Brewer from U.S. Seeking to Spread Info on Kesennuma's Recovery

Society Lifestyle

Kesennuma, Miyagi Pref., Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)--Almost a decade after the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan, an American brewer who moved to a city hit hard by the disaster is aiming to spread the message of its reconstruction through craft beer.

James Watney, originally from Seattle, serves as co-representative and head brewer of Black Tide Brewing, located in the Naiwan bay area of the Miyagi Prefecture city of Kesennuma, which sustained heavy damage from the tsunami. BTB derives its name from the Kuroshio current, which flows off the coast of the region. The brewery marks its one-year anniversary this month.

Watney, 43, has an unusual background for a brewer, owning a doctoral degree in theoretical chemistry and having previously worked as a senior principal scientist for a major chemical software company.

He first came to Kesennuma in November 2018, after learning about a plan to establish a new brewery from a Japanese with whom he became acquainted at a brewery in Portland, Oregon. Seeing Kesennuma residents working hard to rebuild and revitalize their city, he strongly felt that he wanted to join the reconstruction efforts.

"When I came to Kesennuma" and learned that the city was trying to create "a new future" for it, "I found that very exciting, and I wanted to be a part of that," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press