The Eighth Day of Christmas Beer celebrates the 10 year anniversary as Friendship Cities of Morioka and Uruma. The Baren Brewery is located in Iwate Prefecture where Morioka City is located. If Japan is viewed as a Dragon with Hokkaido being the head facing into the Pacific, Morioka is located in the dragon’s neck. Uruma is located in the southern prefecture of Okinawa and is just north of where I live now.
The brewery takes its heraldry and name from bear in the German language. This shows a tie to early beer in Japan having a German link. The earliest beer that could be found or made in Japan was either imported from Germany or the domestic breweries had German brewmasters. With this tie to Japan/German beer history it is interesting to know that the brewery was incorporated in 2001. I could not find this beer on the company’s website. This may be just a beer that is sold in the Morioka and Uruma Markets.
Malty white bread aromas. Subdued citrus notes, orange like. Slight citrus hop aroma. Slightly hazy orange color with a off white semi persistent head. Head dissipates to a thin cover over the top of the glass. Much more pronounced hops flavor in the taste. The hop malt balance appears to be switched from the aroma. I would put this into a high hoppy pale ale or a low hoppiness IPA rather than as a lager as it is named. Light to medium carbonation. Even-though there is a higher than normal hoppiness there is no lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.
In Japan the citrus fruit is normally eaten at the new year. This is believed to bring wealth to the coming year. For this reason I would pair this beer with dried fruits that you would find on a charcuterie board.
Beer Information: Bottle, Bottling Date (09/2022), Expiration Date (08/23), Made from foreign malt/aronia juice/hops/salt/wheat, ABV 5%, SRM (none listed but would judge about an 20-21 SRM)