Kyoto has quite a thriving craft brewing scene. As my Japanese isn't quite up to reading all the bottles, I've picked a fairly random one to enjoy here!
As with so many Japanese companies, Kinshi Masamune have a diverse portfolio. They are primarily a sake producer but started also brewing beer in 1997.
This is their Heian beer, a German style black beer at 5% ABV. It's a deep, dark brown colour with a thin but very long lasting tan head. The nose is full of black roasted malt, hints of dark chocolate and just a touch of dark, sweet fruit.
The black malt dominates the flavour - a rich, almost burnt taste with a nicely understated sweetness and a delicious dry finish. That finish could do with being a touch longer, but it's a minor quibble.
All in all, another tasty and refreshingly different Japanese beer. It's not all Asahi!
This review was originally published 22nd October, 2012. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.