North Island Brown Ale is a 5% American style brown ale from North Island Beer, based in Ebetsu-city, Hokkaido, Japan. It’s part of their all-year round range of craft beers and can be found in both bottles and on tap. It’s only crowning glory among competitions was when it won the silver medal in 2008’s International Beer Competition.
North Island Brown Ale Aroma and Taste
A friend picked some of these up for me, as North Island Brown Ale is one of the last one’s from North Island Beer, besides their seasonals, that we haven’t had. Brown ales were a staple for me growing up with my grandparents both drinking them, long before I had even seen an IPA or a weizen-style beer. This one is an American style brown ale, which means it’s probably been overloaded with hops at some point to give it some kick and bitterness. I know that is a very stereotypical viewpoint to take but with recent tastings of “American-style” beers, that’s what seems to be happening.
North Island Brown Ale poured out a deep reddish-brown colour with a slight amount of off-white tan head. The aroma was quite sweet, mainly of caramel and burnt toffee, with a hint of butteriness once it had been warmed up to the recommended serving temperature. If there were hops in there, then they were subdued as I really couldn’t detect them. I guess I was wrong about this beer.
North Island Beer recommend that this is served between 7c and 10c, and I could see why. When North Island Brown Ale was cold, the flavours were dull and flat. Nothing pounced out at all. When it had been warmed up however, the sweetness was smooth and well-rounded with a hint of bitterness during drinking as well. The body was a tad watery-thin though without the need to support any big bold flavours to support. It finished off with a hint of sweetness which didn’t last long.
North Island Brown Ale The Bottom Line
When North Island Brown Ale warmed up, it was a tad buttery but besides that, it’s a solid brown ale. I guess I was wrong about it being overly-hopped.
Where to Buy North Island Brown Ale
North Island Brown Ale can be bought online at the following places: