"Why are you so far away from me? / I need help and you're way across the sea."
So sang noted creep Rivers Cuomo on Weezer's problematic 1996 jam "Across the Sea." Do Japanese beer drinkers hold similar sentiments about their distance from Twin Cities craft beer?
Indeed Brewing Co. and Fair State Brewing Cooperative are betting on it: Both northeast Minneapolis breweries expanded distribution to Japan last week.
In partnering with Tokyo's Nagano Trading Co., the local beermakers aren't looking to strike it rich in Asia, but rather be part of a hoppy cultural exchange. Japanese drinkers mostly associate American beer with the flavorless, fizzy macro varieties, a press release notes, so Nagano's mission is to inject the marketplace with more exciting micro brands, thus expanding horizons while affording expats familiar brews.
“We are not aiming to sell large volumes of beer in Japan," Indeed co-founder Tom Whisenand says via the release. "We are looking to make connections with a new group of customers that are excited about American craft beer and will hopefully be excited about Indeed.”
Indeed began flowing last Thursday inside Antenna America, Nagano's bottle shop/tasting room, where it's available on tap and by the six-pack. The distributor also supplies suds to bars and restaurants throughout Tokyo and Osaka.
Among the other U.S. breweries who've inked deals with Nagano: Firestone Walker, Founders Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing.