Baird Bryan’s First IPA by Baird Beer

Baird Bryan's First IPA

With Baird Beer turning 15 years old in 2015, they have chosen to release some special beers to commemorate the anniversary and Bryan’s First IPA is one of those beers. If you’ve been to the brewery, read our tour, or seen any pictures, then you will have seen the kit that Bryan first used to brew this beer. It’s a …

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North Island Weizen by North Island Beer

North Island Weizen

Weizens are not a style I would associate with cold, winter climates but North Island Weizen is straight the coldest area in Japan: Hokkaido. It’s a 5% hefeweizen brewed with a special local wheat only found in Hokkaido, the haruyutaka strain. Like other North Island Beers, it’s advised not to serve this cold, but rather served chilled at about 8c, …

Minamishinshu Golden Ale by Minamishinshu Beer Company

Minamishinshu Golden Ale

Minamishinshu Beer Company is fast becoming one of our favourite breweries in Japan and Minamishinshu Golden Ale is one of their flagship beers. It’s a 5% golden / blond ale from the depths of Nagano and is brewed using fresh snow water from the Northern Alps. Not those alps in Europe but the alps that extend through Nagano up to Niigata. Besides that, …

Nihede Hard by Nanto Brewery

Nihede Hard

Nihede Hard is an altbier from Nanto Brewery based in Okinawa. The reason why Nihede Hard is deemed to be “hard” is due to the strong flavours that are associated with altbiers, rather than the gentle, soft flavours that go with pilsners and pale ales. It is a 5% unfiltered beer so a grey, yeast sediment may be found at the …

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Kinshachi IPA by Morita Kinshachi Beer

Kinshachi IPA

Kinshachi IPA is Morita Kinshachi’s take on the India pale ale that has been redesigned and restyled since I last tried it in 2012. How do I remember that? Well, I have some pictures from a trip to Nagoya and the beer is unmistakably in that picture. It’s a 7% autumn seasonal though it has been seen outside of that …

Umenishiki Bock by Umenishiki Yamakawa

Umenishiki Bock

Umenishiki Bock is a 7% dunkler bock (or dark bock) from Umenishiki Yamakawa, and is produced all year round. For those interested in how it’s made, Umenishiki Yamakawa roast various different malts for different lengths of time and mix them all up. Umenishiki Bock also won silver and gold medals at the International Beer Competition back in 2008 and 2009 respectively. …

Tazawako Alt by Tazawako Beer

Tazawako Alt

Altbiers are not that popular in Japan, with our last review of an altbier being the Karuizawa Asuma Kougen Alt, but let’s not use that as a yardstick.  Tazawako Alt is an award-winning altbier from Tazawako Beer in Akita, Japan. It has won awards from Europe to Japan and around the world over, with the last count being at twelve …

Echigo Pale Ale by Echigo Beer

Echigo Pale Ale

Echigo Pale Ale is a 5% English style pale ale straight out of Niigata from Echigo Beer. The description on the bottle reads along the lines of someone having consumed one too many of these and then stringing some random words together: “Feeling the hop bitterness is good” and “The weird influence of tea on the ale works well” or …

K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry by K’s Brewing

K's Brewmaster Blonde Dry

K’s Brewmaster Blonde Dry is a blonde ale by K’s Brewing. I have never heard of either the brewery (Editor: ahem are you sure?) or the beer and did a double-take when I looked in my fridge to find it there (It had materialised there after a barbecue with Rob the previous night. Man, my bag was heavy on the …

Johana Kagayaki Wheat Seven by Johana Beer

Johana Kagayaki Wheat Seven

Johana Kagayaki Wheat Seven is an American IPA from Johana Beer that packs in the abv at 7% and also the IBU at around 70 units. It was originally brewed to celebrate the opening of the Shinkansen line through to Toyama. Johana Kagayaki Wheat Seven is also brewed using locally sourced wheat known as the number 10 brand, though I’m not …