Ai Tani

Osaka-shi Kitaku Oyodonaka, Japan

How did you get into the beer industry? Why does beer matter to you?

"Almost 30 years ago, small-scale brewing began in Japan. At that time, imported German and Belgian beers were occasionally available in Japan. Small-scale brewing had begun, but there were few high-quality beers and few good brewers. I decided that I would grow as a professional and spread the word about the existence of high-quality beer in Japan. This is why I entered this industry. Twelve years ago, I decided just acting as a judge was not enough to advance quality standards, so I started running my own bottle shop and beer pub, selecting good quality beer, and providing it to consumers while maintaining quality. Since five years ago, I have also owned a brewery, and while deepening my awareness of beer, I also improve brewing, sipping and serving skills, and support the management of breweries and restaurants. Beer has a long history and has recently evolved from technological developments and scientific advances. From the current situation, where Japanese historical food and liquor culture is evolving through beer, we believe that we can find an opportunity to build a new beer culture in Japan.

Why do you judge at the World Beer Cup? What does judging at the World Beer Cup mean to you?

Being able to judge at the World Beer Cup, the world's premier competition, is a source of pride. It is a good opportunity to measure my judging skills. It was also a great experience how the judges are organized at the World Beer Cup. I believe it is the best competition in the world. The fact that many Japanese have won awards has become a guideline for quality improvement for Japanese brewers. It is also a great place where you can exchange information with beer judges from all over the world. I was able to talk about my role as a judge and my thinking about evaluation at a high level. I would like to take it back to Japan and use it to educate beer judges and give advice on the growth of the market.

What else would you like the world to know?

If you ever come to Osaka, Japan, please visit our brewery, Craft Beer Base.