When you are considering a beer to pair with Japanese fare, imports from Japan are the natural choice. Beer culture emerged in Japan during the late 1800s through the start of two major breweries that still exist today: Kirin and Sapporo. Kirin was born of Norwegian-American influence while Sapporo was started by a German-trained Japanese beer master. Because of these European influencers, the style of Japanese beers has remained simple and pure, making them just the right thing to order during an evening out for Japanese food.
- Japanese beer characteristics
Though there are several varieties of beer produced in Japan, the best-known and most beloved beers of major Japanese breweries are Pilsner-style lagers with light and crisp flavor profiles. One exception is Asahi Super Dry, which is a bolder choice best suited for high-spice foods and full-flavored sashimi such as salmon or mackerel. Kirin Ichiban is a more unique Japanese brew that has become rather popular in America because it is incredibly light in flavor and heavy on playful carbonation that pairs beautifully with lighter Japanese dishes. This beer is also the premier choice for sake bombs.
- Beer drinking etiquette
If you want to savor your imported beer in the true Japanese style, there are a few rules to follow that may differ from your normal beer drinking preferences. First, if you order a pitcher, you should pour for the other members of your table and never pour your own drink. Let another diner pour the beer for you, and keep your hands off everyone else’s glasses when the beer is all served. Say “Kanpai” as a toast before you take the first sip so that you can share a wish of thanks or good fortune.
To send your palate on a tasting tour of some of Japan’s best beers while savoring some delicious Japanese cuisine, join us at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant for dinner or happy hour. You can check out our happy hour specials and our menus by visiting our website.