In June, I headed up to Mito to brew some beer at Kiuchi Brewery, aka Hitachino Nest. I had a great time and had to wait a while to get my beer. It had been a few weeks since I got my beer before I finally had a chance to really evaluate it. I have had it a several times already but I wanted to make sure I got the flavour notes the way I wanted to describe it. Do note that I am generally more critical of my own beer and I am not a professional beer taster. I just explain things the way I like to explain it.
My Honey Amber Ale started off with a basic amber ale base and I tweaked it with honey. The process was pretty simple and you can read all about it in my past post about it. When I got the beer, it was a nice colour. It was not quite the colour I wanted but it was pretty close. I enjoyed the head on it as well. It pours very nicely but the carbonation was a little higher than I had expected. The beer also ended up being 7%, a little higher than I expected.
The first sip I took was not what I was expecting. It was a little tart when I was expecting something smoother. I’m not very good at tasting the honey but my friend said he could taste the honey. I found the honey to be very muted, but it was there. I remember reading that honey is better at binding the flavours of beer rather than enhancing them with added sweetness. This is due to boiling the honey prior to fermentation, I think.
The beer itself is very refreshing and good in the summer. It isn’t a perfect summer beer as it was still a little heavy in general. The carbonation made it a little prickly and the smell wasn’t as pleasing as I had hoped. It smelt a little skunky, but this may have been from the French hops I used, or even the chinooks. It is still a good beer overall but not something that I would make again. I would definitely have to change things a little.
Overall, the beer is very drinkable and still very good. I like it but the perfectionist in me wants to alter it to be better in different ways. I hope to get another chance to make it again in the future but we’ll see. It is expensive to go up there often to brew beer but I hope to set a tour to go up there again in the future.