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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review:  Hitachino Nipponia

Hitachino Nipponia 
Posted: 16 March 2015  Beer Republic 7.5 
Hitachino Nipponia from Japan 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 Type: Lager   

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 ancient.        

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!    

Their 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. 

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16 March 2015
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