Sunday, February 15, 2015

Top 10 Japanese Stouts and Porters

Recently, I have read an article by Men's Journal that listed their favorite twenty stouts. After reading the article, I was pondering what were the top ten Japanese stouts and porters.  In the recent years, I have been enjoying and, also from time to time, craving a decent poured stout.  I have tried some really good Japanese stouts and porters.  These are my Top Ten Japanese Stouts and Porters!!  There is no particular order.  I enjoy all of these beers equally.

Imperial Stout

Brewery: Minoh Brewery
ABV: 8.5 ABV

Pours a jet black with a foamy tan/brown head.  There are notes of coffee, chocolate, slight vanilla, slight chocolate, and roasted notes in the aroma.  This is a smooth full bodied beer. 

Imperial Stout

Brewery: Morita Shizo Kinshachi Brewery
ABV: 8.5%

Pours a nice black with a foamy off white head.  There are chocolate and roasted malt notes in the aroma.  This is a nice full body beer that is smooth and easy to drink.  This is a nice welcome surprise from Kinshachi.

Tokyo Black

Brewery: Yo-ho Brewery
ABV: 5%

Pours a nice rich black with a foamy tan head.  This is a nice well balanced beer that accentuates the hops with the roasted malt and chocolate notes.  For a canned beer, this is an excellent porter. 

Kurofune Porter

Brewery: Baird Beer
ABV: 6%

This is a nice medium bodied porter that has hints of bittersweet chocolate and coffee.  It is smooth easy drinking beer.

Sweet Vanilla Stout

Brewery: Sanktgallen
ABV: 6.4%

When opening the beer, you will notice the vanilla notes wafting from the beer.  There are heavy vanilla notes with some coffee and roasted malt in the background.  This is a nice creamy stout.

Kokuto Sweet Stout

Brewery: Sanktgallen
ABV: 6.5%

This is a refined stout that has hints of brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt notes. There is some sweetness that comes through.  This is due to the addition of the Okinawa brown sugar.  It is a light medium bodied stout.

Espresso Beer

Brewery: Niigata Brewery
ABV: 8%

When opening the beer, the aroma of coffee will be wafting throughout the room.  This beers pours a nice black with a nice thick foamy brown head.  The roasted malts and coffee are ever present in this one.  There is a hint of bitterness/sourness found in the beer.


Brewery: Echigo
ABV: 7%

This is a decent stout.  This reminds me of macro brewed stout.  This beer has a light roasted malt and chocolate taste to it.  The aroma is somewhat ashy and chalky.  Also, it is a little thin.  With all that being said, it is not a bad stout when considering the price.  It is quite affordable.

Espresso Stout

Brewery: Hitachino Nest
ABV: 7.5%

There are heavy coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes found in this beer.  It has a luscious medium body.  It is a smooth easy drinking stout.

Trinity Black
Brewery: Y Market Brewing
ABV: 7.8%

This is very interesting Belgian stout.  This is a full bodied stout that balances the hops and roasted malt quite well.  This is a spicy and somewhat fruity stout with hints of coffee.  This is a good example of what makes a good Belgian stout.

This is not a definitive list by any means.  I am always hunting for a stout or a porter to drink and enjoy.  If you know any stouts or porters that need some recognition, please share it in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!! Chocolate and Sweet Beer!

Valentines Day is around the corner.  Are you looking a special present for that beer drinker in your life?  Craft Beer Chubu is here to help you.  Recently, I have tried some some Japanese chocolate beers and a unique sweet beer.  Enjoy!!

These three excellent beers are from Kanagawa's Sanktgallen Bewery.  They can be bought in the second floor basement of Takashimaya at JR Nagoya Station and at Yanagibashi's Odakaya Liquor Store.  These beers are priced around 450 yen per bottle.

Sanktgallen's Imperial Chocolate Stout
ABV 9%

Nose: dark chocolate
          slight coffee
          roasted malt
          slightly sweet

Taste:  hints of bitterness from hops
            roasted malt
            bitter chocolate
            somewhat strong due to the high alcohol content
            dry roasted coffee beans

This beer is recommended for those who are looking for a full flavor beer that has a slight kick to it.

Sanktgallen's Smoked Chocolate Stout
ABV: 6.5%

Nose:  dark chocolate
           roasted malt
           coffee beans
           somewhat smoky

Taste:  coffee beans
            dark chocolate
           roasted malt
           slight bitterness
           somewhat thin

This beer is recommended who are looking a stout that is not heavy but has a flavorful punch.

Sanktgallen's Kukoto Sweet Stout
ABV: 6.5%

Nose:  sweet
           hints of coffee bean
           hints of brown sugar
Taste: smooth
           somewhat sweet
           somewhat bitter
           brown sugar

This is a very refined beer.  The brown sugar from Okinawa adds an interesting dynamic to the beer.  Would go great with Japanese food.

There is one more beer available for Valentines Day, and it is not recommended.  It can be at the Seijo Ishii supermarket.  One bottle is 630 yen.

Shirayuki Chocola Premium
ABV: 5.5%

Nose: milk chocolate
          chocolate spread

Taste:  low bitterness
           milk chocolate

This is a very superficial beer.  The milk chocolate in this beer is very disappointing.  When tasting it, it tasted like fake chocolate.  This beer was clearly made for Valentines Day.  It is a light disappointing beer that is expensive.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why do I blog about craft beer and drink craft beer??

I started this blog because I want to show people the wonderful craft breweries and bars that are in the Chubu area of Japan.  Many people are not aware of these places.  Many of friends were asking were they can drink good tasting beer.  This was one of the reasons on why I started Craft Beer Chubu.

The other main reason why I started this blog because I was getting tired of drinking mega corporate macro brewed beers.  I will say one thing though that Japanese macro brewed beers taste much better then their American counterparts.  Craft beers provide new sensations of flavors and taste.  Craft breweries are artisans in the truest sense.  They are painters and sculptors.  However instead of using brushes and paint, they are utilizing hops, malts, and yeasts in their creative process.  Also, brewers are scientists in their own right.  Brewing the perfect beer is science and artistry combined.

These two videos perfectly showcase why I purchase, consume, and advocate for craft beer.

Craft Beer Revolution and Budweiser!!

On Sunday during the Super Bowl, Budweiser released this commercial.
As an avid craft beer drinker and a advocate for the craft beer revolution, I find this commercial rude and impudent.  Budweiser is trying to take on the craft beer industry.  They are a bunch of hypocrites.  Budweiser is owned a mega corporation called AB InBev based out of the Europe.  AB Inbev is the largest beer company in the world.  They have been taking over craft breweries for a while now including Chicago's Goose Island Brewery.  In the commercial, they are mocking pumpkin peach ale to show the unique ingredients used in many craft beers.  Interestingly, the same company that produces the pumpkin peach ale, Elysian Brewing Company, was purchased by AB InBev.

Also, many people are becoming educated about what they are eating and drinking.  Craft breweries have been noticing for some time now.  Craft breweries have been producing a quality product with hard work and grit.  Many people including myself have been drinking craft beers because we want to enjoy the variety of flavors and smells that craft beer brings to the table.  Good beer should be enjoyed and not slammed.  If you want to slam your beer and drink to get to drunk, then by all means, stick with the mega corporate beers like Budweiser.

 I believe that drinking should be an experience.  I want to taste the intricate taste and flavor of craft beer.  I want to enjoy my beer.  I worked hard for it. 

By the way, craft breweries are not sitting down from a fight.  They took on Budweiser with this clever parody of the Budweiser ad.