Daily beer project

Kirin Ichiban

Posted in Imports by dailybeerproject on April 21, 2010

Went out for sushi again last night with a colleague and a client. Since the Kirin Light I had last time wasn’t all that exciting, I decided to give the full-strength Kirin Ichiban a try.

Before I get into the review, though, if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering what a kirin is. According to the label, it’s a mythical beast that’s half deer and half dragon. Because when someone plays word association games and says “half deer, half dragon,” my first thought is “great beer.” Am I alone in this? Ichiban, incidentally, means “first” or “number one.”

My colleague (who also happens to be following this project) asked me how it was. I said “pretty good, but it sort of tastes like Budweiser.” Which makes sense, since both are brewed with barley, rice, hops, yeast, and water. It made even more sense when we looked closely at the label and noticed “brewed under direction of the Kirin brewmaster by Anheuser Busch Company.” Which makes these imports somehow seem a bit less exotic. Especially when they’re not even imported (though that would likely result in the beer being fresher).

Wanna know what other imports are brewed by Anheuser Busch? Bass, Becks, Czechvar, Hoegaarden, Leffe, and Stella Artois. Not only that, but MillerCoors is behind Aguila, Cristal, Cusquena, Molson Canadian, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, and Tyskie. A number of bottled microbrews are distributed by these big breweries, often because the big boys have an equity stake. I rode my bike past the local Coors distributor a while back and noticed a Wasatch/Squatters truck parked at the dock, so I suspect the brewer’s cooperative is getting some distribution help from the silver bullet. It probably makes more financial sense than investing in distribution infrastructure, so if it keeps the cost of the beer lower, I don’t mind a bit.

Whether they taste like Budweiser or not, Japanese beers are awesome with sushi. But for the sake of science, it’s important to know which beer goes best. So I also ordered a bottle of Sapporo. Sapporo wins. Next time out, I’ll do a back-to-back shootout between Sapporo and Asahi Super Dry to determine the grand champion from the land of the rising sun.


One Response

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  1. Blackdog said, on April 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I am telling you… You need to have greasy Chinese food and a Budweiser. There is something magical. Sushi and Sapporo is good. So is Saki (sp) but Budweiser and deep fried goodness are a marriage that is tough to beat.

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