Alerting New Zealand! You have wasted your hop on a terrible beer-like beverage that is currently on sale in Japan. (The beer advertising says “New Zealand Hop Included” on the can.)
Ah, another season and another new seasonal Japanese beer. Guess what? Yes, it’s a lager. Actually, “Sparkling Hop” isn’t even beer. It’s happoshu, a beer-like beverage with low malt content. It’s popularity is primarily driven by the fact it falls under a different taxation law than beer and is thus about 30% cheaper than the usual mediocre real beer lagers.
I was recently recommended Hitachino Nest beer by a friend. It’s brewed in Ibaraki prefecture, about 1.5 hours away from Tokyo by train. I’m looking forward to giving that a try. What I really want to do though is visit their brewery and make my own beer. I’ve been dreaming of recreating the legendary hazelnut porter I drank in Arcata, CA a few years back.
In case you were wondering – yeah, I do have some experience in brewing. At the end of the production of the Conan game, some Nihilistic employees made beer at the end of the project. Led by Stephen the brew master, we came up with two master beers:
Camel Punch Stout and Conan Nut Brown Ale
(Conan is a trademark of Conan Properties International)