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.

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Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm  Comments (10)  
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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sorry dude, it’s not an American IPA. It’s based on an English IPA.
    Kind of based on the 18th Century style, WAY before the hoppy US styled IPAs came about.
    I gotta admit, taking it as an American IPA, I’d probably make the same summation.
    However, it’s not a bad beer for the actual style.
    Its not meant to be big and boldy hoppy, just hopped to hide off tastes and to preserve it for the long journey to the Indian continent.
    It’s a good one to go back to from time to time.
    I’m British, so I have a liking for the maltier or gentler style though I’m certainly turning into a hop head fast!

    • Oh oops! Sorry all I had to go off of was the classification on Beeradvocate.. They list it as an American IPA

      http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/3553/47892

      • That’s Beer Advocate for you. Not bad for American beers but once you go international, things get less accurate.
        I also use ratebeer to compare reviews. There aren’t that many members of either out in Japan, so if someone describes a beer incorrectly, it’s often left like that.
        No worries, dude.
        Great pic. Good blog.

  2. Yeah, I forgot to mention that they changed the name to Ao-oni very recently…in the last 3-4 years. It used to be called “18th Century India Pale Ale,” so I guess it’s definitely of the English IPA ilk. It reminds me a little of Harpoon IPA from Boston, which is the first one I ever had, so I’m a big fan of this one. Probably one of the best beers for the price point in Japan.

    • It’s about 20yen more than the normal beers they have but its a nice one and at 7% got more oomph than most. It does have the malty alc taste, behind the gently to medium hops. I remember and liked the 18th century IPA they brought out. Loved the design on the can too. All maritime. I like that they tried to make an old English IPA. They7ve brought out a few interesting seasonals, a biere de garde, 18th century IPA, porters, etc. They have 2 young energetic brewers working for them now. Nice guys. Gotta get back in touch with them and see what they are coming up with next.

      • I love the biere de garde style. Thats one I wish that would catch a little bit of steam. Not a lot of good biere de garde to choose from over here.

    • Cool I will have to see if I can contact BA to get them to change it

  3. Tried once when i was in Japan. Seeking to find it again for some friends. Any person in possession of it who i can contact?

    • I am a canadian dude in osaka have been for 10 yrs I guess i can send you some.. I am a beer craft beer drinker and I thought I would give this a try..

  4. Hello. I recently moved from America to Japan to teach English, and this beer has made me happy. Not hoppy…happy. 🙂 I absolutely love the smooth finish and wonderful balance of hoppy-ness to malty-ness! It tastes almost a bit like a cappuchino brew because of the complexity and sweetness, yet this is perfectly offset by the slight bitterness of the beer. This comes after a few weeks of only drinking the typical “Sunkus” Asahi (not bad, either) and Sapporo. So, of course, I was very happy to find this. Thanks.


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