Last Sunday a couple friends and I headed over to Nakazakicho Hall in Osaka’s Umeda area for a World Craft Beer Tasting event, that was on over the weekend of Sept 22/23 2012.
For 3000円 we each received 5 Drink Tickets and a commemorative glass, I for one was quite excited at the prospect of finally being able to drink some nice flavourful beers after spending the last couple months drinking the boring and flavourless watery swill Japanese seem to regard as beer.
Grapefruit IPA – North Island – Hokkaido ~6%
Very cloudy and orange in colour with little head. Hoppy bitter citrus, with a very distinctive sour grapefruit after-taste, almost Puckering. Smell is pleasant and fruity, made for a nice thirst quenching start to the day. 3.5/5
Tamamura-Honten – Shiga Kogen Miyama Blonde – Nagano ~6.5%
Mild, interesting and very easy drinking, sporting an almost non existent head. Thin mouthfeel, light bitter with notes of grains, hops and spices. That said it seemed quite similar to the Pure Blond beer brand I used to drink back in Australia so was a winner in my books. 4/5
Imperial Stout – Minoh Beer – Nagano ~8.5%
Not being a huge fan of stout in general I was quite impressed by this brew, with heavy roasted coffee, dark coco notes it almost tasted like a frothy frappé than a beer. Smooth and medium bodied, texture was very thick and oily, had a bitter chocolate malty finish. Bit heavy to down more than one or two however. 4/5
Racer 5 IPA – Bear Republic – USA ~7%
Very fruity and crisp. Easy to enjoy and a nice change of pace from a regular beer. Taste is sweet and light up front with a nicely balanced caramel hop bitterness in the middle. All in all clean, smooth and very easy to drink. Nice light carbonation. Finish is lingering bitterness with grapefruit and lemon. Perhaps the beer of the day and the only I tried brewed in the USA. No wonder it has sold out by the time I went together a second one! 4.5/5
Imperial Red Ale – Ise Kadoya Brewery – Ise ~6.3%
Reddish amber in colour and very cloudy. Had a nice amount of head, lots of caramel and toffee with a moderate bitterness, made for a nice final beer to finish the day up with.