I first found Yebisu in a vending machine in a small fishing village on the Shimokita peninsula. I had packed my camera in search of ísaruí the northernmost non-human primate also known as the snow monkey. I was tired from all the dayís hiking and was ready to relax with a brew to contemplate the natural beauty of the local onsen, or volcanic hot springs, gorgeous ocea views, and mighty, densely covered green hills.
My move to relax was further inspired by an image of Yebisu, the Shinto god of fortune, sitting fat and with a huge fish in his lap on the Yebisu beer label. Across the water I could see the eastern edge of the Soviet Union and Hokkaido, the northermost island of Japan and home to the city of Sapporo which is only the namesake to Tokyoís Sapporo Breweries Ltd.
Though one of countryís most popular brews, Yebisu is unique in that itís not brewed with rice as are many other Japanese beers. Itís also stylistically a dortmunder. Itís brewed with Hallertau MittelfrŁh and Hersbruck hops that give a slight grassy, dusty aroma. In the mouth itís semi-dry, clean and acidic with an almost slick feel. It finishes with a citric lemon flavor and astringency. It isnít much to look at, the pure white foam burns off fast, but itís pleasurable drinking.
The brew was definitely a good rest and I cashed in some coins for a couple more bottles of Yebisu to take back to my local hosts. They surprised me with an amazing Japanese dinner of lightly seasoned fish, a cooked salad, and tempura vegetables served with colored pickles. Iím sure Yebisu would be as good an accompaniment to any light fare.
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I first found Yebisu in a vending machine in a small fishing village on the Shimokita peninsula. I had packed my camera in search of saru the northernmost non-human primate also known as the snow monkey.