Hitachino Red Rice Ale
From Japan's most prestigious brewery, this red rice ale is brewed with barley, red rice and sake yeast. The brewing process starts with the polishing, washing, soaking and steaming of rice (25% of total grain bill) to break down starches. Afterwards, pilsner malt is added to the mashing process. After lautering, Hallertauer hops are added in the brew kettle. Further complicating matters, two different yeasts (i.e., ale and sake yeast) must be used as regular beer yeast is not able to convert the rice sugars into alcohol. A fermentation time of two weeks is followed by a maturation period of four weeks. Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale is filtered, but left unpasteurized.
about the producer
It may surprise you that some of Japan's best beers are made by a 200 year-old sake brewery. In fact, beer and sake are not too dissimilar. Both are built on a mash of grain and water, fermented with yeast, and both are best enjoyed with a good meal.
Kiuchi - which still brews sake today - added their beer brewery in 1996, after the Japanese government overhauled a complicated tax law that for years had effectively prohibited commercial beer making by all but a few large corporations. Within a year they had won a Gold Prize for their Amber Ale at a competition in Osaka and haven't looked back since.