Japan vs Poland

Japan are already through to the knockout stages, whilst Poland have crumbled at the first hurdle of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. During the first two weeks of the competition, I’ve been drowning in beer, trying to sample brews from all over the. Beer has literally been EXPLODING at home – a mixture of freakishly hot Scottish weather and a 2 litre pressurised glass growler proved to be a very bad combination…

Mandatory “Japanese Classic Ale” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.49 (at time of writing)
  • Country of Origin: Japan
  • Brewery: Hitachino Nest
  • ABV: 7.0%
  • IBU: 40
  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Serving: Bottle, 330ml

I absolutely love Hitachino Nest bottle designs: a little owl sitting at the centre of the label, encircled by the brewery’s name. It poured a deep caramel colour with a slight haze, topped by a contrasting dusky white foam head measuring one inch in height. Due to the colour alone, my brain was eagerly preparing my palate for a deep, flavoursome brew. It had a huge perfume-dominant aroma that I found difficult to place. Floral notes started the beer, but these weren’t off-putting as they faded into a slight caramel edge. This sweetness gave way to a smooth bitterness, backed up by a moderate IBU. The beer initially had a thin feeling on the tongue but ended with a dry finish, cleansing the palate. This is the second beer that I’ve had from this brewery


Rating: 3.5/5. ‘Japanese Classic Ale’ is one of the best Asian beers that I’ve sampled in a while. It was aged in cedar barrels, using a technique that dates back to the original IPA brewing period.


Mandatory “Perla Miodowa” Facts

  • Untappd Rating: 3.10 (at time of writing)
  • Country of Origin: Poland
  • Brewery: Perla – Browary Lubelskie S.A.
  • ABV: 6%
  • Style: Lager
  • Serving: Bottle, 500ml

Upon purchasing this, I hadn’t noticed that this was a honey beer… Whilst browsing for beers for The Beer World Cup, I searched and added to my cart by country from sites such as http://www.beersofeurope.co.uk/; as I was so focused on country of origin, I vastly ignored the descriptive comments and logos. Consequently, when I took this bottle out the fridge I did a double take. It was obvious that this beer was going to have honey notes, as there were references to the sweet golden nectar at multiple points on the label. It poured a light amber colour, transparent, with a moderate airy foam head and mild amounts of carbonation. A light malty-sweetness was the primary aroma. Soft malt flavours came through on the initial sip, but this was quickly overpowered by a sickly-sweet honey. Once this dominant flavour had touched the palate, there was no escaping it for the rest of the drink.


Rating: 2.0/5. ‘Perla Miodowa’ is far too strong honey-wise and although I’m reminded of the sticky, golden liquid, I feel it doesn’t taste authentic. I really like honey and I’ve had it in beers before with varying levels of success; however, I feel that this beer is overly sweet and loses complexity by having an artificial sensation to it.


Football: Japan lost this game 1-0, but have nonetheless progressed to the last 16 of the competition. Once it reaches this point, games are frequently played with a lesser intensity if the tournament progression is already known… If only Poland had used honey with less intensity.


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