Monday, November 21, 2011


Thinking about it presently, the only Japanese craft beers I've ever bought or ordered have been that BAIRD/ISHII/STONE collaboration we reviewed a few weeks ago – and then only because the Stone imprinteur was upon it – and a couple of none-too-interesting beers from HITACHINO NEST. Apparently there’s a real revolution going on across the Pacific, and I’m all for it. Not knowing too much about the major players, and being somewhat impervious to some $20+ price tags I’ve seen on some fancy-lookin’ Japanese beers I’ve seen at HEALTHY SPIRITS, I decided to start small & inexpensive and go with a total unknown called ECHIGO RED. A classic case of getting what you pay for.

ECHIGO RED, made by Echigo Brewing in Niigata-Ken, Japan, is a simple, light red ale. It pours an opaque ruby color and is light across the board – color, syrup, caramel and flavor. Malty, with a faint wisp of hops and 6% of its content in alcohol. Grainy and almost macro-like. A total whiff and something not fit for evolved human consumption. 4/10.

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