OK, OK, this is brewed by Kirin, a macro, but bear with me on this. Two points can be made in favour of this beer being “craft”. One, macro brewers in Japan work a little differently than they do here in North America. While they do have an overarching national brand that encompasses a standard macro lager they also have small batch, carefully brewed beers for limited, seasonal, regional or event release, often with interesting ingredients or recipes that have been painstakingly created. Check out Mike’s review of the Sapporo Oyster Black for one of Sapporo Brewing’s offering. Two, this particular beer is a release for the Arashiyama Station Beer Garden in North West Kyoto, a local festival. Only available at the festival this beer really is created to match both the hot, humid weather of Kyoto in August and Japanese festival street food.
A slightly cloudy dark hay yellow with big, coarse carbonation bubbles. The head is snow white with much finer bubbles and pretty good staying power.
The nose is grainy with a light sake tinge and that beery lager scent.
Such a good summer beer with good flavour, there are lots of grass and hay notes with a round malted barley flavour to add body. A touch of sourness at the first sip gives way to a light bubblegum note. A nice, clean finish with a long lingering malt note finish off the sip. Good, rough carbonation tingles on the tongue while the mouthfeel is pleasantly light.
Best drunk on a hot summer day, possibly with tempura or dango.
Side note: if any of our readers can read Japanese I would love to know what the can actually says, I can only muddle through a few pleasantries and read a few Kanji.