Located within Tokyo-to, there is a mountain named Takao. It is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. The significant climb to the summit offers its rewards in the form of a spectacular view, a very popular restaurant, and a small shrine.
The ascent has its own rewards, as well. Midway between the base and the top, there is an attractive stream and, in autumn, some spectacular foliage.
This week’s review focuses on Takao Beer’s Fruited Session IPA, a light, pleasant, and, in one way at least, highly unusual brew. One of the ingredients, you see, is Muscat Bailey A, a grape variety that we have mentioned many times on this blog. It is an IPA with a hoppy nose that exhibits faint traces of the grape variety. In addition to barley, the brewers use oats, which give the body a little more heft than it might normally have if it had been made with only one grain. This cloudy brew has an abv of 4% and a distinct but pleasant level of sourness on the palate. There are shades of lambic here. For some reason, it seemed to one of us to be the perfect beer to drink on a brisk day in autumn when the sun is filtering through the remaining leaves.
I suspect our readers will be hearing more from us about this interesting brewery. A glance at Takao Beer Co.’s website (with google translation) suggests that they are exploring highly unusual flavor combinations that sound very promising to us. Here are two examples such offerings: a passionfruit milkshake IPA and a brew containing juniper berry.
The taproom is at Takao Station (not Takaosanguchi Station, which is the station at the foot of the mountain). You can also buy bottles of Takao Beer at a gift shop at the foot of the mountain, which is what we did after our hike.