Goyatofu, Sorry you didn't like Ebisu so much. But hey, that leaves more for me!
As for Yebisu, more than one person has raved about it, but it was quite disappointing. I think because it's got a fuller body (like wheat beers you can get here : Big Rock and Grasshopper comes to mind) that it's "different" from most dry Japanese beers...Is it the regular Yebisu or the Black Yebisu that's all the rave?
Ebisu is not really that popular in Japan, in fact it can be hard to find. But it has a small and dedicated cult following. The regular one is what most people love, but the black is nice too. Ebisu does have a fuller, more European flavour, so if you prefer lighter beers you probably won't like it much.
My parents went home yesterday from a two-week visit to Japan, and my Dad just couldn't get enough of Japanese beer! He liked most of the regular draught beer by the big makers, and he really liked all the micro-beers and lesser-known beers we were lucky enough to find.
The only beer he didn't like was one he bought at random- Kirin Green Label, which is a low sugar (or low something) beer. It was so bad he had to pour it down the drain, which he's only done a few times in his life! He learned to stay away from any kind of beer that was supposed to be healthy- leave that crap to dieting OLs looking for a cheap buzz. Yuck.
We even did a brewery tour, at the Suntory brewery in Fuchu (western Tokyo), which he said was the best, most sophisticated tour he's done. And he's done a LOT of brewery tours, so that's high praise!
We tried three kinds of beer during the tasting, all of which he liked: Magnum Dry, Malt's, and especially Premium Malt's:
We took home one of their new ones that wasn't on tap, Akairono Houjun Table Beer, which he loved:
Kinga Kogen Beer:
The autumn beers:
And a whole bunch more that we'll never be able to remember. I told him to keep the bottles/cans of stuff that was especially good, but I think the maids just kept throwing them out. Oh well.
Hope some of you in/ coming to Japan can try some of these!