Shonan IPA HBC 342 is a limited edition 6% American IPA from Kumazawa Shuzo, based in Chigasaki, Kanagawa. It uses the one of the newest breeds of hops on the market, strain HBC 342 from Hopunion, which is so new that it doesn’t have a name yet. At the time of writing, it’s available on tap only so you have to be quick as Kumazawa Shuzo aren’t known for keeping their limited edition beers on tap for long.
Shonan IPA HBC 342 Aroma and Taste
Baird Taprooms are funny places. You can go there and enjoy the Baird Beer range of craft beers, but they all seem to stock some third party craft beers from across Japan. I was hoping to try the latest Kyoto Brewing adventure but was left with Shonan IPA HBC 342 instead. It was only after a swift search on the Internet that I came across HBC 342.
However, the aroma seemed to be nothing like Hopunion had set it out to be. This beer had such a cheesy funk on that it was verging on disgusting. Along with some strong resiny smell going on, I almost immediately began to regret this purchase. It was a dark amber colour with a reasonable amount of head that dissipated quickly into the beer.
The pine and resin aromas extended through to the body which also had a large amount of bitterness that tasted like some gone off Citra hops – citrusy but with a strong, sharp resin taste to it as well. The astringent bitterness in the body was present from the first sip until the last and I couldn’t help think that the pipes had not been cleaned. However, Bryan Baird and co. mentioned in our interview with them (back in August 2014) that their taps and pipes are cleaned religiously. There was very little to none of the advertised melon flavour or aroma
Shonan IPA HBC 342 One Line Review
Shonan IPA HBC 342 was just a horrid beer that I really do not want to try again. Ever.