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WED 11/19, 5pm: Hitachino Flight Night

Kegs of Hitachino beer from Japan are like white whales. We know they exist, we’ve just never seen one in the wild. Stories of tappings are rare, and can never be verified. We’ve wrangled 4 of these kegs from the far reaches. Here’s what’s on deck for the night:

Hitachino Nest White Ale (witbier, 5%abv): refreshing, mildly hopped witbier brewed with coriander, nutmeg, orange peel, and fresh orange juice. Its citrusy, sweet-fruity-tart (natural acidity of the fresh orange juice) flavor profile makes it a unique Japanese interpretation of the Belgian Witbeer style. Perle & Styrian Golding hops are used.

Hitachino Nest Anbai Plum (7%abv): literally means “Salty Plum” and the word is also used to describe the stat of taste and flavor. “Anbai” means “just right”. Anbai Ale is brewed based on the high alcohol version (7%) of the siganture beer Hitachino Nest White Ale, infused with locally grown green sour plum (ume), and finished up with a pinch of Japanese sea salt (moshio). The balance of sourness, bitterness, comes from the plum and subtle saltiness, great umami taste of the sea salt is “just right!”

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale (7%abv): complex sake-like flavors with malt sweet notes. Hints of strawberries in the nose and palate. An intriguing mix of sake, malt , and bitter notes in the finish. Chinook hops are used. The brewing process starts with the polishing, washing, soaking and steaming of rice (25% of total grain bill) to break down complex type b-starch molecules into short type a ones. Only type A starch molecules can be converted into sugar by the use of sake yeast. Afterwards, pilsner malt is added to the mashing process. After lautering, Hallertauer hops are added in the brew kettle. Further complicating matters, two different yeasts (i.e., ale and sake yeast) must be used as regular beer yeast is not able to convert the rice sugars into alcohol. A fermentation time of two weeks is followed by a maturation period of four weeks. Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale is filtered, but left unpasteurized.

Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale (eisbock, 9%abv): brewed in the tradition of a true eisbock where the brew is concentrated by allowing the water to freeze (but not the alcohol). After the mashing of five different malts (Pale, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate , and wheat), four differing types of hops (Styrian Goldings, Hallertauer, Tettnang, and Saaz) are added in the brew kettle for bitterness & aroma. Five different spices complete the Commemorative Ale recipe: coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla beans. After a freezing period of three days at 24°F (-4°C) the frozen water & protein are removed. The bottle conditioning will then ring in a six month maturation time.

After this night, you can say you’ve seen them in the wild, and in fact, tasted them (which is way better than seeing them). We’ll tap them all at 5pm. Single pours are available, and flights of 4 can also be had to try ’em all.

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