Nara Function is 6% Pale American-Belgo-Style Ale from Nara Brewing Company, based in Nara, in Nara, Japan. It’s part of their regular lineup can be found in both cans and on draught. Nara Function uses a Belgian saison yeast for the base of the beer, though it is hopped with some American hops which include Mosaic and Cascade with Hallertau Blanc, Nelson Sauvin, and Mandarina Bavaria also used.
Nara Function : At A Glance
- Alcohol : 6%
- Style : American-Belgo-Style Ale
- Hops : Mosaic, Hallertau Blanc, Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, Mandarina Bavaria
- IBU : 24
- Availability : Regular
- On Sale : From January 2022
- Size : 350 ml
- Price : From 650 yen
Aroma & Taste
- Notable Aromas : Dry Belgian spice, some notes of grape, with hints of phenol and pilsner malt sweetness.
- Notable Tastes : Bitter to start with a grape flavour that comes though before going to a Belgian ale.
Nara Function: Aroma & Taste
Nara Function poured out a dark amber golden colour with a massive amount of fluffy white head on top. The amount of head can not be overestimated – the picture above was about 2/3 of the can into the glass with more to come. And it didn’t help that it took ages for the head to collapse down – I went away and did something else instead. The aroma though was a difficult one to pin down – Belgian yeast phenolics with some peppery notes, which was followed up with some grapes but none of the aromas I’ve come to expect from Mosaic and Cascade. Once the beer had warmed up, there was some light malt sweetness which resembled a pilsner – not too sweet but not bland.
Even though this is supposed to use American hops to make it a Pale American-Belgo-Style Ale beer it didn’t taste remotely American, with a white grape flavour that permeated throughout drinking.
What is a Pale American-Belgo-Style Ale beer?
Cross American style hops with a Belgian beer that uses a Belgian strain of yeast and you get this mouthful of a strain of beer. It’s supposed to be estery – from the yeast – and have the flavour from the hops – whichever American ones you use. Seems like a lame excuse for a “new” style of beer really.
It seemed like the Nelson Sauvin hops were the star of this show with their notorious grape-like flavour being the most prominent – but then the Belgian influence wasn’t about to go missing. There was some Belgian phenolics going on – not quite banana, but not quite plastic, but something there that was peach-like. The malts brought a subtle sweetness to the beer that was welcoming but not enough to detract from the others flavours.
Nara Function: The Bottom Line
Nara Function is drinkable but I really have no idea about what it is trying to be and as such, it fails to be whatever it is.
Nara Function: Where To Buy
Nara Function can be bought online at the following places: