Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Love The Japanese

I've never really been a big Asahi or Sapporo or any other Japanese beer fan but I'd definitely try this brew just for the novelty:

Abashiri is a microbrewery located on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. Owned and operated by the Takahashi Company, Abashiri has been turning heads (and possibly stomachs) for some time now with its unusual beers - and by "unusual" I mean Scallop Beer and Bilk. The latter, an incongruous combination of beer and milk meant to appeal to the female demographic, deservedly made the Ten Even More Weird And Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks listing last year - and hasn't been heard from since.

In any case, Okhotsk Blue Draft stands out for its cool color and interesting (yet not off-putting) ingredients. The brew is made using water melted from icebergs that float each year onto Hokkaido beaches from the chilly Sea of Okhotsk, an arm of the North Pacific ocean bordered by Japan and Russia. Fine & dandy, and a good selling point to boot.
Then Abashiri went one step further and used seaweed to give their brew and icy blue tint. Perhaps not the greatest selling point but it does make Okhotsk Blue look, well, different. As for the taste... reports state that Ryuho isn't at all bad as beers go, and if you didn't know there was seaweed in it, you likely wouldn't guess there was.
Not my thing but I'm glad that it's out there.



Anonymous said...

'Milk' isn't actually that unsuual a beer ingredient. The very best dark beer, cream stout, is brewed with lactic acid and milk proteins to influence the fermentation of the malt for a milder, sweeter taste. Fans of the best British stouts (the excellent Young's Double Chocolate comes to mind most immediately, but there are others as well) and American microbrew stouts (and Sam Adams' passable-but-not-extraordinary Cream Stout) are already quite happy to drink 'milk' in their beer, knowingly or unknowingly. ;)

JBW said...

Agreed, eclecticradical. I've had stouts before. It was more the icebergs and seaweed that I was calling attention to.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wasn't even gonna try to argue the seaweed wasn't weird. :)