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Food For Thought The Great Sapporo Beer Test
(Entered Dec. 26, 2006)
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While Japan isn't generally known worldwide for it's beer, it does have some generally acceptable brews. Those wishing to find out more about Japanese beer might want to head to Ebisu where Sapporo Breweries has a museum dedicated solely to the history and production of their two major brands, Sapporo and Yebisu. I say 'might' want to head there because to be honest, their museum is spectacularly uninteresting. It is also free, which might be part of the reason why you won't find much except a bunch of old pictures, fake, plastic looking props and a bunch of TV screens showing commercials. However they do have a little bar/restaurant where you can sample a range of their beers for surprisingly low prices.

sapporo beer

The museum itself might have been pretty empty, but it was obvious what the major draw was. Although still early in the afternoon, the restaurant was packed with beer lovers and alcoholics all chugging beer. Kumi and I chose the popular limited edition beer sampler for the very low price of 400 yen and managed eventually to get a seat. Clockwise from the top left we have a high yeast beer, regular pale, black stout, and a red ale. We drank a bit but neither of us were really in a beer drinking mood, it being too early in the day. Kumi then challenged me to distinguish all the beers by taste alone. Piece of cake for tastebuds like mine.

sapporo beer

Not being true beer connoisseur though, it was more difficult than I thought. The stout of course was the easiest, having a distinct taste and bitterness. The other three were harder. I managed to get the ale correct and the regular, but I guessed wrong with the yeast beer, thinking it was the ale. So much for my vaunted sense of taste!

sapporo beer

Can Kumi do any better? Unfortunately she scored only 1 out of 4, getting the stout correct but messing up on the others. Guess the two of us will never be sommeliers.

sapporo beer

Fun and games aside, how were the beers themselves? The stout tasted kind of like Guinness, but without the creaminess. Well to be honest I'm not really one for dark or bitter beers, so it got left behind. It The regular pale was also nothing special, just your regular canned beer but having a kind of sour taste that I didn't like. The red was not too bitter, plus I like ale so the it was drinkable, but not excellent. The high yeast beer was also pretty good, being a bit on the sweet side and slightly thick, which I like. Kumi, being quite a weak drinker, couldn't be relied upon to help me finish up, taking only a couple sips from each. The beer crackers in the middle though were eaten quickly.

sapporo beer

After that we had a quick look in the gift shop. We tried some free samples of beer jello and thought that it was pretty good, so Kumi decided to buy a box for her dad (a beer lover). The free samples of beer chocolate weren't very tasty though, beer and chocolate just don't mix. Anyway unless you're a hardcore beer lover, my advice is to skip the museum and head straight to the bar.



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