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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Coedo Beniaka

     
Coedo Beniaka
Posted: 3 June 2015  Beer Republic 5.5 
Coedo Beniaka from Japan Coedo's Beniaka is an unusual first Coedo for me to try.  It's brewed using Kwagoe's famous Kintoki sweet potato.  Beniaka is Japanese for crimson red. Coedo says that Beniaka is meant to be savored at a leisurely pace.  Could someone tell my father-in-law that?    
Avg price/liter: USD 14.97   ABV %: 7.0  Type: Lager   
       


Beer beautiful.  That's Coedo's simple concept.  Thirty minutes from Tokyo by train, in Saitama Prefecture, is the town of Kwagoe, population 342,000.  Its main street, filled with clay-walled warehouse-style buildings, still looks like an old town from the Edo Period, which ended in 1867.  Kwagoe was renowned as the culinary heart of Edo and was thus given the cutesy nickname of Ko-Edo, which means Little Edo.   Change the K to a C and get rid of the hyphen, you've got a slick brand name.     

Coedo was one of the seemingly infinite breweries to sprout up after legal restrictions for brewing beer were relaxed in Japan in 1994.  It's generally regarded that this first wave of breweries was egged on by lots of hype without much skill to back it up.  Many of these sh-tty craft breweries went belly up.       

Coedo was one of the breweries to soldier on. They were determined to diversify Japanese beer at all costs, even at $15/liter (the cost of this beer when imported into other countries). Prior to craft beers, Japanese beer meant a pale European lager with a crisp taste. Coedo wanted to display beer of all hues.

The result:  each of Coedo's brews is named after a classic Japanese hue.     

Coedo's Beniaka is an unusual first Coedo for me to try.  It's brewed using Kwagoe's famous Kintoki sweet potato.  Beniaka is Japanese for crimson red.   Japanese law classifies Beniaka as a happoshu (malt beverage) due to the inclusion of the sweet potato as a secondary ingredient. You wouldn't care what it's called as long as it's good.      

Coedo says that Beniaka is meant to be savored at a leisurely pace.  Could someone tell my father-in-law that?  He snuck one out of the refrigerator and, like anything with alcohol in it, chugged at a furiously fast pace, probably not even realizing there was a fragrant sweet potato mixed within.        

Beniaka won't blow you away.  However, you will smile at Coedo for trying to brew a local Japanese inspired beer using insights from European brewing methods.  That smile will probably be enough to get you to open up a second bottle.               

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 The Complete Beer Republic Index


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3 June 2015
 
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