Here’s a new one from Hitachino, a part of Kiuchi Shuzou, LTD from Ibaraki-ken Naka-gun, Japan. The Kiuchi Brewery was established in 1823 by Kiuchi Gihei, the headman of Konosu village. His family was collecting rice from farmers as land taxes from the Mito Tokugawa family. He began his brewery with the idea of using remaining rice stocks in the warehouse to produce sake. In 1996, the company started brewing beer with the capacity of 1,500 barrels per year.
This new release is Ancient Nipponia. Nipponia makes use of the Sorachi Ace hops developed at the Sapporo Brewery in Japan in 1988. In addition to the hops, the malts actually have a interesting history. As Hitachino explains, the “Kaneko Golden” malt used in this beer is a new malt cross pollinated between the European “Golden Melon” and the Japanese barley malt “Shikoku” that disappeared around 50 years ago. In an attempt to bring this malt back to life, Mr. Kiuchi acquired 16 seeds from the Department of Agricultural History in Japan. Kiuchi planted those seeds in a small area near the brewery 5 years ago. Over the years, seeds were harvested and regrown into a larger harvest. The 2009 harvest finally yielded enough “Kaneko Golden Malt” to use in Ancient Nipponia.
Style: Specialty. Style ambiguous. Golden ale/Pale Ale
Taste Expectations: Lemon from Sorachi Ace hops. Citrus & honey. Malt sweetness with light touch of sour.
Availability: 550 ML bottles. Rare draft offerings