/ Doug's Beer Republic /
Review: Hitachino Nipponia
Posted: 16 March 2015
Call Nipponia a gimmick. Or an experiment. This brew uses a revived Japanese breed of barley malt known as Kaneko Golden and a strain of hops bred in Japan called Sorachi Ace.
Avg price/liter: USD 17.85
ABV %: 6.5
Hitachino deserves credit
with their Nipponia.
Most recently, I wrote how
beer, regardless of where it's made,
has a European tag
attached to it. The brewing techniques and
ingredients, wherever the beer is made, seem to revolve
around European and now American ingredients.
America's involvement doesn't discount the claim.
America and all other Western countries obtained their
brewing traditions from the earliest European immigrants.
Nipponia is a stab at
proving that claim wrong. This brew uses a revived
brred of Japanese barley malt known as Kaneko Golden and a straigh of hops bred in Japan called Sorachi Ace.
On more than one site, this beer is known as Ancient
Nipponia. Ancient? In a country as old as Japan, is the year
1900 ancient? 1900 was when Kaneko Golden barley was
first developed. I suppose if you had a relative born
in 1900 who was still alive now, you'd be calling him or her
Call Nipponia a
gimmick. Or an experiment. Hitachino could have produced an other beer with the same old batch
of European or American hops and barley. They took a risk with this one to produce something quintessentially Japanese. And
believe it or not, it's a lager -- a pilsner to be exact.
It tastes nothing like one, but is brewed with the requisite
bottom-fermenting yeasts. Trust me that it will taste
like no pilsner you've ever had!
Weizen is better, and there's a reason why this variety of barley and this variety of hops isn't found in Japanese
brews all over the country. The Western types work better. So what? You want an authentic taste from the Land of the Rising Sun,
you've come to the right place.