Rikumo Happy Hour: Hitachino Nest - Red Rice

The Happy Hour with Rikumo series focuses on entertainment possibilities from a distinctly Japanese perspective. We’ve spent the last two installments tasting beers--catch up here and here.

After two sessions of trying dry beers, the Rikumo team was ready to try something more exotic. With its cloudy pink color, complex fruit flavor and sparkling finish, Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale was exactly what we had in mind. The flavor is hard to place--slightly citrus with hints of berries. Many craft beers in Japan are made by sake brewers and the traditional sake brewing method is evident in the taste.

Hitachino’s iconic owl logo caught our attention too. Hitachino is made by the Kiuchi brewery located in Naka, Japan. The owl is a symbol of good luck.

Prior to 1994, it was actually illegal to make craft beer in Japan. Only brewers producing over half a million gallons a year were granted licences. After tax laws relaxed, hundreds of microbreweries opened and now Japan has a vibrant craft beer scene. Join us next week when we taste Hitachino Nest - White Ale.