BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Against the Grain to Citra its Ass Down in Okinawa.

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You may be asking: Okinawa?

Japan’s southernmost prefecture is relatively close to Taiwan and Mainland China, and they have influenced its music, food, art and architecture.

The largest of the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa was part of the independent Ryukyu Kingdom from the 15th to 19th centuries. It’s been part of Japan for a “mere” 135 years, so it’s not surprising that Okinawans are less attuned to the Japanese customs of the north.

As such, perhaps it’s to be expected that a brewery priding itself on eclecticism and dirty underwear would find a locale like Okinawa, which goes against the Japanese grain.

Good work, gentlemen.

As a side note, the legendary Indiana-born journalist and war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed during the battle of Okinawa in 1945. The battle ended in June and was the last major engagement in the Pacific theater of operations. Japan surrendered to the United States on September 2, following the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American atom bombs.

The late Aiko Allen, my aunt, was 14 when the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. She somehow survived, married my mom’s brother (he was stationed in Japan during the Korean War), and lived the rest of her life in Henderson, Kentucky.

The Allen household always contained arts, crafts and bric-a-brac from Japan, among them a calendar from Okinawa that Aunt Aiko gifted me when I was six or seven. It might be stored in a box somewhere downstairs.

All of which has nothing to do with beer, and so be it. Beer may be life, but life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

Best wishes to Against the Grain; too bad NABC’s expansion plan to Old Albania back in 2013 never worked out.

Against the Grain partnering with Japanese entrepreneur to open brewery in Okinawa, by Kevin Gibson (Insider Louisville)

Against the Grain Brewery is partnering with a Japanese entrepreneur to open a brewery in Okinawa. The endeavor is expected to be up and running by this fall.

Against the Grain Ishigaki, which is located in downtown Ishigaki on the island in the Okinawa prefecture, is already open as a restaurant, selling American-brewed Against the Grain beers and serving Japanese dishes that pair with the beers.

The beers, which will be brewed at the small brewery, will be based on the American beers but altered to better fit Japanese palates. Adam Watson, a partner in Against the Grain, said Japanese people tend to want clean, crisp beers — meaning that Citra Ass Down likely won’t be in play …

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