There were times when certain university students invested their energies in questionable pursuits. In the somewhat distant past, for example, there were some who felt compelled to swallow goldfish. In the first half of the twentieth century the situation got so bad at Temple University that “Fraternities stationed volunteers near the fish tank in the library to deter pranksters from ‘gulping’ the goldfish…,”1 according to James Hilty, Professor Emeritus at that university. More recently, there was the streaking craze of a few decades ago, in which the participant invested nothing in sartorial splendor but everything in speed.
As should be obvious to those who have read our previous entry on the Asia University Hop Project, some students at that university have shunned the tomfoolery of years past and opted for an old and honorable pursuit—the production of hops and the brewing of beer. We recently received two bottles of Asia Beer, a tawny-colored, hops-dominant brew containing 5% abv. Our first impression of this is as follows: This would not be out of place at a craft brewery or restaurant: in other words, AUHP beer is a professional production. The color is appropriate for mid-autumn. The beer is refreshing and thirst quenching and at its best when served just above room temperature, slightly chilled. The student-generated artwork on the label features the back view of a hops grower attending his crop, and the English-language slogan–“Our Hop(e)”–couldn’t be better!
The city of Musashino, in which Asia University is located, is gradually becoming an area associated with hops production. We expect this trend to continue. If it does, it will be interesting to see if a Musashino terroir develops in relation to its beer produced therefrom. It’s our hop(e)!
1“Temple University’s Star Turn on ‘Boardwalk Empire,’” US News Service, (Washington, D.C., 04 Oct 2013).