To accompany some noodles, we went for two mainstream Japanese beers we picked up at Arigato supermarket in Soho — Yebisu lager and Asahi Black.
Yebisu proudly calls itself an ‘all malt beer’ and, yes, there is a real toasted malt flavour. All in all, this pale lager is not an exciting beer, but it is a satisfying, moreish and likeable one. A notch above the central point of bland on the Grim-to-Great™ commercial lager rating scale.
Asahi Dry, which is what we see most often in the UK, is brewed here under license. Asahi Black, however, is imported from Japan. It’s after the manner of a German schwarzbier — smooth, creamy and with soft cocoa flavours, rather than the bitter roastiness of a stout. It reminded us particularly of Bernard Dark, but with less body and a much less intense flavour. A winner, and possibly also a good way to lure non-beery chums into drinking something with a bit more character than Foster’s.