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8 thirst-quenching craft beers to try at Jibiru Time! (19 Aug – 30 Sep 2021)

8 thirst-quenching craft beers to try at Jibiru Time! (19 Aug – 30 Sep 2021)

When you think about Japanese beer, chances are that well-known brands like Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin, or Ebisu would immediately come to mind. With large facilities and multiple breweries located across Japan, these mass-produced beers are easily found in not just restaurants and izakaya, but also at supermarkets and convenience stores. But if you think that’s all there is to Japanese beer, think again! 

 

More beer for all

In 1994, when the Japanese government softened their strict beer tax laws, breweries were soon able to obtain brewing licenses to produce over 60KL of beer annually, instead of the larger volume of 2,000KL previously. This means that smaller breweries were now able produce beer, allowing consumers to enjoy a much wider variety of locally-brewed beer known as jibīru (地ビール).

 

Now, with almost 500 microbreweries in the Japanese beer market, the options are endless! Some Japanese craft beers are just starting to make their debut in Singapore at the six-week showcase Jibiru Time!, including the likes of Kanazawa Beer, YOKOHAMA BEER, KAMAKURA BEER, and Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer. Not sure where to start? Read on to find out the eight must-try craft beers that you can find at Jibiru Time! in JAPAN RAIL CAFE.

 

1. Kanazawa Beer: Virgin Ale

(Image credit: Kanazawa Brewery)

 

  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • Brewery: Kanazawa Brewery
  • Beer Style: Pale Ale
  • Alcohol Percentage: 5%
  • Best enjoyed with: Kanazawa cuisine and sushi

 

The fruity aroma of the fresh ale yeast and richness from the malt and hops gives this beer its rich flavour. This beer is the brewery’s signature beer since its establishment.

 

2. Kanazawa Beer: Gold Bach

(Image credit: Kanazawa Brewery)

 

  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • Brewery: Kanazawa Brewery
  • Beer Style: Craft Lager
  • Alcohol Percentage: 6%
  • Best enjoyed with: mild-tasting meat

 

The only lager produced at the brewery, the Gold Bach maintains the refreshing and rich taste of a lager, while having a slight sweetness to it. 

 

3. GINGER LIQUOR

(Image credit: Kanazawa Brewery)

 

  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • Brewery: Kanazawa Brewery
  • Beer Style: Ginger Beer
  • Alcohol Percentage: 3%
  • Best enjoyed with: spicy dishes and desserts

 

A gluten-free carbonated alcohol that tastes similar to Ginger Ale. It is a ginger beer that is made with rice sugar, instead of malt which contains gluten. It has a refreshing scent of ginger, making it a perfect light-weight beer with only 3% of alcohol content. 

 

4. YOKOHAMA BEER: Yokohama Lager 

(Image credit: Yokohama Brewery)

 

  • Prefecture: Kanagawa
  • Brewery: Yokohama Brewery
  • Beer Style: Indian Pale Lager
  • Alcohol Percentage: 5%
  • Best enjoyed with: meat dishes and fried food

 

A lager beer with a refreshing aroma reminiscent of hop-derived citrus fruits, perfectly balanced with a firm bitterness. A blend that is representative of Yokohama Beer. 

 

5. YOKOHAMA BEER: Hefeweizen

(Image credit: Yokohama Brewery)

 

  • Prefecture: Kanagawa
  • Brewery: Yokohama Brewery
  • Beer Style: German Hefeweizen
  • Alcohol Percentage: 5.5%
  • Best enjoyed with: marinated fish, carpaccio, and roasts

 

With a distinct fruity aroma that resembles banana, this beer is popular with people who prefer lighter alcoholic beverages. Won the highest number of awards within the Yokohama Beer selection.

 

6. KAMAKURA DAIBUTSU: BAKUSYU ~YUKARI~

(Image credit: KAMAKURA BEER BREWERY)

 

  • Prefecture: Kanagawa
  • Brewery: KAMAKURA BEER BREWERY
  • Beer Style: Pale Ale
  • Alcohol Percentage: 5.5%
  • Best enjoyed with: light-bodied Japanese dishes including sushi and sashimi, seafood dishes lightly-dressed with olive oil, and camembert cheese.

 

This beer pays homage to the iconic Great Buddha of Kamakura. Gleaming golden yellow with a frothy white head, this pale ale has a balanced citrusy hop aroma and a bitter finish, making it remarkably refreshing and thirst-quenching. 

 

7. Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer: Koshihikari Ale

(Image credit: WAKU WAKU BREWERY)

 

  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • Brewery: WAKU WAKU BREWERY
  • Beer Style: Rice Ale
  • Alcohol Percentage: 4.5%
  • Best enjoyed with: sushi, white fish, chicken and other light meals, while enjoying the refreshing taste when paired with fried food and heavier dishes

 

Locally-grown Koshihikari rice is used to produce this light and refreshing beer, making the Koshihikari Ale popular amongst ladies or non-heavy drinkers. This beer pairs especially well with Japanese and other Asian cuisines. 

 

8. Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer: IPA

(Image credit: WAKU WAKU BREWERY)

 

  • Prefecture: Ishikawa
  • Brewery: WAKU WAKU BREWERY
  • Beer Style: Indian Pale Ale
  • Alcohol Percentage: 7%
  • Best enjoyed with: stewed dishes using coconut milk and heavily-seasoned meat dishes, it goes surprisingly well with spicy sambal or even the star anise herb, which is often used in Taiwanese cuisine. 

 

Made using twice as much of malt and hops as compared to regular beer, the dark-coloured Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer IPA has the light aroma of citrus and pine. The balance between the 4 types of hop—citra, cascade, centennial, and columbu makes this beer very easy to drink. 

 

Wait, there’s more!

(Image credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE)

 

If you thought the list ends here, you’re wrong. At Jibiru Time, you’ll also be able to relish on more beer from three other Japanese local breweries that have already cemented their places as craft beer staples from Japan such as Hitachino Nest from Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture, COEDO BREWERY from Saitama Prefecture, and ORION BREWERIES from Okinawa Prefecture. 

 

In-cafe promotions

(Image credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE)

 

To further sweeten the deal, you can now enjoy all of aforementioned beers, including other types of alcoholic beverages that are served at JAPAN RAIL CAFE with an all-day 1-for-1 promotion, campaign-long. That’s right, from 19 August to 30 September 2021, just mix and match your favourite alcoholic beverages for a sweet buy-1-get-1-free deal. Just make sure you’re fully vaccinated to dine-in, and promise us that you’ll drink responsibly, alright?

 

Friends who prefer enjoying their beer at the comfort of their own homes can also buy the bottled craft beers home and enjoy a 20% discount with every purchase of 3 bottles. Do note that the availability of beer may vary, while stocks last.

 

Event: Jibiru Night!

As part of Jibiru Time!, JAPAN RAIL CAFE is proud to present Jibiru Night where we will be sharing about our exciting showcase of Japanese craft beers from Ishikawa and Kanagawa prefectures. Gracing us with his presence is renowned beer journalist Fujiwara Hiroyuki, who will share his expertise with us as we introduce our four participating breweries’ craft beers—Kanazawa Beer, Kanazawa Hyakumangoku Beer, YOKOHAMA Beer, and Kamakura Craft Beer.

 

Event details:
Date: 20 Aug (Fri)
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: LIVE on Facebook & YouTube
Admission: Free!

 

About Guest Speaker:
FUJIWARA Hiroyuki (Beer Journalist)

Born in Osaka in 1958, Fujiwara graduated from Osaka Kyoiku University, and then spent a brief period as a middle school teacher before finding work as a professional illustrator. Deeply versed in Japanese food and beer culture, he has appeared in various media as a representative of the Japan Beer Journalists’ Association (JBJA). He is a certified beer connoisseur who has served as a judge at the World Beer Cup, a premier international beer competition, in addition to being a member of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and a lead teacher at the Beer Journalist Academy. His latest book, BEER HANDBOOK (Stereo Sound Publishing) was published to glowing reviews.



 

Date: 19 August to 30 September 2021
Venue: 5 Wallich St, #01-20 Guoco Tower, Singapore 078883

 

Header image credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE

 

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