Sunday, 10 July 2011

Hitachino Nest Beer XH - Kiuchi Brewery Japan

This was one of my take outs from Craft Beer Co, I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this brewery but never found one of it's beers in London or on my travels so I didn't waste any time to part with my money. It is great that the Craft Beer Co offer such a vast range of bottle beers to take out and drink at your pleasure, its like having a specialist beer shop and pub all rolled into one. 

Craft beer is on the rise in Japan and the new breed of Japanese brewers are very passionate about brewing, overall the Japanese have given us some very exciting life changing products over the years and are known for there strong opinions yet so humble....well the folks I’ve met anyway. I suppose like most things they do they attach a lot of importance to the precise finish of a product, the tradition the ceremonial rituals like cha-no-yu (Tea Ceremony), I would love to see and I hope later this year experience first hand all this and I’m sure without any doubt the Japanese breweries will be a place to admire.

Kiuchi brewery have a history going back over 180 years and Hitachino Nest Beer brand began brewing in the early 1990s, the beer with the imposing Owl is now sold world wide with numerous awards under its belt. The recent earthquake affected the brewery with damage to buildings and huge loss of stock and luckily no one was injured, reconstruction is underway and they aim to have business back to normal very soon.

Hitachino currently brew 10 beers and the nations favorite Sake but with a twist, I got my hands on a Hitachino Nest Beer Extra High (XH) a Belgian styled beer that has is soaked in Sake barrels over a period. Pours cloudy amber with a small tan head, aroma woody lightly fruity malt yeast and light cloves. Flavour is caramel, spices and you pick up an oaky vanilla flavour. The Sake casks are really apparent which gives it a little warming finish plus the carbonation is very lively which adds to this complex beer.

My Rating:

Hitachino Nest Beer XH - Kiuchi Brewery (8%) 8/10

Defiantly a range of beers on my shopping list now..........may have to go to Japan and do some research :)

Check out the brewery website for info, you wont be disappointed.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Craft Beer Co a new London drinking establishment.

Situated just off of London’s leading bullion and diamond dealers sit's London latest gem the Craft Beer Co, opened a few weeks ago taking over the old Green King Clock House pub on the junction of Hatton Wall and Leather Lane. For those of you who know London well Leather Lane is a busy market you name it they sell it down here plus the City is not far, what also makes the location ideal is that there is a tube station one in every direction. Ideal when navigation skills are running slow after a jolly, at least we can get on a train.

What is very appealing about this pub is that its got (yep I counted) 16 cask ales and 21 kegged on offer and hold it over 150 different bottle beers from around the world, to a novice beer drinker walking in he/she would will be faced with the delightful task of tasting his or hers first decent beer. Don’t get me wrong most there are some very good London pubs which sell some sort of good quality ales yet this is not just a range of beers but an notice of intent by the pub a selection of some of the finest establish and up and coming artisan craft breweries.  

The decor is very pleasing to the eye as they have kept it minimal and at the same time not loosing the pub identity, mirror ceilings (not kinky ones) gave the impression of very high ceiling and together with the side windows made the place look much airier. Georgian Cast Iron Radiators, branded wallpaper and a mural scenic wall that is a shot from a brewery made the upstairs a very comfortable lounge bar type chill out zone.

You've got to give it to them not only have they thought about the beers on offer but also about creating the right ambiance to drink the beer, my only worry thou about this place is that on one night when I’ve had a few I might end up in one of the numerous jewelers shops close by and end up buying a wedding warned guys.

Destined to be added to loadsa tourist maps over the coming months The Craft Beer Co is defiantly here.