Beer connoisseurs are willing to try a variety of brews from different countries. While some prefer German labels, others may prefer the thick richness of the Irish label Guinness or choices from Mexico’s top breweries. Japan is also known for its high-quality beers. If you’ve not yet tried them, you’re missing out. Here are the ten best Japanese beers money can buy, for your consideration.
10. Baird Dark SkyImperial Stout beer
Baird Dark Sky Imperial Stout is a Japanese stout with an alcohol by volume of 10 percent. It’s a craft beer that is offered freely in the taproom in Culver City. The Harajuku Taproom is one of the few places you’ll find Japanese beer on tap. This beer is best for beer drinkers who love the taste of chocolate and coffee. You’ll find notes of the two flavors on the nose and the palate. You get a leveling effect from the bitterness of the hops in a decently balanced stout. They use floor-malted Maris otter, amber, caramel, and a Scottish ale strain of yeast.
9. Echigo Koshihikari
Echigo Koshihikari is a Japanese beer that takes it down a notch from the Baird Dark Sky beer. It’s half the alcohol by volume at five percent. It’s brewed from Koshihikari, a type of rice with short grains and exceptional quality. The pale rice lager offers a delightful experience with tasting notes of lemon, floral hops, and malt with a clean and dry finish. It’s an alternative for beer drinkers with an allergy to wheat products.
8. Hitachino Nest Beer Japanese White Ale
Hitachino Nest Beer began brewing in 1994 after Japanese laws and regulations loosened. It produced its first batch for commercial sale in 1996. It’s a craft beer in the white ale category, brewed with wheat. It’s one of the many types of beer produced by Hitachino Nest Beer, and one of the most popular luxuries labels the country offers.
7. Asahi Super Dry
Asahi Super Dry contains five percent alcohol by volume. It’s a Japanese beer brewed to be consumed with a meal. It offers the tasing notes of bitter hops and grains but in a light and delicate delivery. It goes with most types of Japanese food. Its sharp aftertaste is an exceptional palate cleanser to help you more fully enjoy a meal all the way through.
6. Yoho Brewing Tokyo Black
Yoho Brewing’s Tokyo Black is a Japanese beer that contains five percent alcohol by volume. It’s one of the oldest labels in Japan’s craft beer industry, founded in Nagano in 1996. The Tokyo Black label is best for beer drinkers who enjoy a robust porter. The texture is smooth and it offers notes of bitter hops, sandwiched in among a smokey aesthetic with chocolate overtones.
5. Kirin Ichiban Shibori
Kirin Ichiban Shibori is a premium Japanese beer with a unique taste that distinguishes it from the average brew. It’s made with 100 percent malt content, brewed with the first press method of brewing. It contains just three ingredients: water, hops, and malt. The brewing method produces a crisp introduction to the tongue followed by the richness of the hops and malt with bittersweet notes. It offers an initial wake-up sensation followed by a smooth finish. Kirin Ichiban Shibori is one of the top-selling labels in Japan.
4. Sapporo Yebisu Beer
Sapporo’s Yebisu Beer is among the most expensive Japanese beers you’ll find, but it’s worth every penny. It’s a premium label that offers a lovely aroma, followed by a lively flavor. It’s mildly sweet combined with slight bitterness with a grassy overtone. Sapporo breweries go back to the year 1876 when Seibei Nakagawa was trained by German lager brewers.
3. Sapporo Premium
Sapporo Premium is the next step up in luxury from Yebisu Beer. It’s 4.9 percent alcohol by volume with tasting notes of sweetness, bitter hops, and malt. Sapporo is one of the oldest breweries in Japan, and the most beloved. It’s a lager-style beer that is the most popular and common in Japan and the United States. The best features of Sapporo Premium are the faint sweetness at the start and its clean finish.
2. Ise Kadoya IPA
Ise Kadoya is a Japanese IPA with healthy alcohol by volume count of seven percent. It’s a label that is popular in Japan and as an export. It’s crafted of three different varieties of hops, delivering a hint of citrus sweetness with the richness of malt and the bitter kick of three kinds of hop types. They design it with a hardy body as an import without losing its quality.
1. Kawaba Snow Weizen
Kawaba Snow Weizen contains five percent alcohol by volume. The brewers craft it with a unique processing method as an unfiltered wheat brew best served in the old standard Weizen. Kawaba Snow Weizen begins with a slightly sweet start. You discern notes of banana and citrus that briefly rise and fall. It’s a soft and smooth beer for those who prefer a wheat beer with a hint of lemon and banana. It’s one of the most difficult Japanese beers to find online or elsewhere.