Adrian Tierney-Jones keeps his gaze firmly east-facing as part of Imbibe’s current series on Japanese drinking, with a selection of the country’s most delicious beers, from the dry and sessionable to the rich and food-friendly
Asahi Super Dry Black
Think German dunkel and you’re on the right track with this popular dark lager with its crisp, smooth and toasty character, which is also refreshing and dry in the finish. Grill some chicken or go all teriyaki and you’ve got a handsome partner.
5% abv; £5.25; asahibeer.co.uk
Roast sweet potatoes anyone? Yes, that’s what’s part of this self-styled Imperial Sweet Potato Amber, as aromatics of caramel and sweet potato hove into view alongside a delicate hop earthiness and a smooth mouthfeel to create
an intriguing yet easy-drinking beer.
7% abv; £6.50; amathusdrinks.com
Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout
Rich and sumptuous, luscious and lascivious, this dark chestnut-coloured stout is a luxurious adventure in the glass. Ground-up coffee beans are used in the brewing process, and the result is a contemplative and comfortable beer that needs time to be studied. Also superb with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream gently lowered into it.
7.5%, £7, jamesclay.co.uk
Hitachino Nest Saison du Japon
The word saison might conjure up lonely farmhouses in the Wallonian countryside and lean, flinty beers, but Kiuchi’s riff on the on-trend style is distinctively Japanese in its use of rice and yuzu juice. The result is a citrusy and refreshing beer with some mid-palate acidity and a bittersweet finish.
5%, £5.75 RRP, jamesclay.co.uk
This amber-hued beer demonstrates the finer art of Japanese craft brewing and is also ideal as a companion on the dining table. Sansho spice and yuzu juice are added to a Belgian-style strong ale resulting in spiciness, citrus juiciness and full-bodied mouthfeel.
9%, £8 RRP, japancentre.com