Japan isn’t all about saké. Much of its cuisine, in fact, pairs wonderfully with beer, but it can be difficult to track down drafts from outside the country’s major breweries. Good thing we have Mark Meli, a Kansai University professor who has lived in Kyoto since 1999 and dedicated himself to sniffing out Japan’s 200+ craft beer companies. He compiled them all in his 2013 book, Craft Beer in Japan, and tonight he appears at the Japan Society for Kampai! The World of Japanese Beer to guide guests through the unique history of Japan’s burgeoning independent suds scene. Sip samples from breweries such as Echigo Beer Company, which incorporates local water from its home in Niigata prefecture, and Baird Brewing Company, which experiments with seasonal fruits, like in its Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale.

Fri., Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m., 2014