Vertere Ritro #2 is a 5.3% blonde ale from Vertere, based in Oku-tama, in Tokyo, Japan. It’s part of their regular lineup and can be found in both cans and on tap, with the latter being predominantly found in the Kanto area. Vertere Ritro #2 is brewed with the aim of not getting any bitterness from the hops, essentially giving it an IBU of 0 (how is that possible?) and contains Pale 2 Row, Chit malt, Oats, wickiup, Oats Malt along with Strata, Ella, Nelson Sauvin hops.
Vertere Ritro #2 Aroma and Taste
“Hazy” seems to have been the beer word for 2019 with it adorning pretty much every style of beer out there that isn’t a hazy IPA. The only thing I haven’t seen it on is a porter or any other kind of dark beer – I hope I haven’t tempted fate not. With Vertere Ritro #2, Vertere have decided to make a hazy blonde ale – so lots of oats and other adjuncts to induce lots of cloudiness from proteins. A brave move there, let’s see if they can pull it off.
Vertere Ritro #2 poured out a hazy golden straw colour with a large, fluffy white head on top that clung to the side of the glass throughout drinking. The aroma though was certainly not of a blonde ale – think more a dank grapefruit and lemon aroma and you’d be onto something. There was a mild grape funk to the beer but you’d be hard pressed to identify anything about this beer being a blonde ale. Even when Vertere Ritro #2 had warmed up, there was nothing of note from the yeast that punched through the citrus and dank hop aroma.
The body, while not bitter in an hoppy form, did have a citrus twang to it that imparted a slight tart sourness to Vertere Ritro #2. The hops were the star of the show which meant the yeast had a lot of work to do in cutting through the hop flavours. It was only once Vertere Ritro #2 had warmed up that a slight hint of blonde ale base came through – but then the hops were always present and waiting to snatch back the taste buds. The lingering citrus flavours were kept in check by a slight creaminess from the oats but they made their comeback in the aftertaste by having the staying power.
Vertere Ritro #2 The Bottom Line
Calling Vertere Ritro #2 a blonde ale is a misnomer. It’s more a hazy hoppy pale ale than anything else.
Where to Buy Vertere Ritro #2
Vertere Ritro #2 can be bought online at the following places: