This months "Just a half pint please" blog is part of a bigger blog inspired by Japan.
These blogs can be found if you click the link "Is it dead yet"? and "Adventures with Halfpint"
Please feel free to add a review of any Japanese beers you have tried in the comments. I have two beers for you to ponder over.
For those living in Japan, or planning a visit the first beer is for you.
A Japanese exported beer for the UK is the next beer down.
Hakuba Brewing Company 5% Pale Ale Bottle Conditioned
It has a wonderfully hoppy aroma which intoxicates your nose as you pour, making you forget to leave the sediment in the bottle (if that's how you like it). A hint of biscuit malt seeps out as you taste and then there is a big hop smacking kiss which disperses in your mouth, similar to those sherbet dip dabs sweets we had as children. A bang of flavour and then it mellows out with a bit of fizz alerting you to a touch of spice and a small drynes which makes you lick your lips for more.
There is a subtly lemony taste at the end but it is not a bitter sour lemon, more a Lemoncello ping. And as you burp (pardon me!) the initial hop taste ping’s back in your mouth.
This beer is a great balance and I love it. I can't wait to try the other one the boss brought back, although I have been saving it for the right night as it's a slightly darker beer.
*Burp!* “Excuse me”.
Hitachino Nest White Ale 5.5% Kiuchi Brewery Japan
This is my first wheat beer and I actually rather like it, even though I don't like Coriander!
A lovely straw coloured beer that is subtle on its flavours. Not too much hop and just enough balance between the malt and wheat. There's a small hint of Nutmeg and Coriander at the beginning, but, as I taste more the Orange peel appears and then fades away to leave the hint of Nutmeg and Coriander on the palate again.
It's a very drinkable, very light beer. Or at least it's lighter than I thought a wheat beer would be.
Try this beer ASAP and don't be put off by the Coriander. I don't like it in salads - nice and fresh, but, I don't mind it cooked. Don't forget though everyone's palate is different, so you may not taste the Coriander and pick up more Orange Peel.
Here's Eden Brewery's video from when Dan came over http://edenbrewery.com/blogs/news/video-tokyo-express-green-tea-beer
For the record we don't use the "P" word anymore it got banned! Also Japanese Green Tea and Matcha tea are two different teas and we used both in the recipe, although I have kept pointing out that it is not Matcha Green Tea to the powers that be!
Halfpint is my Nickname, and has nothing to do with any alcoholic measures what so ever. But, I do only ever order half pints though when I visit a bar, it takes me forever to drink a half! I like to savour the moment and keep the gold coins in my pocket for a different beer.