Chichibu Naminori Kuma is a 7% West Coast IPA from Chichibu Beer, based in Chichibu, in Saitama, Japan. It’s part of their draft lineup at the time of writing. It was first released in January 2019 and has since subsequent releases, though it’s unknown what hops went into making Chichibu Naminori Kuma. It’s also a collaborative effort with Abbot’s Choice Ikebukuro. The name roughly translates to “The Bear That Rides The Wave”.
Chichibu Naminori Kuma Aroma and Taste
Chichibu Naminori Kuma came served up with a small amount of plump white head that collapsed in on itself quickly to leave nothing but a semi-clear light golden orange colour. There was a distinct piney lemon aroma to it, but the caramel / crystal malts were distinctly lacking. If you’re going to make a beer that is a West Coast IPA, then it better pack a punch but Chichibu Naminori Kuma just never got going in the nose, even when warmed up.
The body was just as lacking – no bitter punch, no sweet draw fade in – Chichibu Naminori Kuma could be best described as a lite-WC-IPA (yes, we’re going there). It had some hints of piney and citrus but at 7%, it was never going to show up its American cousins. The body was also too thin to really support the resinous flavours but it does have the drinkability going on – the thinness of the body means Chichibu Naminori Kuma is easy to knock back in one or two gulps.
Chichibu Naminori Kuma The Bottom Line
Chichibu Naminori Kuma is a lacklustre WC-IPA that needs retuning – jam in the hops and the alcohol next time around.