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OSAKA — The most popular autumn party in Osaka — the annual International Beer Summit — began Friday at the Umeda Sky Building.

This year’s summit features 76 brands of Japanese beer and about the same number of foreign microbeers.

Ryoji Oda, chairman of the Japan Craft Beer Association, said that the Osaka beer summit was still an important event for the nation’s microbeer makers. He said that the Tokyo market for microbeers had improved recently but that Osaka was still sluggish.

“There remains a small but active group of microbeer enthusiasts in Tokyo, and they get word out to each other about new microbeers and support each other in a way Osaka doesn’t,” he said.

Commenting on the large number of overseas microbeers that are on sale, Oda said that certain brands have long been popular with Japanese microbeer lovers.

Yakurai Pilsner was chosen as this year’s best Japanese microbeer.

The Osaka International Beer summit began in the mid-1990s as something of a trade show for what was then Japan’s fledging microbeer industry.

Since then, as the microbeer boom in Japan has faded, it has become less of a showcase for new Japanese microbeers and more of an outdoor party for beer lovers, featuring not only beer but also different kinds of food and live entertainment.

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