With the warmer weather approaching there is nothing that the Japanese like better than a large cold beer. Much like us Aussies, they prefer the lager style and serve it in very large, thick rimmed glasses suitable for heavy duty ‘clinking’. There are some very nice crisp beers here, from world famous breweries like Asahi, Suntory, Sapporo and Kirin, but the Japanese also have a taste for a wide range of foreign beers. Throughout the country there are an extraordinary number of Belgian beer cafes that serve a diverse range of flavours. Jules and I have a favourite one in Kobe, and some friends of ours recently introduced us to a very nice bar tucked away in the back streets of down town Osaka. It was from here that we were handed a flyer inviting us to attend the ‘Belgian Beer Weekend Osaka 2011’…sounded good to us! So on a warm night we headed down to Umeda for this popular outdoor event, which was held under the Sky Tower (one of the tallest buildings in Osaka). There were 48 Belgian beers on offer that could be tasted by using pre-purchased tokens. This worked out at around 500 yen per glass (about $A 5.00) so it was around half of what it would normally cost for such imported beers. The weekend mirrored a similar weekend event that is held annually in Brussels and needless to say, the 13,000 strong crowd who attended over the four days, were certainly enjoying this little taste of Europe. When we arrived there was a nice relaxed atmosphere with plenty of taste testing while the crowd listening attentively to the smooth sounds of the Jeff Neve Trio, who had travelled especially from Brussels to perform. In between the music brackets there was plenty of toasting (in a range of languages) from the main stage. Like most people who were there, we were happy to hold our glasses up high and simply say ‘Kampai’ to Belgian Beer.