Perhaps against my better judgement, I bought them blindly. Who knew what I was in for? Could it be something with the smooth polar bear in a pink speedo flavors of Hoppy?
Perhaps something like Namashibori, but without the lingering dog aftertaste?
Or maybe, just maybe, I was in for a taste equal to that of Japan's finest: Donkey! Bier.
I am not seen in this picture because I was taking a Japanese salaryman-like nap on the sidewalk outside the bar.
Truth be told, Japan is developing a craft beer culture. Surely not to be missed is the Great Japan Beer Festival, featuring more than 120 microbrews, and a policy of "All who say 'I love beer' may to join!".
I'm poking fun. But as someone who's visited Japan twice, I've often found it rewarding to pick up random and/or confusing Japanese foodstuffs - you just don't get that level of mystery and surprise in trying new products at a regular supermarket. So I was quite excited by these Rogue offerings.
Look! They've got noodles and a map and everything!
But if you come across these beers, don't buy them for the beer inside. Or I should say, don't buy them specifically for the beer inside. Because these beers aren't anything different than the Rogue styles you can find here in Indiana.
Red Fox Ale = Rogue American Ale
White Crane Ale = Rogue Oregon Golden Ale
Buckwheat Ale = ?
Rogue does offer two Buckwheat beers - the Morimoto Soba Ale and Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale (I prefer the Black Obi). As to which variety - if either - is in the Japanese labeled bottle, NO ONE CAN BE SURE. It's a Japanese legend.
That's not exactly true. But my limited internet research isn't turning up much.
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More on Japanese craft beer at Beerscribe.com