Chocolate Beers

It will soon be Valentine’s Day, so it’s about time for our female readers to search out some special chocolaty treats for the significant others in their lives—is it only in Japan where this is a day for women-to-man giving only? A bit chauvinist, no? And don’t get me started about giri-choko! But whether it’s…

Fruit Beers

The category of fruit beers is a complicated one, and until now I have purposely avoided writing about it. But fruit beers have become so common that there is clearly a need to try and sort this style out. Although most beer consumed nowadays contains no fruit, historically it was common to find fruits used…

Session IPA

by Mark Meli Wow, this is exciting. It isn’t often that one gets to write a column about a completely new beer style, but now is my chance. If you have been drinking much Japanese or American craft beer lately, then you probably have noticed the style I am talking about, the “Session IPA.” We…

Rice and Kōji Beers

by Mark Meli Rice in beer? Wait a minute. Beer is supposed to be made from barley malt, hops, and water, right? Well, not always. The truth is that “alternative” grains such as rice have long been used in brewing, and form a major element in craft beer, particularly in Japan, the home of that…

Rauchbier

by Mark Meli Rauchbier is a type of lager or wheat ale coming from the region around Bamberg in the German state of Bavaria. These are very unique and impressive beers on account of their smoky aromas and flavors, which come from malt that is dried directly with smoke. To be used in brewing, barley…