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February 27, 2003

Beer of the Night Hitachino

Beer of the Night

Hitachino Nest White Ale, from Japan. Curse you, Axis of Weasels, for forcing me to drink Japanese beer.

Not that there's anything particularly wrong with Nipponese Beer, on the whole. Japanese brewmasters produce some fine lagers. It's ales, rather than lagers, that make or break a country's reputation, though. That's why England, Belgium, Germany and the former Czechoslovakia have such strong brewing reputations. I'd hesitate to rank them in any sort of order, though Belgium would be at the top on any list. It's the second through fourth spaces that would cause me mental grief to try and sort out. I'd put the U.S. fifth, and Canada sixth.

That particular ranking is guaranteed to produce some hate mail in my inbox from residents of our neighbor to the north, so let me explain. Not that it will matter, I suppose.

On average, Canada produces better beer than the United States. But on the whole, the U.S. produces more quality beers than Canada does. A bigger population means more brewers, and more brew overall.

Sorry guys. If it's any consolation, it was a Molson that started me down the beer snob trail.

Now, speaking beer snobbery, I suppose I ought to make a stab at describing the Hitachino.

It's overwhelmingly citrusy. Now, I know white ales are supposed to have a nice citrus overtone to them, but it's usually pretty subtle, and usually leans towards the lemon end of the citrus scale. The Hitachino tastes like someone squeezed an entire tangerine into the bottle before it was capped. The color of the beer, a very orangy yellow, supports that theory. The tangerine taste doesn't make it a bad beer, and I suspect that particular essence was chosen in an attempt to make this ale stand out from the legion of Hoegaarden and Allagash imitators, but I personally think it should be a bit more subtle. It strikes me as the Japanese Beer equivalent of Engrish.

Please enjoy HITACHINO NEST BEER with fantastic food, we are sure that you will spend relax and cozy time. Having drinking Nest Beer on your left hand and eating Japanese traditional food on your right hand, isn't it wonderful?

Well, we present some of nice but simple everyday Japanese food which are totally matched with our Nest beer, So that you will be able to love more and more about our Hitachino Nest Beer.

That said, I imagine that the Hitachino Nest would be a perfect beer to drink while smoking. It's got a very clean, fresh accent, something that would be perfect for cutting across cigarette or cigar smoke. I'll give it a five.

For comparison's sake, Budweiser gets a two.

Posted by Bigwig at February 27, 2003 10:58 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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