Shiroyama Maazaku IPA is a 6% American IPA from Shiroyama Brewery, based in Kagoshima, Kyushu. It’s part of their seasonal line up of craft beer and can usually be found from late spring onwards. The beer contains maazaku, a local kind of grass for which the only English translation is “Chinese parsnip root”, though it’s supposed to increase longevity to people who consume it. The grass is commonly found in local dishes such tempura, rice porridge (okayu), and sometimes in drinks.
Shiroyama Maazaku IPA Aroma and Taste
Not knowing what maazaku was, nor finding any English information about its taste or aroma, meant this was going to be a tough beer. From the outset, there was something peculiar about this beer. It poured out a hazy dark golden colour with a meagre amount of head, and appeared to be a tad flat compared to other IPAs. The aroma was more English IPA with some sweet caramel coming through, along with a hint of citrus fruits too. The only hint of grassiness was the usual grassy aroma that IPAs have when they are fresh.
If this was supposed to be an American IPA, then something went wrong somewhere as the body lent more towards the English style of IPAs – malty and sweet with a small taste of bitterness. If the maasaku herb was present, then it completely passed me by besides an unusual taste that I couldn’t quite pin down. It’s a shame that it was more present in the final aftertaste – all I really got was a faint bitterness that dissipated quickly away.
Shiroyama Maazaku IPA The Bottom Line
Shiroyama Maazaku IPA felt like another English IPA. Not bad but not outstanding in the end.