We have entered the second rainy season here in southern Japan. Thankfully it is usually a short-lived affair, but it is hot, humid and, well, rainy. It is all interspersed with some delightful summer weather too, but it is a time of excessive sweating…great. But there is a silver side lining the many clouds, it is thirsty weather!
In, my last blog I was deploring a feeble attempt of one of the big-boy brewery’s attempts at making an ale. Maybe it was aimed at the Japanese, mainly lager drinking, market, but an ale it was not.
It was my birthday yesterday, so I decided to treat myself to a few cans of an ale I have tried before. Now, this really is an ale, made by a brewery who are concerned with making real ales. Needless to say it is not a big-boy brewery. These guys are based in Nagano in central Japan and have made a Pale Ale which has the hop flavours you would expect. You can taste the citrusy bite of hops and it isn’t carbed to lager-like levels. It is full-malt and therefore full-price, but that’s ok because you get what you pay for (and what is described on the tin).
Here is a pic of drink in question.
So, here we have it, evidence that the small brewery can make it here. These cans are sold in some supermarkets and in enlightened convenience store chains. I’ve not seen it on tap, but then I’ve not been to a drinking establishment for a while (budget-sense winning the day). The big-boy breweries do still have a stranglehold on the beer market in all areas and, let’s face it, lager is king and the Japanese are hardly going to start joining CAMRA en masse in the near future, but there is hope that tastes are changing in favour of variety and flavour.
We are encouraged.