Asahi, The Rich, Asahi Brewery

It’s been over a week since the last post. The family took a last second staycation to a resort to the north end of Okinawa. While up there we found a beer that we have not seen elsewhere in Japan. Asahi is one of the largest breweries in Japan but is normally recognized as the brewer of Asahi Super Dry. The Asahi, The Rich, is supposed to be the beer that breaks Asahi into the premium beer market. Curiously this is not one of the beers that are listed on Asahi’s website. The beer does appear on tap hunter, beer advocate and untapped. From what I can find the beer is a Czech Pilsner made with wheat and Saaz hops.

Czech Pilsner, 6% ABV

From the pour there is a good yeast aroma that waifs up from the glass. The beer pours with an enormous head that dissipates down to about a half inch where it holds for a good moment before dissipating to a thin off white persistent head. As the head dissipates the bursting bubbles releases further aroma of sweet malt and noble hops. The beer is a nice golden straw color. As the beer is enjoyed a thin beer lace clings to the side of the glass. Well attenuated that does not leave lingering sweetness in the mouth. There are toasted flavors that come on the tail end of the sip. The rich toasted wheat sweetness . Carbonation is full on the tounge and sides of the mouth. Crisp dry finish leaves the drinker wanting the next sip. Clean finish. Like most pilsners this pairs well with fish and other light flavored foods. Because of the toasted wheat sweetness this can stand up to fish with a strong flavored ingredient. My food pairing is just that.

There is a fish market down the street from where we live. In one of the stalls a restaurant serves up the daily catch for shoppers. One of the menu items is a cast iron baked whole fish that has garlic butter stuffed in the body of the fish. It is a favorite of my son and would be great to pair with this beer. The roasted malt flavors will stand up to the dominant garlic flavors of the fish. The beer’s crisp dry finish will cleanse the pallet of the garlic and will prepare the diner for the next bite. The only down size is the pint size and the 6% alcohol content for this beer. With Japan’s strict drinking and driving laws it is a good thing that the shop offers take away.

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