Beer 134/365 – Yona Yona Ao-oni IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.0%

Purchased at: Daniel @howtojaponese.com

What makes this beer different: More Pale Ale than IPA

Will I be drinking this again: Considering that I am pretty sure this is not sold in the US… no

Grade: B

3/22/2010: Ahh time for the first beer in my week of Japanese Craft Beer. Why did I pick this one? Honestly because it was the coolest looking one of the bunch haha. This beer on BA rates as a C+, which is kind of surprising to me. I think US beer drinkers have become jaded in their idea of what an IPA should be. IPA’s should be heavy on hops and light on the malt. Now if we were talking Imperial IPA that would be a different story.

All that being said Yona Yona Aooni does have a good hop to malt ratio when it comes to the “guidelines” of an IPA, the problem is there isn’t quite enough hops overall. The flavor is good but it seems a little bit watered down. Again I think thats because over the past couple months my taste buds have been bombarded with hoppy beers that my idea of IPA has been jaded a bit. For instance, the FFF Alpha King Pale Ale I just drank had much more hop action going on than this beer. I do also think this gets a low rating because as I just stated, it doesn’t quite fit the mold for an IPA. If this were classified as a Pale Ale on BA, I bet it would rank higher.

Overall this beer is very drinkable, just not a ton of flavor going on. Not a bad start to my Japanese beer week!

Picture of the day: Gotta love a Walmart Wedding.

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm  Comments (10)  
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Japanese Craft Beer Week!

3/22/2010: This week I will be drinking all craft beer straight form the Land of the Rising Sun. The beer was sent to me directly by Daniel @How to Japanese. I have always been interested in Japanese/Asian culture; martial arts (I’m a second degree black-belt in Tang Soo Do), sushi, their goofy TV shows, their cars (I used to have a sooped up Acura RSX, click here for a picture), and the list goes on. But I never knew that they had a craft beer scene at all, let alone a pretty good one. From what Dan tells me craft beer is really starting to boom in Japan.

A big thanks again to Dan as I am sure it was not cheap sending this to the states straight from Japan. I will really have to take good notes on these since there are two or three that aren’t even on beeradvocate.com. I put pasted a brief description (supplied by Dan) of each one of the beers below.

Yona Yona – Ao-oni IPA

This beer is fairly regularly available. I bought this one at a special grocery store about 15 minutes walk from my house. The other beers above I bought at a beer shop about half hour away by train. I guess this is a relatively reserved IPA by US standards, but very drinkable and just solid. The name means “Blue Demon.”

Baird Beer – Dark Sky Imperial Stout

The most “American” of the beers included. I think Baird’s been brewing it for a couple of years, but it’s still relatively new. It’s seasonal and not one of his regular lineup, which you can tell because of the bomber size. The regular lineup comes in 12oz bottles and not bombers.

Tamamura Honten – Takashi Imperial Stout

This is made by the same company as the Shiga Kogen lineup of beers. I like the Shiga Kogen IPA as well as the Miyama Blonde but included this because you’re a stout fan. I’ve had this beer only once and it was a while back, so I can’t say anything specific about it. Hopefully a decent beer.

Fujizakura – Chocolate Wheat

I wanted to send one of Fujizakura’s Rauchbiers. Either the regular Rauch or the Rauchbock, but they were out when I went to the store. Fujizakura makes an excellent lineup of German beers, all of which are really solid, so this beer should be decent if nothing else. One of my top 2-3 favorite breweries in Japan. It’s also an example of how Japan likes to do “chocolate” themed stuff for Valentine’s Day. Limited edition and pretty rare I’d say, even in Japan.

Sapporo – Chocolat Brewery

ROYCE is a famous chocolate company up in Hokkaido, which is where Sapporo is based. This beer is a travesty, but I include it to show you how easily duped the consumers are here. Most of the breweries in Japan have a normal 100% malt beer that is very decent and drinkable – just a basic lager. Then they have a cheaper “happoshu,” which isn’t technically beer by Japanese legal standards…more like a light beer or a malt liquor, but a lager just the same. Then they have these silly special edition beers. This one includes “cocoa nibs.” It’s regularly available at most grocery stores and convenience stores, but will probably disappear after Valentine’s Day.

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm  Comments (17)  
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