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Iwate Kura Pale Ale by Sekinoichi Brewery

Iwate Kura Pale Ale

Iwate Kura Pale Ale is a 4% English-style pale ale from Sekinoichi Brewery. Let’s see, this one has a meaningless award associated with it: a silver medal at the International Beer Challenge in 2007. Second best a decade ago, back when no-one gave a toss about Japanese craft beer? I can hardly wait to try this one.

Iwate Kura Pale Ale Aroma and Taste

Iwate Kura Pale Ale pours out hazy (that’s hazy, Rob, not Hazy, so please retrieve your monocle from your antique Toby jug), with a couple of centimetres of head. Now, I know that it says “English-style” up there, but the nose on this is as dank and hoppy as a rabbit on the 20th of April (think about it…). There’s strong notes of pine and resin too, and a sweet honey scent.

It tastes dry and bitter, almost as though it’s been dry-hopped. I’ve mentioned that dry-hopping classes a beer as “happoshu” under Japanese law, but on the other hand, have you ever seen a Japanese craft beer that proclaims to be dry-hopped? Are breweries dry-hopping and just not mentioning it? Or is dry-hopping completely unpopular here? Need to Occam’s Razor that shit, folks.

Anyway. Much like the aroma foreshadowed, Iwate Kura Pale Ale tastes very piney and resiny. I’m really enjoying the hops in this. I am pleasantly surprised. It’s quite a light beer, which is good because a sludgy, damp, muggy beer would not make this 35-degree afternoon go by more bearably. It’s very slightly malty, but predominantly hoppy. The hoppy aftertaste lingers in the nose and upper palate.

Iwate Kura Pale Ale: The Bottom Line

This beer is great for a hot day like this. You could even call this a Session Ale as it’s ever so slightly lower in ABV. Give it a try!

Where to Buy Iwata Kura Pale Ale

Iwata Kura Pale Ale can be bought online at the following places:

About the Author

Joe Robson

Pompous elitist and occasional beard owner Joe lives in Kanagawa, Japan. He enjoys a nice stout, a book and a good bowl of ramen. He never carries more than 10000yen in cash and always washes his hands.

Comments 1

  1. Post
    Author

    Quick point here! I’ve recently learned that older breweries such as this one aren’t subject to the regulation that turns dry-hopped beers into happoshu, because when they acquired their brewing licenses it was still under the umbrella of “beer ingredients”. Since then the law has changed, and newer breweries such as Brimmer Brewing need a happoshu license to dry-hop.

    So basically older breweries can dry-hop and call it beer, but newer places have to call it happoshu. Hence my confusion.

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