Name: Birth IPA (#305)
Brewer: UchuBrewing うちゅうブルーイング (Japan)
Style: Specialty IPA: New England IPA
Review Year: 2021
Birth IPA is a hazy and juicy IPA from Uchu Brewing from Hokuto City, Japan that features Galaxy and Simcoe hops. This is the seventh beer in the “Space Creation” series of the brewery and is an expression of how life was born into the Universe.
Uchu Brewing is a space-themed craft brewery in Hokuto City, Yamanashi, and was founded by Masahiro Kusunose and Rumiko Suzuki in 2018. Head brewer Kasunose skipped high school to become a bassist in a hardcore punk band and, has, interestingly, only started drinking craft beer in 2016. Before brewing on his own, Kasunose spent two months in 2017 at Outsider Brewing in Kofu mentored by Satoshi Niwa. The other half of Uchu is Suzuki who traded in her Osaka city life for the quiet farm life in Kochi after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. She is currently in charge of the brewery’s marketing, creative direction, and events. The two crossed paths as Kasunose and Suzuki became involved in environmental activism in which they practice strongly with their brewery.
This beer is being evaluated as a Specialty IPA: New England IPA (21B) in the context of the provisional guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) for the said beer style. The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Hazy straw with a well-formed head. Moderately strong aromas of lime and orange zest, ripe peach, and resin initially greeted. Revisiting, moderately low impressions of oats, lemon bar, and grapefruit became more evident. Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, with a subtle chalky/ gritty afterfeel. The flavor profile showcased prominent fruity mango, lemon zest, pineapple, with a low yet distinct cantaloupe. Secondary flavors of oat, resin, pine, and herbal tea were also noted. Perceived bitterness was medium-low; semi-dry finish (low residual sweetness). Low bready malt character to support the hop flavors. The aftertaste lingered with flavors of subtle herbal tea, bitterness, and resin.
Birth is truly a fitting name for this hazy and juicy IPA as it highlights mainly vibrant fruity and zesty hop aromas and flavors. Benchmarked as a New England IPA, this beer finished slightly on the drier side with bitterness noted to be a notch below moderate; both qualities contributing to making this beer very drinkable. Further, Birth IPA has that subtle chalky/ gritty afterfeel, which may have been caused by the water among others. However, this attribute did not get in the way of the overall drinking experience of this beer. We would imagine this beer being enjoyed while reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos in a hammock on a hot summer day. Excellent.
Uchu brewing by Brian Kowalczyk (Japan Beer Times Issue No. 39, 2019)
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