Continuing on with my recent theme of beers I picked up from the local City Super, tonight I cracked open another brew from Japan that I had never tried before. This one was bought the same night as the Ginga-Kogen from last week, and had been sitting in the fridge for a while, but the date on the bottom of the can indicated that it should be good still for another few months.
Tonight’s beer, the Echigo Blonde Ale, came from Land Brauerie Echigo-Bräu from Nigata, Japan. The Blonde comes in a white 350ml can with gold and red print and a ram’s head in the center. This is a classic Blonde Ale / Golden Ale, with 5% ABV. The beer poured with a deep, golden color, almost amber. It started with a nice head, but that very quickly disappeared, leaving no trace it was ever there. The beer also did not offer up much in the way of an aroma. Perhaps this was due to the beer coming straight from the fridge, as I definitely feel I served this one way too cold.
The first tastes of the beer did not amount to much, again, not a surprise due to the temperature. Initially, the carbonation itself was all I felt on my taste buds, without any actual flavors. I was drinking this along with some home made kushikatsu (Japanese-style, deep-fried pork skewers), and do have to admit, after a minute or two, the beer seemed to go very well with the panko-crumb coating and tonkatsu sauce. At this point, the flavors started to come out a bit, with some malty, fruity sweetness. Nothing special, but drinkable.
Would I go go out of my way to order this beer if I saw it on a menu? Probably not. But this one was enough that I’d take the time to try some other offerings from the brewery, and wouldn’t pass up another in a pinch. I would still gladly choose this beer over most of the large breweries, especially if I have the time to let it sit a few minutes to reach the proper temperature.