Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale is a 5% spiced beer from Aoi Brewing, based in Shizuoka, Japan. It started out life as part of their seasonal draft range but made it into bottles in later 2016 and is now considered part of their all-year round lineup. It’s brewed with Pilsner along with Munich Malt and hopped with Magnum, Tettnang, and Styrian Golding hops to give it a final IBU of 30. Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale also contains locally sourced Japanese green tea where the leaves have been steamed to release some of their important oils and flavours, which are then added to the beer.
Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale Aroma and Taste
Green tea in your beer? A couple of Japanese breweries have done this – Baird Beer did a collaborative effort with the Stone Brewery from American and it turned out well. Johana Beer do one with Earl Grey, which at the time of writing, neither Joe or myself are yet to consume. Yet it’s coffee that is the more popular caffeinated beverage of choice to add to a beer. I’ll address that point later.
Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale poured out a muddy dark orange colour with a light frothy head on top that clung to the side of the glass as the beer was slowly drunk. For such a prominent adjunct to the beer, there was little tea-like nose to it. Instead, it was much more fruitier with hints of peaches and oranges and a hint of lemon coming through rather than the distinctive earthy tea aroma. Perhaps all the tea aromas had been steamed out of the leaves before they were added to the beer.
In the body, there was a hint of green tea earthiness to it – not much mind but enough for you to pick up on it, especially when Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale had warmed up. The fruitness was still as present in the body as in the nose, with those peaches, oranges, and lemons coming through, with a side dish of bitterness just to pick you up. It all chugged along with a crisp bite to it that came with the first sip, right to the end.
Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale The Bottom Line
Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale isn’t a bad-tasting beer, but it just doesn’t really do justice to either the green tea or the beer base.
And now I can taste why coffee is the more commonly used caffeinated adjunct of choice – as it’s flavours are far more supportive, rather than diversive, of the adjuncts.
Where to Buy Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale
Aoi Zen-Infused Ocha Ale can be bought online at the following places: