Echigo Flying IPA is a 5.5% American IPA from Echigo Beer based in Niigata, Japan. At the time of writing, Echigo hadn’t released any new canned beers in over five years, and with beer, it presents a big change in direction for the design of the beers as well, with confirmation that Echigo Beer Company are entering the US market. Echigo Flying IPA came out in September 2016, though we were lucky enough to try some at the Niigata Beer Festival in 2016.
Echigo Flying IPA Aroma and Taste
Echigo Flying IPA has a very distinctive can, though it’s a shame that Lawson’s felt the need for it be facing with the brewery label and not this cool dragon flying with a glass of beer in its hand. From immediately opening the can, the citrus, grapefruit, piney pungency comes flooding out, along with the distinctive smell of cat’s piss. Without having much to go on (Echigo Beer Company are still yet to update their homepage with the new can images or this beer), I would have guessed that Echigo Flying IPA is a 100% Simcoe hopped beer. There was some sweetness to it but it’s all about the aggressive hop in this beer. Echigo Flying IPA poured out a light golden straw colour with a clean white head that dissipated fairly quickly.
The body is all about the hop(s) as well, with the citrus, piney, grapefruit cat’s piss coming through clear and strong. When chilled, the flavours are dulled down somewhat, so perhaps Echigo Beer Company expect people to drink Echigo Flying IPA ice-cold, or as close as possible to it. There was barely any malt backbone to it too, with the aggressive bitterness not letting off, even in the aftertaste, with those same flavours coming through yet again.
Echigo Flying IPA The Bottom Line
Echigo Flying IPA is clear designed for people who like aggressive hops with barely any sweetness. It’s a cheap alternative to the more expensive Japanese IPAs on the market but lacks anything substantial than besides hops.
Where to Buy Echigo Flying IPA
Echigo Flying IPA can be bought in Lawsons and Seijo Ishii across Japan. It can be bought online at the following places: