a jazz vinyl bar located in a reformed storehouse.

1. Where were you born? Shiwa-cho, Iwate. It’s about an hour’s drive from my jazz bar (Brew Note Tono).

2. You’re known as the inventor of Murakami Seven, a world-renowned variety of hops. Is it true that Kirin once asked you to destroy it, but you hid it instead? Yes. The funding for our (Esashi) hops research and development program dried up and tending the fields is very expensive. Luckily, my bosses at Kirin were very kind. So, they let me keep improving my creations on my own. I saved 20 of the 800 strains of Esashi hops I was developing. The best of them was the seventh iteration. So I named it, Murakami Seven.