Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Japan - Hitachino Nest White Ale

For Japan, I'm going to feature one of the finest and possibly most unique ales in the world.  One that can also be found in many drinking establishments in Baton Rouge, as well as in the bigger beer retailers and many of the plethora of sushi joints this town is overflowing with.  I'm talking of course about Hitachino Nest While Ale.  
I'm not sure when it was that I had my first try of this beer, but I remember where it was.  Slinky's, a little beer joint on Chimes St. and I was hooked ever since.  This has become one of my go-to beers and one I'd love to always keep stocked in the fridge.   It's a traditional Belgian ale, a witbier to be precise, with a Japanese kick.  Witbiers (such as Hoegaarden, Blue Moon, Allagash White, etc..) are typically known for a citrus feel to them, as well as spices such as coriander, but the Hitachino version really kicks it up a notch with some Japanese spices you don't find in the more traditional Belgian versions.  
It's also not a dark beer, a perfect entry into the world of craft beer for someone who wants more than bland swill but is afraid of the dark stouts or bold IPAs.  Something like a Hitachino White can really open the eyes to what beer can be while simultaneously not overwhelming a craft beer virgin.  

So next time you want something different and delicious, look for the owl on the label, and order up a Hitachino.

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