Echigo IPA is dominated by herbacious, piney, and pungent hops with a fair amount of sharpness. Maltiness is modest but provides balance. There is also a somewhat elevated level of carbonation keeping things refreshing for this medium-bodied ale. These persistent bead and all-malt ingredients combine to make for a long-lasting head.
Specific tasting notes for Flying IPA include citrus oil, fresh flowers, light caramel, honeyed malt, steamed barley, and dried apricot.
Overall, Echigo Flying IPA is a very drinkable example of the American IPA style. And true to Japanese craft brew form: it’s a bit light for its category, very smooth, and complex.
About the producer
One of Japan’s major craft beer companies and its first beer microbrewery is Echigo Brewery located in the heart of Niigata Prefecture, a region known for its quality rice and sake production, this brewery formerly produced sake for over a century. When the government reformed the liquor tax law in 1993, the brewery established a beer production factory in order to put more unique types of beer into Japan’s beer market. The business was finally launched in 1995.
Sake and beer are both alcohol brewed from grains, but the production process and required skills are different. Echigo Beer went through a process of trial-and-error to find the best flavor for each product. Not only producing stout, Weizen, ale and pilsner, they invented unique, lager beer made from Niigata's super-premium, short-grain rice calledKoshihikari.
Using a time-consuming decoction method originated in Germany, Koshihikari Echigo Beer delivers sweetness from the rice variety to satisfy even non-dry beer drinkers. It contains 5 percent alcohol, has a crisp, refreshing flavor, and flows exceptionally smoothly for superb drinking enjoyment. It goes well with all Japanese dishes, especially sushi.