Saturday, May 23, 2009

Japanese Belgian Beer

In Paris this weekend, I stopped at Kioko to fortify myself with some Japanese supplies to take back to the countryside, where no such things exist. Among the items that I walked out with was this bottle of Owa, a pale ale that, despite it's Japanese label, is brewed in Belgium.

Supposedly this is made at the Brasserie de la Senne (De Zenne Brouwerij) in Brussels, but on the label it says, in English, "beer for Japanese Food by Japanese Brewer in Belgium". Maybe the De Zenne guys brew it for him? Maybe he rents out a bit of space in their brewery? Beats me. Owa Beer's website is still under construction, so there's no real info to be found yet.

At any rate, it's delicious, with a pleasantly caramelly, whiskey-like nose and a pervasive bitterness that I find highly refreshing. It's fairly light in body, and only 5% alcohol—for Belgium that's practically like water. I can't speak about the "beer for Japanese Food" part, as I didn't drink it until after dinner, but with its zesty bitterness and relatively light weight, it seems plausible. There's something about this that is not only bitter but also umami in tone, which might sound strange for a beer, but it's actually quite appealing.

Unfortunately they only had these little 33-cl bottles. Wish I had bought two. Or three. Or six.


Marie said...

Japanese Belgian Beer!? Interesting!!
I want to find out more about this too, and I hope I can try it here in Japan!

wakanai said...

I met Mr. Imai in Brussels today. he explained me that his Owa beer is available in some European countries and Japan.

shosaku said...

I tasted and liked it also from my last Brussel trip..

and you can enjoy at Belgium,Paris and soon at Amsterdam.

Hope I can introduce to North part of Europe very soon.