Shichimi Tokarashi Beer (七味唐からしビール): A Potable Potpourri

#drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #shichimitokarashibeer #shichimi #reijin #nagano

We recently read an interesting story entitled “Sugar and Spice and Everything Lice”1 by a guy named Jack Napes, which inspired us to try this spicy brew from Nagano Prefecture. “Sugar and Spice” is political and social satire that relates the experiences of a time-traveling group of characters who move from 21st-century Ireland to 18th-century England, where a leprechaun serves as their guide, helping them navigate through an unfamiliar world and eventually taking them to Crapstone, which is a real village in England. Beer—in this case, cock ale, an actual chicken-based brew—makes an appearance in the story, too.

Shichimi Tokarashi Beer doesn’t contain any chickens, but the libation does have a total of seven condiments—red pepper, sesame, mandarin orange peel, shiso (Perilla), sansho (Japanese pepper), hemp seed, and ginger. Hops are also present and detectable on the palate, as are orange notes. The ABV is 5%, and there is a lot of heat, not from the alcohol but from the peppery activity felt in the throat. The nose reminded us a bit of that wonderful aroma which rises from the legendary EKU 28. There’s lots of perky peppery stuff here. You know how it goes: pick up a pack of perky peppers…., or something along those lines!

Shichimi Tokarashi Beer is made by Reijin, a kura located near Lake Suwa.


A View of Mount Fuji Across Lake Suwa

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