Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unazuki beer from Toyama

One of the great things about admitting to friends and family that you're a beer nerd is that they tend to think of you when they're on the road or otherwise come across new varieties of beer. This is especially wonderful since I live in rural Japan and it's generally difficult to discover far-flung brews.

A week ago, I tried two beers from Helios in Okinawa, including a very nice pale ale that was less pale and more so copper. It was a very medium body, not super hoppy, but balanced enough to earn a high mark in my amateur beer reviewer head.

At the moment, I'm enjoying another score, an alt style beer from Unazuki in Toyama-ken. It pours a dark copper color, similar to the Helios pale, and the first sip offered a nice, dry finish after a light caramel malt and hop presence. Now that it's warmed up a little, I'm getting a bit more fruity tones and the beer is growing on me.

Another score today: A book on Japanese craft beer from the local library. It informs that Unazuki is form Kurobe-shi, where its beers source malts and other local ingredients. Their lineup, while not extensive, has won acclaim at some beer festivals.

A visit to this area is now officially on my list-of-places-to-go, which exists only in my head. Unazuki has a restaurant that features their beer plus a curry made to go with beer.

Has anyone out there been to Kurobe or tried this beer?

1 comment:

  1. I found out your blog while I was surveying about japanese beers. Sorry for my intromission, but I thought I have to drop something in. I was studying in Toyama in 2006. At that time I was not into beer as I am today but I've found out this one as the perfect one after enjoying a roten-buro onsen in a cold winter in Unazuki. The beer is warming and full of fruity notes. It was one of my first craft beer experiences in life and I have to say it was gorgeous! Highly recommended!