Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Infinium: Boston Beer & Weihenstephan collaboration

This beautiful-looking beer will be available sometime in November
for around US$20 (750ml). Jim Koch, Boston Beer founder, says it is “somewhere between a Champagne, a dessert wine and the Samuel Adams Noble Pils,”

Read Stephen Beaumont's article about it HERE.

And about the collaboration between Boston Beer and Weihenstephan HERE.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

James Watt @ eni-bru

James Watt, managing director at BrewDog, will be featured at eni-bru in Sakai on November 24 – and I won't be able to go! Lefty had secured for me one of the very few reservations for this event, but I have to work too late to get to eni-bru on time. 

BrewDog has risen to fame in the past few years as the maker of some of the most full-flavored, coolest, weirdest, and strongest (actually, THE strongest – see HERE about Sink the Bismarck and HERE about The End of History) beers in the world. 

And HERE for the BrewDog site:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cheesy beer boosts sexual performance

Well, just reporting the news. A new beer made by Brauerei Egg.

Read all about it HERE

Monday, November 8, 2010

Space Beer

Testing for a new space beer will begin in November on board Zero Gravity Corporation's Boeing aircraft. 

Read about it here:

And the Australian brewery that made the beer here:

Friday, November 5, 2010

地びーる フェスタ 2010 / Local Brand Beer Festival in Kobe

I went to the beer festival at the Kobe Bay Sheraton on Rokko Island last Wednesday (Nov. 3), which was a national holiday here.

The hotel venue was an unusual one for a beer fest. We had to make our way past wedding parties to get to the 4th floor “Ocean” room. The crowd seemed slightly older and more nattily attired than usual as well.

On a large stage at one end of the room, a J-Pop group alternated sets with a jazz ensemble. Along one wall, servers provided a range of hotel snack foods. I pretty much ignored the music (or at least tried to) and the food so as to focus on the beer.

Nine brewers from western Japan set up taps and promotional materials in a large ballroom setting.

The nine brewers and their beer:

Daisen G-Beer (Tottori):
  • Lager - one of the tastiest lagers I've had in Japan, with a strong grain flavor and well-matched hop aroma. 
  • Imperial Stout (9%) – aged for a year, it was the best beer of the day. Dark, smoky, and punched the tongue with a crisp alcohol kick.

Shimane Beer Co. “Hearn Beer” (Shimane)
  • Chocolate No. 7 (7%) – this was served Real Ale style. It was a bit too syrupy-sweet and cloying. A bit hit with the women, but ….
  • Weizen (5%) – A tart, smooth wheat beer, with great banana aroma. Lefty says it’s one of the best wheat beers in Japan, and I agree.
  • Apple Barley “Eve” – made with dried apples (in the boil). Beautiful, rich brown color and rocky head. The apple came through in the aroma and the flavor. Unusual that among so many kinds of fruit beer, so few brewers use apples. This one is truly special. 

Minoh Beer (Osaka)
  • W-IPA (9%) – Well, what to say? This used to be one of Japan's exceptional brews. The latest version is not bad, but it doesn't provide the tongue-to-throat blast of thick malt and shocking hops that the original did.
  • Imperial Stout (8.5%) – Well, what to say? They ran out of this beer, assumed to be the “world's best stout,” in less than two hours, or just about the time we arrived.

Kuninocho (Osaka) 
  • Marihana Brown (6%) - A pleasant amber color. Contains about 10% sake, and that flavor comes through clearly. Somewhat unusual, to be sure, but the balance is more or less there.

Ise Kadoya
  • Yuzu Ale (5%) –This is their Pale Ale, with dried yuzu (citron) peel added in the fermentation phase. Pleasant aroma of yuzu with a nice fruity palate. A bit harsh in mid-palate, and too much so in the finish. The bitterness of the yuzu  peel is somewhat similar to a strong, rasty hop.
  • Scotch Ale (7%) – This beer has the reddish hue of a Scotch Ale, but not much of the aroma or flavor. Fruity and somewhat sweet, it was pleasant enough.
  • Maple Cinnamon (5%) – Very sweet, pleasant aroma, with both maple and cinnamon coming through. The flavor is much too sweet and eventually becomes cloying.

There were a few other brewers in attendance, but they shall remain nameless.
For the most part, they were primarily sake brewers who make beer as a sideline or as an omiyage (souvenir) for people to take back after a brewery visit. These are the ones who make a Kölsch, and an Alt, and that's all. It was a bit sad to see them sullenly looking on as the crowds eventually gravitated toward the brewers who served good, or at least interesting, beer – and no one at all at their booths.

So, all in all, it was a pleasant, manageable event, with many good beers and several very good ones.

Now for a break …..

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Real Ale Month 2010

An annual event held at five Kansai area beer bars.

Real ale is beer made with traditional ingredients and allowed to mature naturally, usually in casks. It is unfiltered and unpasteurized, which permits live yeast to continue conditioning the beer in the cask. The malt and hop flavors develop into a rich-tasting brew. These ales are usually served by hand pump (without CO²) at near room temperature. One problem is that Japanese bartenders often serve them at lager temperatures. If this is the case, let the beer warm up a bit before you drink it.

Here’s the schedule for Real Ale Month:

Beer Belly – Edobori  (Osaka)  November 6 ~ 12
大阪市・江戸堀「Beer Belly EDOBORI
大阪市西区江戸堀2-1-21 ファミール江戸堀101 / 06-6445-6366
【期間中無休】 17:0024:00

World Beer & Café Qbrick  (Osaka)  November 13 ~ 19
大阪市・淀屋橋「World beer & cafe Qbrick
大阪市中央区平野町4-6-12 京音ビル南館1F / 06-6203-0690
【期間中無休】 17:0024:00

eni-bru  (Sakai)  November 20 ~ 26
堺市・中百舌鳥「CRAFT BEER DINING eni-bru
堺市北区中百舌鳥町二丁71 イル・グランディB1 / 072-255-8317
【無休営業】 17:3025:00

Beer Café Barley  (Nishinomiya)  November 27 ~ December 3
西宮市・西宮北口「Beer Cafe Barley
西宮市長田町1-15 リバティーⅡ2F / 0798-65-6135
【火曜定休】 13:0024:00

Beer Belly – Higobashi (Osaka)  December 4 ~ 10
大阪市・肥後橋「Beer Belly
大阪市西区土佐堀1-1-30 大阪リバービル1F / 06-6441-0717
【期間中無休】 17:0024:00

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beer Festival at the Kobe Bay Sheraton -- Wed. Nov. 3


Come and enjoy tasting approximately 30 Local Brand Beers from nine companies of Western Japan.
Experience the great taste and original flavor of each micro-brewed beer, combined with Sheraton’s special dishes. A live jazz and pop music performance will also be featured.

2010.11.3 wed.
所 Place            4階 シェラトンアネックス「オーシャン」 
4F Annex "Ocean"
金 Price              
Pre-sale: ¥3,500 per person
At the door:  ¥4,000 per person