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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beer 30...

At Animal restaurant I tried a new beer called Hitachino Red Rice Ale. We asked the waiter to try the beer with the owl on the bottle (we spotted the people next to us guzzling it down) and he replied "You mean Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale.....the best beer in the world!!" How are you not gonna try it after that comment. I love trying new beers so the decision was easy and next thing you knew the owl was staring us in the face as if it was a challenge to drink it down. The first sip reminded me instantly of some Belgian beers I've tried recently and liked a lot so that was a good thing. With the second sip I could taste a little of the of the fruitiness which was ice but not to overpowering. Overall the beer had a great color, went down smooth and I would definitely have it again.

An offering that is particularly Japanese, or at least Asian, is the Red Rice Ale. The first record of red rice being used to brew beer dates from the Tang Dynasty in China. While many rice beer producers now use modern, technologically developed strains, Hitachino has decided to stick with the original. This is a far cry from using rice as an adjunct to stretch out a beer; the flavor of red rice is integral to the product. The brewing process requires polishing and milling of the rice grains just as sake-making does, and red rice is not the sole sugar source; pilsner malt is added after the rice’s starch molecules have been converted into sugars. The beer is actually fermented with both ale and sake yeasts. This complicated process creates a higher alcohol beer with strawberries, raspberries, and a streak of white pepper on both the nose and palate. The sake influence is noticeable but not predominant, making for a very smooth beer with a touch of glycerol on the finish. Source

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