An Ode to Beer

Ah, yes. Beer…so lovely and so yummy.

But! I’m going to admit that I’m not really much of a beer drinker once fall hits. Once the cooler months come, I switch my poison of choice to wine. Since fall is about to descend upon us, I’m about ready to stock up on my bottles of red.

Before I do that, though, I just wanted to give a shout out to this beverage that got me through the hot summer months and the days of hard work.

I feel like I should. Our city is named for it, after all.

So let’s jump right in. Sapporo Beer is the go-to drink for most people who live here in Hokkaido.

Recently, though, there were a couple of new ones that I found at the grocery store. With the combination of commercials running recently on TV and the Limited Time/Edition marketing, I caved in and bought them:

The first product is Gold Star from Sapporo Brewery. This one lied to me, though. It’s not beer. It’s Happoushuu (発泡酒はっぽうしゅ), which is not pure beer but a combination of some kind of liqueur with low malt beer. Not too bad, but I don’t like that it’s not pure beer.

Then there’s this really cool can that I loved the outward design. Of course, I bought this purely for the packaging and not the taste. Here’s the front and back shots. It’s a lager, if that helps you guys. I don’t know how to describe the taste. I am not that refined so I wouldn’t be able to give you a proper drink report.

Then there are the ones I’ve seen that are all about capturing the taste of fall. I know, it fits into the gentei category that always suckers me in. This one is by Suntory, which doesn’t get a lot of love from beer connoisseurs, but I happen to love their ale. I think it’s good and I love how flavorful and fruity it is. Normally, the can is blue, but for the fall season, it’s a special autumn color.

Then there’s Ebisu below, that according to my snobby beer friends, is the best beer in all of Japan. This beer is labeled as Ebisu and you’d think it was from a separate beer brewery, but you’d be wrong. It’s actually all part of the Sapporo company. The gold can is the standard and it’s meant to be brewed strictly according to the “real” process of producing beer with the highest quality hops. The blue one is a premium ale. Again, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the difference is 🙂

Then there’s beer for the common people. If you’re in Hokkaido, you’ll see a lot of Seicomarts around, which is a convenience store chain that is local. They sell this beer that is super cheap at around ¥120, but it’s quite decent. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Oh, and my snack of choice to go with all these beers is….

Wasabi kakipi. Kakipi is a kind of a small, crispy cracker pop(?) that’s hallow inside and mixed with peanuts. They have the plain version, which is really bland. I prefer the wasabi-flavored one. When you eat them together, there’s a golden ratio. It should be 3:1, three kakipi with one peanut. But that’s the opinion of just one person, though. You need to figure out what works for you.

However, my favorite beer has always been Asahi:

I love it draft, canned, or even bottled. This one, I can tell you that it’s got that strong bite that always gets me in the back of my throat. It tastes the same as all beers 🙂 but that bite just gets me.

So there you have it, a post about beer. I hope this made you want to go out and grab a can or a glass.

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