Beer Review: Hitachino Nest White Ale – Kiuchi Brewery

This beer, gifted to me from a friend at work, is my first (non-lager) beer from Japan! Hitachino Nest Beer is a series brewed by Kiuchi Brewery who typically brew Japanese Sake and have been doing so since 1823. Hitachino is the name of the province where the brewery originates from. This particular beer I tried is the White Ale, so a take on the classic Belgian wheat beer style. It’s brewed with the typical flavour adjuncts of coriander, nutmeg and orange and comes in at 5.5% ABV.

Visually, the beer pours a slightly hazy, straw colour. The nose is rather aromatic with big hints of clove. The initial taste is very heavy on the nutmeg. As the beer tapers off the bitterness from orange peel becomes more evident while also being balanced by the sweetness from the added orange juice as well. Rather refreshing overall.

A quick note on the can art: Quite simple and straight forward with the name of the beer front and center and the series logo, an adorable owl, stealing the show.

What an interesting beer. While it has all the facets of a witbier, part of it feels like more of an imitation than a faithful replication of the style. Now, while that statement sounds very negative, I actually think what has been produced is a really nice brew. It’s well balanced with bitter and sweet and the nutmeg adds a rather interesting flavour dynamic I typically don’t find in beer I usually drink. Clean and refreshing I could certainly see myself cracking a can or two in the summer! I would really like to try some more of the Nest Beer Series.

Score: 7/10

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Additional Information:

  • Hops: Perle, Styrian Golding
  • Malt: Larger, Wheat
  • IBU: 13
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Gluten Free: No
  • Vegan: Yes!

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