If, for whatever reason, you wish to reduce your consumption of alcohol, then frankly speaking, Sapporo is probably not the best place for you.  However if, like myself, you are one of the millions out there who love nothing more than relaxing with a nice cold beer in the company of good friends, then Sapporo is beyond perfection.  In Sapporo, beer is not just merely drunk, it is celebrated.


The number of bars importing beers from around the globe appears to be increasing and there seems to be a much wider choice than when I first moved here ten years ago.  You will find yourself well and truly spoilt for choice and I believe it would be impossible to ever experience all that this great city has to offer.


One of my regular haunts is ‘Hapisuke’, a cosy café and bar that can be found on Gyoukei Douri, a charming street in the Yamahana area of Chuo-ku.  One of the things that I find important to consider when looking for a place to enjoy your beers is atmosphere and this is something that ‘Hapisuke’ never fails to deliver.  They have a menu that changes throughout the year, ensuring that customers are never bored and the drink menu offers a variety of bottled beers and spirits along with the occasional guest beer.  ‘Hapisuke’ is a warm and friendly place, run by Daisuke and his wife, Mika, who both do an excellent job making everyone feel welcome.


Another place that offers an amazing atmosphere is Kalahana, a bar that can be found on the 7th block of Tanuki Koji and offers a fabulous selection of draft beers along with the unusual addition of draft cider.  This bar is run by another Daisuke, who also does a great job keeping his customers well and truly satisfied.  You’d be forgiven for pondering whether all the Daisukes in Sapporo are full of warmth and welcome, but it’s not just the Daisukes as it seems that most people running the establishments here are eager to please the people that pass through their doors.  This is something that helps make Sapporo a very comfortable place to live in.


After the snow of the long winter has finally melted, it isn’t long before the beer lovers of Sapporo start counting the days until the Odori Park Summer Beer Festival.  Anyone who considers the Japanese to be shy and quiet will be proven wrong at this exciting annual event.  Thousands gather at the blocks along Sapporo’s Odori Park to enjoy the beer and party with friends and strangers alike.  It’s not unusual to strike up new friendships and end up sharing beers and smiles with those you have just met.  This is one of the things that I love about Sapporo and the attitude that locals have towards drinking here is truly laudable.  Could this exemplary approach to drinking be connected in anyway to the beer tasting as good as it does?  Maybe I should get back to one of the many bars here and do a little more research…


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