Japanese Craft Beer

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This will be fairly concise compared to my usual articles because there is only one subject, craft beer with an Owl on it 🙂 In Japan the mega sized beer corporations sort of rule the landscape and are composed mainly of Kirin, Sapporo, Yebisu and Asahi. All of which offer a lager style dry beer typically on tap and in nearly every refrigerator of every home.

When looking for “craft beer” or what the Japanese refer to as Ji-Beer, or the place this was made (local) beer. While perusing the “import” super market I found a small row of HITACHINO NEST BEER from the options available I went with their Pale Ale and upon the sampling I will be back to sample their other offerrings.

The KIUCHI BREWERY, located in the sleepy prefecture known as Ibaraki has definitely produced a more than high quality product that rivals the Pale Ale offerings from my previous posts hands down. The weight of the liquid itself commanded more than the passive consumption but a bit of reflection. Lightly hoppy, crisp and bright the Pale Ale more than satisfy, it compelled me to seek out more of the company’s products, which according to their website there is an abundance. Next to its American cousins it definitely casts a tall shadow.

The one quality that didn’t quite fit the usual Pale Ale profile was the absence of the cave funk. Typically the finish is a little musty and drawn out but this beer seemed to remain bright and sweet till the very end which is definitely appreciated. I would say that in some sense its not really that much of a Pale Ale in the traditional sense but it is a damn fine Beer!

I hope this wasn’t a fluke but a standard to expect when sampling other Local Brews here in Japan.

Pale Ale Bottle

Many thanks to the Kiuchi Brewery for their awesome work and to you my friends for reading about what I think 🙂

Zach “always hungry” Meyer

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