All around Japan, various craft brews are sold each with their own unique twist on the widely-loved beverage. For beer connoisseurs, part of the fun of domestic traveling can be trying to unearth hidden brews scattered across the land.
For example, out of Aomori Prefecture, known as the garlic-producing leader of the nation, comes Aomori Garlic Black Beer. Our reporter, Mami, spotted some in the wild and decided to try it out. The combination of beer and garlic had potential, and Aomori certainly know their garlic. What could go possibly wrong?
Aomori Garlic Black Beer is sold in 330mL bottles for 630 yen and was created by Shoji Kudo, who put out other Aomori regional beers like Mt. Osore Beer and Aomori Nebuta Beer. Our girl Mami noticed the stark black label with prominent gold foil lettering proclaiming “Black Garlic Extract Added.” She found the whole thing kind of macho, so grabbed a couple of bottles.
After popping off the cap she began to pour a garlicky glass of black beer. It was so dark she though it actually looked like a glass of cola. It had that unmistakable bitter aroma, however, and hidden deep inside was just a hint of garlic.
She took a modest test sip… then another and instantly felt ripped off. “The hell, this tastes like regular beer,” she thought, but just as she was letting out her dissatisfaction in a somber sigh a mighty cloud of garlic flavor rose back up her throat.
This wasn’t just some faint aftertaste either. Our reporter compared it to grating up some raw garlic and tossing in straight into her mouth. Aomori Garlic Black Beer is brewed with along with the paste of “black garlic,” which is aged and fermented garlic, and the effect is intense.
By the time she drank half a glass, Mami felt exactly like she just polished off an entire plate of gyoza. The sensation of having eaten gyoza was unbelievably strong. She found herself drinking just to keep up the aftertaste. However, this could all just be in her head. It was time for some empirical evidence. Getting up from her seat she walked back to another reporter with cup in hand.
“What’s up?” said Mami. After a few seconds her co-worker’s face twisted and she replied on the verge of anger, “Ugh, aghck! What did you do?”
It worked! This garlic taste was authentic! While it might not be a good idea for intimate evenings, Aomori Garlic Black Beer is perfect for any lover of gyoza and craft brewing. And perhaps practical jokes.
[ Read in Japanese ]