Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Echigo Beer Pub, Premium Red

And so the Japanese beer series continues; this time, with Echigo Beer Pub's Premium Red Ale.  I picked this up at the Venice Whole Foods, which interestingly enough has a very fine selection of Japanese beers.  If you go there for some, don't look in their usual beer aisle.  You'll need to head over to the sushi bar on the deli side, where they have a mix of interesting sakes and beers.

I haven't heard anything about this brewery and I'm yet to have a Red from any Japanese brewer, so that's why I happened on this particular bottle.  First a few notes on the Red style.  

The American Red and Amber are really very much the same beast and was one of the first styles to emerge out of the American Craft Beer movement.  The goal is to create a very drinkable medium bodied beer that has a fairly even balance between the malts and hops.  You might have a little floral aroma, but most of your hops are going to be concentrated into a bitter finish.  Malts should dominate the aroma and should skew to caramel flavors.

The aroma is definitely caramel, but not overwhelming.  Head retention is about zero, it collapsed almost immediately after I poured it.  Color is a deep amber with shades of red.  The body is surprisingly thin and the mouthfeel is somewhat alkaline.  While a lighter body does make for a more drinkable beer, this is too delicate.  The carbonation really cuts through the malts and creates a cider-like quality.  Part of this may be because of the caramel and apple flavors in the malts.  The hops take a bit of work to detect, and it actually took me a few swigs before I could really grasp hold of them because I was so distracted by the unorthodox mouthfeel.  The bitterness arises very naturally from the malts and it's a decent mix, but the hops are incredibly short lived.  

I suppose you could say this is an incredibly drinkable beer with its light body and low alcohol content, but the all around flavors are simply too delicate to really want to make you drink it in the first place.

Premium Red: *

1 comment:

brews_clues said...

Given the crisis happening in Japan right now, it feels wrong to post about Japanese beer and have no mention of it. You can donate or support the relief efforts in Japan through the Red Cross here: