Meiji Fukkoku Ji Bi-ru (Japan Beer) by Ishikawa Brewery
The Meiji Fukkoku Ji Bi-ru (i.e. "Meiji-Era Style Local Beer") is a pale ale from Ishikawa Brewery.
Ishikawa Brewery, known for their Tama-No-Megumi beers, is a brewery based in the western part of Tokyo well outside the main metropolitan area.
This beer, which features prominent lettering with "JAPAN BEER" on the label, is a remake of a Meiji-Era beer and features a sweet and earthy body with a firm aroma. This beer feels slightly English in it's bitter hops but has an interestingly balanced citrus-y / wheat beer character to it that makes it a very enjoyable beer.
The label informs us that this beer was first brewed in 1887 (Meiji Year 20) during one of Japan's first beer booms where 150 to 200 breweries were opening up their doors. This beer was made to show what a more common ale was in that time, which in the early Meiji Era was more geared towards an English style ale (German-style beers were to become more popular later in the Meiji Era).
This delicious beer has a caramel color with a sweet flavor to accompany it but is well balanced by it's stronger English bitter hops. A great beer for any occasion.
Style: (English?) Ale
Authors Notes: A great beer that was a lucky find in Ishikawa Brewery's store. Initially I was interested in this beer just for the label but the history behind it really drove me to look into beer styles in different eras of Japan. This beer tastes smooth and reminds me of a fine ale stuck between a bitter and a fruity wheat with some grassy hints.