The Local BrewBy Bryan Harrell
Isekadoya began in April 1997, primarily brewing English-style ales. These beers gave them a fair amount of attention in their first 10 years of operation. In recent years, however, they have been brewing more unique styles of beers with bold flavors, highlighted by richer malt combinations and more aggressive hopping.
At the Tokyo Real Ale Festival in February of this year, they drew wide acclaim for their two stunning entries, a Brown Ale and an Imperial India Pale Ale. In a break with their past, the Brown Ale was distinctly American-style, with a 5% alcohol level and a stronger flavor profile that was almost “spicy” with interesting layers of roasted malt flavors and a generous addition of hops during the boil.
Even more appealing was the Imperial India Pale Ale, a much stronger version of a standard IPA. With 10 popular types of hops, you could say the Imperial contains the “hit parade” of hops used in craft brews these days. The result was an intensely flavored beer with 9.5% alcohol and a near-perfect balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, along with a smooth texture that bordered on the creamy.
While the Imperial IPA is a limited edition brew, and will no longer be available by the time you read this, it may reappear in future offerings. Fortunately, the Brown Ale is available year-round. Even better, Isekadoya regularly releases limited edition beers of distinct character. The best way to enjoy them is to order directly through their Japanese-language Website.
For a more complete experience, pay a visit to the brewery’s Biyagura restaurant and enjoy the full range of Isekadoya beers. They are located in Ise City, south of Nagoya, and are open for lunch and dinner every day except Wednesday. Call the restaurant for reservations and to confirm hours. Tel: (0596) 23-2880.
6-428 Jinkyu, Ise City, Mie
Tel: (0596) 21-3108
Web: www.biyagura.jp (Japanese),