marketing videos

VIDEO: Harrison Ford Advertises Kirin, 1994

“Nono — Kirin ragaa-biiru, kudasai!”

A really boring Indiana Jones film or a less gloomy sequel to Blade Runner, perhaps?

(Via Open Culture.)


VIDEO: Sake Brewing in Kyoto

This is an advertisement for the Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co. and is frankly a bit short on actual information but, blimey, it’s pretty.

(Via Rocket News, via Eater.)

beer reviews Beer styles

Pointlessly Imported Wheat Beer

Hitachino's Nest wheat beer.

This wheat beer might be pretentious, it might be obscure, but you can’t say it was expensive. It is certainly, however, pointless.

We don’t get much opportunity to pick up exotic bottled beer these days but, at the National Brewery Centre in Burton the other week, we couldn’t resist raiding the ‘bin ends’ in the gift shop, and came away with a 720ml bottle of Japanese brewery Hitachino Nest’s 5.5.% German-style wheat beer, for a mere £2.50.

Just on its ‘best before’ date (we think), it fizzed on pouring, hissing and foaming itself to death, leaving us with glasses of something that looked like cloudy apple juice. Despite the lack of condition, it was a tasty enough beer, falling somewhere between the sticky-toffee-banana character of Schneider and the pineapple-pear drop character of Hopf. As we find is often the case with German-style wheat beers from anywhere other than Germany, there was also a touch of spiciness (from the yeast?) which suggested the coriander of the Belgian style.

So, it was fine, but… why bother? This beer makes sense in Japan, we’re sure, where it is a local version of something from the other side of the world, but what is the point of importing it to the UK? It’s been made with such reverence for the almighty style guidelines that there’s nothing distinctively Japanese or in any way ‘different’ about it; and, though better than Erdinger, isn’t worth buying over, say, Franziskaner.

Hitachino Nest owl mascot.We think it all comes down their mascot — a beautifully illustrated owl which deserves its own 8-bit computer game — and to the same impulse that leads what seems like 90 per cent of British men under the age of forty to dress head-to-toe in clothes from faux-Japanese brand Super Dry: that is, fashion, and a very understandable fascination with other cultures.

beer and food bottled beer Regions

Yebisu and Asahi

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.