Saturday, August 09, 2003

Beer Blogging

I still haven't finished the post on coffee, so another short post on small ephemeral details of my life so I can say I posted something.

People who haven't been there don't always appreciate the extent to which Japan is a beer drinking country. Their most famous alcoholic beverage is saki or rice wine, but this isn't an everyday drink in the same way. They also drink a lot of whisky and a substantial amount of cognac, and their wine consumption has increased (from a very low base) in recent years, but the drink they use to wash their meals down (other than tea) is beer. In Japan, you won't find an eating establishment of any kind, including the humblest of railway station sushi restaurants or ramen noodle bars that will not also sell you a glass of beer if you ask for one. (Often this will be the only kind of alcoholic beverage they sell).

And Japanese beer is very good. It is like Australian beer in the sense that it is almost entirely lager, and is produced by a small number of large brewing conglomerates. Also like in Australia, the big brewers have in recent years introduced a variety of new but similar variants of their beers. (The equivalent of "Fosters Ice" and the like). But in general, Japanese beer is very good.

If I go to Colindale, a whole range of Japanese beers are available. At my local Sainsbury's, there is no such choice, but they do at least have Asahi Super Dry. (Their quotation marks). At the moment Sainsbury's have a special offer allowing customers to buy three four packs (ie 12 bottles) of any beer they sell in 330ml bottles for 10 pounds. At this price the Hoegaarden is selling out the moment they put it on the shelf (which is a shame because I like it) but the choice is still good. Last week I bought four bottles of Asahi Super Dry, four of Sainsbury's own brand Kolsch style lager (brewed exclusively for them at a microbrewery in Greenwich and recently voted the best lager brewed in Britain) and four bottles of Budweiser Budvar from Bohemia. In any event, I have just finished a bottle of the Asahi Super Dry. It is very dry. Very refreshing, also. I like it.

No comments:

Blog Archive