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    • Spring
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • Summer
      • the nomad pasche family

        The World is Our Playground

        The Pasche family has been cycling and living out of a tent in remote corners of the planet for the past 13 years on four continents spanning 50 countries.
        adventure travel world summit in hokkaido

        Adventure Travel World Summit in Hokkaido

        The ATTA will host their first Adventure Travel World Summit in Asia in Hokkaido, Japan. We caught up with ATTA Director Shannon Stowell to find out more about the adventure travel industry and how it continues to grow and evolve.
        mead brewing in japan

        The Sweet Secrets of Brewing Mead

        Wander into the world of mead brewing and find yourself immersed in a fascinating journey spanning centuries and continents.
        the knights in white lycra

        The Knights in White Lycra

        Each year a group of cyclists head to the deep north towards Tohoku’s vast rice fields and coastal trails to help transform the lives of neglected children.
        sea to table yamagata

        Sea to Table in Yamagata

        An unforgettable way to intimately explore the Shonai Region in Yamagata is a culinary experience bringing bounty of the sea straight to your table.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • River and Lake
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
      • getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
    • Snow and Ice
      • climbing mt. fuji off season

        Mt. Fuji: The Path Less Traveled

        Fuji-san is the most climbed mountain in the world. If you are in good shape, there is a way to avoid the traffic for a more peaceful Mt. Fuji experience during the off-season.
    • Travel
      • the nomad pasche family

        The World is Our Playground

        The Pasche family has been cycling and living out of a tent in remote corners of the planet for the past 13 years on four continents spanning 50 countries.
        adventure travel world summit in hokkaido

        Adventure Travel World Summit in Hokkaido

        The ATTA will host their first Adventure Travel World Summit in Asia in Hokkaido, Japan. We caught up with ATTA Director Shannon Stowell to find out more about the adventure travel industry and how it continues to grow and evolve.
        getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
        maota sustainable fashion

        Weaving Stories with Maota

        Maota is a small-scale clothing line working with local craftsmen in the countryside of Aichi and Gifu prefectures. While their focus is on small, local and “slow” fashion, they are moving fast toward some big goals.
        the knights in white lycra

        The Knights in White Lycra

        Each year a group of cyclists head to the deep north towards Tohoku’s vast rice fields and coastal trails to help transform the lives of neglected children.
    • Food and Drinks
      • the nomad pasche family

        The World is Our Playground

        The Pasche family has been cycling and living out of a tent in remote corners of the planet for the past 13 years on four continents spanning 50 countries.
        adventure travel world summit in hokkaido

        Adventure Travel World Summit in Hokkaido

        The ATTA will host their first Adventure Travel World Summit in Asia in Hokkaido, Japan. We caught up with ATTA Director Shannon Stowell to find out more about the adventure travel industry and how it continues to grow and evolve.
        getting dirty in japan

        Getting Dirty in Japan

        “Getting Dirty in Japan” is about getting out of your comfort zone and into some exciting outdoor adventures and destinations in Japan.
        maota sustainable fashion

        Weaving Stories with Maota

        Maota is a small-scale clothing line working with local craftsmen in the countryside of Aichi and Gifu prefectures. While their focus is on small, local and “slow” fashion, they are moving fast toward some big goals.
        the knights in white lycra

        The Knights in White Lycra

        Each year a group of cyclists head to the deep north towards Tohoku’s vast rice fields and coastal trails to help transform the lives of neglected children.
    • Races and Events
      • fuji rock japan

        2023 Summer Music Festivals

        Get into the groove this green season while enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2023 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.

The Sweeter Side

Sweetness is one of the primary tastes and, in moderation, most people enjoy a bit of sweetness now and again. We have evolved this way, as sweet foods tend to be energy-dense, so that even newborn infants show preference for sweeter milks.

In the beer world, sweetness tends to be a function of the interplay between malt and yeast. Whatever sugars remain after fermentation will provide sweetness and body to the beer. These sugars balance bitterness from hops or roasted malts (in dark beers) and can complement spicy or fruity contributions from particular ale yeasts. 

In stronger beers, like Trappist ales, German bocks, English old ales and Russian imperial stouts, the sweetness generally results from the yeast hitting its maximum alcohol tolerance before all the sugars are used up. In mid-range beers, like pale ales and ambers, sweetness generally comes from caramelized malts, which contain complex sugars that yeasts cannot ferment.

 But there is another type of unfermentable sugar that brewers can add directly to their beers to produce a sweeter, more full-bodied final product without boosting the alcohol content: lactose. British brewers began adding lactose (or milk sugar) to their stouts in the late nineteenth century to create a style called sweet stout or milk stout. This was one of the most popular styles in mid-century U.K. and was thought to be particularly good for nursing mothers. Mackeson XXX Stout(5%) is a classic example that has been made for more than a century.

The style has gone into decline in the U.K., but as with many trends in the beer world, North American and Scandinavian brewers have taken it to new places. First, they began to infuse the sweet stout with a nitrogen gas blend (an innovation pioneered by Guinness for their dry stouts in the 1950s), producing an even creamier mouthfeel that works beautifully with the style. Around 2010, Left Hand Brewing Company developed a method to put nitrogen widgets in bottles and their Milk Stout Nitro (6%) has become representative of the style and is available in Japan. This stout will particularly appeal to people who take their coffee with milk and sugar – creamy, “chocolaty” and rather low bitterness.

Another innovation that has taken off in North America is to add lactose to the NE IPA style I highlighted in the last column (Traveler Issue #64, Summer 2017), often in combination with vanilla and fruits, creating a new style called the “milkshake IPA.” This playful name originally came from a criticism of the hazy NE IPAs made by Tired Hands Brewing Companyoutside Philadelphia, but their brewer, Jean Brouillet IV, decided to turn it into a trademark. In a series of collaborations with Omnipollo, an innovative Swedish brewery who had already been developing a line of “Smoothie IPAs,” Brouillet created a trend for these super-hazy, creamy, slightly sweet and often fruit-forward IPAs. I am not aware of any Japanese examples yet, but if you are traveling in North America, Europe, Australia or New Zealand keep an eye out for this interesting new style.

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