Coedo Matsuri Ale is a 5% Japanese pale ale from Coedo, based in Kawagoe, in Saitama. It’s part of their limited edition lineup and can be found in both cans and on tap across Japan. Coedo Matsuri Ale contains rice sourced from the Iwate region of Japan, though different iterations of this year’s beer source their rice from across the Tohoku region. Coedo Matsuri Ale takes its name from the Coedo Matsuri Yell Project, with “yell” and “ale” supposedly having the same pronunciation in Japanese, in spite of all the English speakers across Japan disagreeing with that.
At A Glance
Style: Japanese Pale Ale
Hops: Sapphir and Tettnanger
Price: From 350 yen
On Sale: From July 2021
Notable Aromas: Floral lemon with a subtle rice funk to it. Crisp malts.
Coedo Matsuri Ale: Aroma and Taste
Coedo Matsuri Ale poured out a relatively clear golden straw colour with a plump white head on top that faded to a few bubbles around the edge of the glass. I suspect that the slight haziness to the beer stemmed from the fact that rice had been used and some of the proteins had been left behind, perhaps with Coedo Matsuri Ale not being fully filtered – not a problem with me considering how many hazy beers are on the market now.
Coedo Matsuri Ale started off with a very distinct lemon and floral aroma to it that, while not as potent as an American pale ale, definitely surprised me as Coedo aren’t known for having potent aromas in their beers. Once the beer had warmed up a little bit, some of the rice funk came through and produced a gentle sake like aroma to it. In spite of this beer coming in a few variations, with just the rice being different, I don’t think I would be confident in spotting the difference between them based on the flavour of the rice alone.
The body was also surprisingly clean and crisp when chilled, and remained so when Coedo Matsuri Ale had warmed up towards the end of drinking. It had a soft lemon flavour to it that wasn’t bitter or tart, though it did fade quite quickly from the palate. Once again, the rice flavour was present, with just an edge of sake funk to it, but as in the nose, I don’t think I would be able to guess what strain of rice was used, nor what regional edition of Coedo Matsuri Ale I would be drinking – my palate just isn’t that refined. Years of hop abuse would do that to you I guess.
With the subtleness of the flavours, the aftertaste was fast and fleeting, with just a hint of lemon and rice remaining, with everything being rather crisp and sharp on the palate.
Coedo Matsuri Yell Project
The Coedo Matsuri Yell project started out in 2020 as the local Kawagoe festival was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Coedo made the Coedo Matsuri Ale to help support local businesses by donating some of the sales from this beer to the local festival committee.
In 2021, Coedo then used rice from sixp prefectures across Tohoku to help support their festivals that were cancelled, and the six regions also have six different can labels to identify them all, with 20 yen from each sale going towards the regions.
Coedo Matsuri Ale : The Bottom Line
Coedo Matsuri Ale isn’t an exciting beer by any means – if you’ve had a decent pale ale from overseas then you may end up disappointed with this. But it is a clean, good tasting beer that does a good job in matching up to the style. Plus you help support local communities.