The Story

From Homebrew to Craft Beer Nirvana

Masa’s journey with craft beer began in a USC biology laboratory in 2014, when he was a postdoc. A simple question from his colleague Ben, “Do you fancy homebrewing in your flat?”, sparked a passion that would change the course of his life. As a Japanese immigrant, Masa had never heard of homebrewing, but the idea ignited a spark of curiosity. Together, they brewed a unique and flavorful “Ginger IPA,” igniting a flame in Masa that wouldn’t be easily extinguished.

After Ben returned to the UK in 2015, he left behind his brewing tools and a copy of “Extreme Brewing” by Sam Calagione. Masa initially dove into homebrewing without delving into the book. This decision led to some rather disastrous first attempts, a stark reminder that passive observation couldn’t replace the invaluable knowledge gained through hands-on experience.

Determined to improve, Masa delved into the world of craft beer. He devoured books and blogs, conducted online research, and meticulously experimented with each batch. Five years passed, marked by countless gallons of beer and unwavering dedication. While his friends enjoyed his brews, praising their originality, Masa yearned for a higher level of quality, something that matched the standards of professional breweries.

The arrival of Covid-19 in 2020 served as a catalyst for change. Confined to his home, Masa found himself consumed by the desire to brew. He invested in a 3-tower kegerator, a game-changer that opened doors to new possibilities. But his thirst for experimentation outgrew the capacity of the 3-tower, leading him to build an 8-tap keezer system in 2021.

Around the same time, Masa joined Socal Cerveceros (SCC), a local and inclusive homebrew club. The welcoming community of SCC provided him with invaluable knowledge and support, further fueling his passion. He began entering his beers into competitions, where they were met with resounding success. 37 medals and 3 Best of Show awards later, Masa found himself collaborating with Arts District Brewing Company to scale up his award-winning recipe from a 5-gallon batch to a staggering 465 gallons!

Through this experience, Masa realized his true calling. He envisioned a brewery that transcended the boundaries of the ordinary. Drawing on his Japanese heritage and deep understanding of food pairing, he conceived a bold vision: to revive the food culture of Japan within the craft beer industry. Ikasu Brewing was born.

More than just a brewery, Ikasu Brewing is a cultural experience. It’s a place where the exquisite flavors of Japanese cuisine dance with the bold notes of craft beer, creating a symphony of taste unlike any other. It’s a place where everyone is welcome, where diversity is celebrated, and where the love of good beer and good food brings people together.

So, join us at Ikasu Brewing and embark on a journey through the senses. Let us transport you to the heart of Japan, one sip and one bite at a time.

Cheers! Kanpai!

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