Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft is Abashiri Brewery’s most famous drink, and is supposedly made using drift ice and natural ingredients such as flowers and seaweed to give it its blue colour. It’s been the subject of many “Weird Japan” articles since being made available overseas in 2014. It’s a 5% spiced/fruit/seaweed beer.
Blue. Like my feelings after drinking this garbage.
Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft Aroma and Taste
Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft is a dirty turquoise (Dirty Turquoise is also my 1976 pimp name). It smells happoshu-esque. It’s extremely sweet, and the starchy smell invades your nostrils. It’s like smelling a glass of fabric softener. It’s so artificial. Enhanced. No, not enhanced. Modified. You’d expect this kind of chemical vileness from some dystopian smoke-spewing factory with train lines running from it delivering Government Mandated Grain Based Beer-Like Pseudo beverage Batch #76B3 to the masses.
But this is little old Abashiri Brewery. They source all their ingredients from local farmers. They’re probably heroes in the region. I bet their mums are really proud of them. On paper, it’s the makings of a great craft beer success story. In practise, though, the whole does not equal the sum of the parts.
Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft is garbage. Were you expecting anything else? Tasting it, there’s the potatoes again. It is thankfully not as offensive as Abashiri Jaga Draft
. There’s also syrup all over the place- surprise chucks, saccharine starch is again the number one ingredient. Whatever 40-million-year old ice floe they supposedly got the water for this dreck from, I hope they lost a toe or two getting it (the addition of a gangrenous appendage to the mash tun of this beer would not have altered the flavour for the worse, though). The aftertaste seemingly dissolves in your mouth with only the slightly unpleasant syrup taste remaining. Still, I’m glad that I only have half a glass left as I write this.
Joe’s Soapbox Corner
So many breweries stick to the tried-and-true lineup of Pilsner, Pale Ale, Weizen and Porter, and are creatively unwilling or financially unable to branch out. Not all, though; I point to Morita Kinshachi as an example of a brewery using its local name to make some non-standard beers to great effect, such as their Aka Miso Lager. They also do a fine Imperial Stout.
So while I applaud Abashiri Brewery for their creativity, I think they should fire their recipe creator. Drinkers are more informed than they were 20 years ago, and know that “beer” does not equal “lager” and “specialty beer” doesn’t have to be “lager with blue in it” or “lager with red in it”. Make an ale with fish in it. Make a porter with those legendary Hokkaido scallops as big as your palm. Make a Pilsner that goes so well with lamb you’ll have people coming out to try it. Throw these joke recipes away. We- and you- deserve better.
Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft One Line Review
There’s no reason to drink Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft at all. Joke beers make me so angry I write big ranty articles like this one. Stop it, Abashiri.
Where to Buy Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft
Please don’t buy Abashiri Ryuhyo Draft. Just don’t.
Rob’s Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft Second Opinion
When people ask me why Joe and I set up BeerTengoku, I always come back to this beer. Abashiri Okhotsk Blue Ryuhyo Draft made me want to tell the world about beers that should not be drunk and as such, led me to find beers that people should drink. I still remember drinking this beer in the middle of a week tour around Hokkaido and emailing people about how bad it was. No one would believe me. They do now.