Sparkling Hop - Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
3.15/5 rDev +0.6%
Appearance: Pours out a clear, sunny-looking yellow body with a froth, white head.
Smell: You get a thin trace of ultra faint malts. I'm waiting around for these notes of frozen hops to thaw out, but it's just not happening.
Taste: Incredibly light, faint maltiness, a quick flash of hops and bitterness. Slight sweetish rebound, then, a dry finish. Fairly clean throughout because there's nothing ever really going on in this one.
Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.
Overall: Well, at least it's clean and refreshing.
04-05-2012 15:13:48 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.45/5 rDev +10.2%
Much thanks to EinWeizenBitte for this. I think my rating will be much higher than everyone elses as I think I'm going in to this from a much different perspective.
Glassware - Ikea pilsener
Appearance - A very clear, light straw yellow in color with a 2+ finger fluffy white head that had poor retention and left very little lacing on the glass.
Nose - Very light aroma with no distinguishable hops or grains (although the can clearly states it contains "New Zealand Hop".) There is a slight apple-like fruit aroma. None the green apple aroma commonly found in beer but a lot like a fuji apple.
Taste - Extremely light flavor with the same fruit flavor from the nose. Again there is no noticeable grain or hop flavors. Just very, very light beer in general.
Mouthfeel - Thin, a little bit watery but with lots of carbonation. Actually kind of nice and refreshing.
Overall - This was actually pretty good and I think something like this would be a HUGE seller to the BMC crowd. I was pleasantly surprised.
02-23-2010 06:20:24 | More by mullenite
2.9/5 rDev -7.3%
Because of a random beer mail and a generous trade, I received this can from EinWeizenbitte. Poured from can into goblet.
Beer is clear, crystal clear, and light yellow. Head forms quickly and then dissipates. Carbonation is moderate to low and bubbles are quite large. Looks like a light lager in all honesty.
Aroma is sulfur at first. Its not light struck, its from a can, just some sulfur. It disappears quickly and leaves an unoffensive sweetness and plain aroma.
Mouthfeel is a little thin. There is an aftertaste that could be corn based. Tastes like an adjunct lager. There is almost no flavor until the end. Its not a very pleasing beer but its really unoffensive. Not much going on at all.
I don't know what makes a GOOD happoshu, since this is my first, but this beer is just generally boring. I bet you could drink a 6 pack of these while watching a football game on a Saturday and be perfectly fine.
Bottom line: Unoffensive, uninteresting, bland.
10-17-2009 00:26:45 | More by drabmuh
2.65/5 rDev -15.3%
"I got you babe...I got...you babe"
Like Bill Murray waking up to the same song, i'm just another in a long line of people thanking EinWeizenbitte for sending this to me as a freebie.
Poured out from a can. Canned date is 05/09, best before is 01/10. The can says made with New Zealand hops. We'll see...
Appearance: Pours a remarkably clear golden body with a rather thick white head that gradually disappears. Par for the course with the style i guess but it's not terribly attractive.
Smell: Major corn and some slight inoffensive skunkiness (if such a thing exists). My wife smells peaches but i don't get it.
Taste: So we start with an appearance and smell that aren't too bad but things go downhill from here. A grainy taste with some corn and maybe rice but it has a lingering skunky aftertaste mixed with a slight bitterness (but not the good kind). Kind of off-putting a little. For a beer that boasts using hops i was a least expecting a hint of hops but to no avail. I would have scored it higher but when you claim having hops, you better back it up and this one didn't.
Mouthfeel: Quite watery and thin with a very light body. Good carbonation but you aren't scoring high if that's your only good thing.
Drinkability: Not so much. A bit boring and was glad to have my wife take a couple of gulps to help me.
Overall: A bit uninspiring. Though i wasn't expecting to be bursting with hops, i was at least hoping to see a trace of it. No go and this beer fails on that account. It's not foul tasting by any means but it's quite bland actually. Oh well, i was happy to try a style that is practically impossible to have here.
09-24-2009 14:50:04 | More by papat444
3.05/5 rDev -2.6%
Received from EinWeizenbitte. Todd, thanks for the opportunity and the generosity!
Pours a clear pale golden color with a two finger bubbly white head that quickly dissipates to a thin cap on top of the glass. Smells of sweet malt slightly fruity and earthy. Not a whole lot going on in the nose, reminds me of Michelob Ultra or O'douls. Taste is mild slight fruit and sweet malt with just enough hop bitterness to be slightly detectable. There is a weird phenolic taste that I can best describe as what you get with that last sip of diet fountain soda from Burger King. You know when the plastic from the straw leeches itself upon the underlying drink inside the cup. Then again maybe that only happens to me :) Crisp carbonation, thin body with a bone dry finish. Mouthfeel reminds me a bit of sparkling water. 5% alcohol is virtually undetectable. I don't know if this a good Happoshu or bad. I felt it to be light and somewhat refreshing although not much flavor going on here. I am glad I got the opportunity to try this and if I'm ever in Japan I'll try some more.
09-14-2009 23:46:46 | More by johnnnniee
3.38/5 rDev +8%
Yet another thankful recipient of EinWeizenbitte's generosity here. Thanks so much for the chance to try this very elusive style. The can says "New Zealand Hop Included". My understanding of the style is that it is brewed mostly with rice with some barley as an adjunct, and was made originally to take advantage of some byzantine tax laws that taxed based on percentage of barley malt, or some such arbitrariness. I expected this to be have a very low abv, and I was surprised that this was 5%. Very cool textured can. pours a very pale golden with little head. A small cap sticks around. Smells of sweet rice and earthy hops. Light and grainy. Tastes better than expected. Quite a bit of rice flavor, and this is pretty ricey, with lots of sweet rice, not like a subtle adjunct as in Bud. Light and spritzy, but you can actually taste some hops here, which are earthy and herbal with perhaps a bit of citrus at the end. The mouthfeel is light, spritzy, and just slightly on the sweeter side, but quite refreshing. I am usually a fan of rice beverages, I love sake for instance, and the rice flavor is clean and deep here and the hops actually register. I find this strangely compelling.
09-13-2009 02:15:05 | More by Georgiabeer
2.95/5 rDev -5.8%
I'm honored to join the EinWeizenbitte Brigade.
We the proud, we the few, we the samplers of Happoshu,
Suffer me now as I haiku...
One more style tried
Thanks to the kindness of Todd
My first Happoshu!
(I'll just hang on to that day job...)
Appearance - pours a clean, pale straw color into a pilsner glass. A finger of snowy head forms quickly and dissipates just as fast. No lacing but a nice bead from below gives this a refreshing if not standard macro look.
Aroma - grain, slightly sweet, hints of a basic malt liquor or perhaps Miller Lite. Probably proper per style but not that great on the whole.
Taste - a husky flavor, I'm thinking corn and again being reminded of Miller, but more closer to the Genuine Draft than the light as the flavor is fuller. A late hint of something vapory, maybe minty, I'm not quite sure what it is. Could be that New Zealand hop ;-)... perhaps just the combination of that and the light alcohol bite. Not bad, it's reminding me of a 7-Up. Finishes clean, pretty darn refreshing.
Mouthfeel - highly carbonated, light thin lager style body.
Drinkability - not especially endearing, but it disappear readily. Thanks Todd!
09-10-2009 03:19:08 | More by brewdlyhooked13
2.85/5 rDev -8.9%
Like most reviewers I got mine from EinWeizenbitte (the Patron Saint of Sparkling Hop) - many, many thanks as this knocks a style off my list that I thought would be near impossible to get. Poured from a 350ml can into a pint glass. The can was very cool with a textured design in the middle half of the can. Bottom of can showed a May 2009 canned date with a best by date of Jan 2010. It was a clear pale straw color with several carb streams. No lacing. It had a huge bubbly white head that slowly settled into a whispy film and a collar.
The aroma was grain, corn, rice and a touch of hops. Was similar to several macro lagers and pilseners . Reminded me of a lawnmower beer. Not a big fan of this style of aroma but for what it was it was good. The taste however was really lacking. It starts out with a touch of flavor and you expect it to build or at least continue but it quickly faded to a barely there taste. The mouthfeel was nice and crisp from the high carbonation level.
Overall, it was an interesting beer. I got this to try the style so wasn't expecting much after reading the reviews and it pretty much delivered what I expected in aroma but was disappointing in the taste. Hugely appreciative of EinWeizenbitte for giving me the chance to try it.
08-24-2009 22:54:55 | More by TexIndy
3.08/5 rDev -1.6%
Big Big Thanks to EinWeizenbitte for this one. Arrived today, give it a slight chill before popping it open.
A: Pours a very bright yellow hue with hints of brillant gold. The head is nice tall and foamy. Not much retention but there are lots of bubbles racing to the top.
S: Light aromas of corn, rice, and lemon grass.
T: Simple macro flavors as well. Grains are there with corn coming to mind for sure. Hints of cardboard, with notes of lemon, and a touch of grass.
M: Very light, zippy carbonation.
D: Not too bad. Glad I was able to try the style, once again a huge thanks to EinWeizenbitte for hauling these home to share.
08-24-2009 21:31:45 | More by tpd975
3.38/5 rDev +8%
More beer karma for EinWeizenbitte for brining this one back from Japan AND THEN sending it across the US to me and asking for nothing in return. A true BA.
The can is actually textured with some nice little hops adorning the front logo. It reads, "New Zealand Hop Included", I looked in the can but didn't see it. Oh well, maybe next time. Hahaha. On to the review.
Sparkling Hop pours very much like a macro lager. Its light gold, its very carbonated and it produces a very loose, but thick, head.
The aroma is hard to place, it certainly isn't a lot of hops that is for sure. Its more of a metallic, corn and lemony smell. Its not altogether bad but it does make me think that drinking directly from the can may give you better results.
The taste is very light and dry. It almost disappears off my tongue like cotton candy. There are some subtle sweet fruit flavors, some more lemony citrus and maybe just maybe a squidge of those New Zealand hops (but maybe not).
I'm not going to lie, Sparkling Hop is not an amazing beer. Sorry to offend any Happoshu lovers. I will say this about this beer, it is refreshing. Its light, crisp and easy drinking.
08-18-2009 01:58:37 | More by indiapaleale
2.98/5 rDev -4.8%
Big thanks to EinWeizenbitte for bringing this can all they way back from Japan and sending it to me gratis - feel free to call in a favor whenever, man. Canned in February 2009, best before October of the same year. I dig the nutritional information - 42 calories/100ml (147 for the whole can). Served in my Surly pint glass.
A - Pours with a huge four fingers of foam that dissolve pretty rapidly and leaves behind some tiny spots of lacing. The brew is a crystal-clear straw color with a few bubbles lazily rising to the top. Looks pretty decent.
S - Smells pretty adjunct lager-y. There's perhaps a touch of floral grassy hops (could these be the "New Zealand Hop Included!" as the can proudly proclaims?). Some lime and a bit of sweet maltiness.
T - Taste is a little less offensive. Some adjunct corny types of flavors, with a little bit of sweetness at the back end. There's some noble-esque hops (from New Zealand!) that set it apart from American macro swell, but they're pretty understated. Aftertaste is also better in that it's pretty neutral, with just some touches of sweetness.
M - Medium carbonation, with only a slight tingle - still feels a little bit gassy. Medium body, not overly grainy, with some nice residual stickiness. Could be a lot worse.
D - I'd pick this over most macros, and it wasn't too hard to finish (although it was a bit bloaty). Positives include the can format, neutral aftertaste, low ABV, and price (in Japan). Still, I'm not gonna rush out to sample other examples of Happoshu any time soon.
06-08-2009 00:10:29 | More by MasterSki
3.28/5 rDev +4.8%
Will give you one guess where I got this from...of course, EinWeizenbitte is again the generous soul who's apparently the official American BA fence for Happoshu. Many thanks for sharing this one. I'm using the Sea Dog pint glass for this one.
It pours like a very diluted Mountain Dew - a little bit of a chartreuse character in it. Head is a good 1 ½ fingers but very loose - if there could be muffin tunnels in a rice cake they'd look like this. Extremely well-carbonated; even with larger bubbles. It's all moving quickly.
It has a definite macro character, with a little raw Saaz hop silage and then definite adjunct...whether it be corn, rice, or Panko bread crumbs...I have no idea - am forgetting what's allowed in here for the classifaction - definitely has a large rice character but what else? I get it...if it's ½ rice and corn (or even 1/3) it sounds like it's legit for a Happoshu.
It does have a boiled quality that has a little dishwater component. Not like that dreaded Kvass stuff, though. This is far more spritely and overall this drinks OK given the sort of clammy stewy silage in there. The husky <insert name of mystery adjunct here..rice I guess> gives the small hop quotient a little bit of pine and balsa wood. Sweetness seems to be of the corn sugar variety.
It doesn't have a nasty aftertaste - it's a little bit of sugary riceiness. The carbonation cleans it up pretty well to avoid a harsh, nasty aftertaste. Finish leaves a little stewy Saaz in there - maybe not prime real estate...but not enough to make this intolerable.
Hey, I didn't know what to expect, but this exceeded my expectations. If I was a dude in Japan golfing on the weekend after ponying up my 500,000 yen a round or whatever the hell it is to golf in Tokyo, I wouldn't mind a cold sixer of these puppies in my bag. Why not? I'm kinda getting bummed that it's getting towards the empty part of the glass to tell you the truth, so that's gotta say something.
06-05-2009 00:22:58 | More by IBUnit63
1.85/5 rDev -40.9%
I think I owe thanks to einweizenbitte for this one; it arrived at my doorsteps without a lot of information, and quite banged up - the stamp indicates it spent a lot of time in transit.
Can, poured into a pint glass.
Very clear yellow color, voluminous white head, poor retention, no lacing.
Aroma is mostly rice, perhaps a faint grassy hoppiness, but I think I am looking too hard.
Very very thin, almost devoid of taste, again with a hint of rice. It feels like the water you cook the rice, mixed with a beer, and more water added.
It is a very mediocre beer, but I am very happy I finally tried this elusive style. If this is truly representative, it is a style to be forgotten.
05-07-2009 22:12:06 | More by brdc
3.1/5 rDev -1%
Thanks to Einweissebitte for this!
Pours clear straw yellow with a fizzy white head that becomes an isolated patch. No lacing sticks.
The smell is of lime with a touch of lemongrass. Malt is light, and slightly soapy.
The taste is of seltzer, a generally sweetness and slight soap. There is a subtle lemon tang in the finish.
Light-bodied and fizzy - in a typical "macro lager" way.
Other than slightly soapy character, it is pretty inoffensive with just enough subtle bitter balance. It is pretty bland, though. It says that it uses "New Zealand hop". The singular, rather than plural, is quite fitting here. I suppose it's better - more balanced - than most "macros", but not much going on other than a "heat beating refresher".
04-25-2009 12:54:45 | More by jwc215
3.08/5 rDev -1.6%
Can courtesy of proteus93 and split w/ proteus93 and dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a tasting glass.
Appearance: Very crisp and clean looking, bubbly and light, with incredibly fast effervescence racing towards the surface, well-dispersed. The one finger of white, soapy head fades quickly into a sheen and - surprisingly, remarkably! - there are a few eruptions of lacing. The color is crisp, bright, clear, pale golden, like a well-hydrated man.
Aroma: Oh jeeze, that's not pleasant. Faint and a little skunky-esque, though it can't be actually skunky given that it's in a can, with faint, grassy, hay-like hops, like a lawn that's been mowed but, not anytime soon. Maybe a week ago? Anyway, yeah, not great.
Taste: Skunky from a can always makes me nervous. There are a few funky banana like notes - do they belong?! I don't know! - and a few other lightly fruity esters, accompanied by pale sweetness, rice, honey-esque notes, additives. The hops are definitely present - slightly citrusy, grassy - though not too in your face.
Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, in a moderately thick though pretty much thin body, resulting in a slightly creamy but still thin and crisp beer, solid without being too impressive.
Drinkability: It really just tastes like a slightly hoppier Bud Select or something, with that same pale, slightly gross malt backbone, a faint, tart and leafy hop note, and low abv%. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, though, so, to be fair, I'll have to recommend it ... if you're a happoshu fan. You ARE a happoshu fan, right?
04-11-2009 03:16:49 | More by CrellMoset
2.73/5 rDev -12.8%
Thanks to EinWeizenbitte for picking this up while in Japan, like most others. Split it up with dkachur and CrellMoset.
A: 'Swill yellow'... that pale, crisp look. Head forms quickly, and reasonably, and then recedes to almost nothing.
S: A very grassy and somewhat skunky scent. When there seems to be skunkiness in a canned beer, it's a little odd. We all noted something like very green, unripe banana.
T: Fortunately, the flavour is not skunky or as strange as the nose. Still grassy, some rice is apparent.
M + D: A little more body, with a slightly softer carbonation than I expected. It goes down pretty straight and easy, like many 'lawnmower beers' There are others that I would take before it, but iI can actually tolerate this one.
04-11-2009 03:15:20 | More by Proteus93
2.65/5 rDev -15.3%
First and foremost, many thanks to EinWeizenbitte for hauling these cans all the way back from Japan and sending one to me, among a few other BAs. Very thoughtful and generous. You, sir, are a kick-ass BA!
Appearance: It's pale yellow and very clear. Carbonation looks active. Lots of bubbles floating about. It's topped with a foamy white head that reaches two fingers deep. It stuck around quite a while and left light, sticky lace clinging to the glass.
Smell: The nose isn't very strong. It features some grainy and floral notes. It's slightly vegetal. There is a faint hop aroma which is very surprising. This Happoshu is very reminiscent of a macro lager with the exception of the hop aroma. It isn't a strong scent, but I am pleased to pick up even a little. Light spices emerge on the tail. Smells like faint pepper.
Taste: The flavor is really a little below average. There's not much that impresses. It is grainy and a little floral. There is a vegetal aspect to it, but it's not overly strong. There really isn't a strong flavor in this beverage to speak of. Hops provide a light spicy bite, but really don't have much of an impact. I was hoping that the New Zealand hops allegedly included would add some flare. Clearly that's not the case. It finishes a little sweet and spicy. Not too exciting.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's has a light body overall. It's more substantial than a typical light lager and doesn't feel quite as watered down. But, it is thin. Carbonation is active and crisp. It's not bad. Pretty average. Drinkability is below average. There's little to like about the flavor. It goes down easy, but it certainly doesn't leave you wanting more.
Happoshu is much less interesting than I'd hoped. I'm thrilled that I had the opportunity to try it. But, it's not dazzling in any way. It's very similar to a macro lager in many respects. Perhaps it's just a macro lager with a spicy name. Come to think of it, maybe "Happoshu" means "macro lager" in Japanese. I get it. That must be it. In any event, I'm very thankful for the opportunity. Thanks, Todd. Very much appreciated.
03-24-2009 01:31:42 | More by prototypic
3.15/5 rDev +0.6%
Huge, huge, huge thanks go out to Einweizenbitte for this one, for free, I can't express my thanks enough. This beer is one that I've been looking for for a while, and a style that has been hard to find. Thanks a million!
12 oz can. New Zealand Hop Included!
A: Could be one of the lightest beers I've ever seen. Champagne in color, with a stark white head that is disappearing just as fast as it came around. Lots of bubbles moving through this one. Looks a lot like sparkling cider.
S: Pretty darn skunky, and not a whole lot else, as with this style, its not surprising to not have any malt flavors, a few spicy aspects, but pretty light in the nose all together.
T: Tastes like rice, and crackers, pretty sweet, and incredibly light, there really isn't a whole lot going on, but the rice flavor is HUGE, a slight spicy/skunky hop bite at the end, but not a whole lot. Light in flavor, but interesting nonetheless.
M: Light, crisp, and dry, leaves a few lingering rice aftertastes, but really goes down nicely, carbonation is light.
D: I could easily drink this beer all night, light on everything, with an interesting flavor, easily sessionable, I don't think I'd go rant and rave about this one, but it has definitely been an interesting experience. Interesting beer. Once again, thanks Todd!
03-21-2009 02:42:37 | More by pokesbeerdude
3.18/5 rDev +1.6%
Sparkling Hop is the first (and most likely the last, due to availability) Happoshu that I've had the pleasure of trying. A big thanks is owed to EinWeizenbitte who brought some back from Japan and sent it to me free, simply asking that I review it. Thanks a lot Todd! A quick Google search informs me of the tax benefits to Japanese Breweries of producing Happoshu. The savings is ultimately passed on to the Japanese consumer, which allows for Happoshu to be roughly half the cost of beer. S
Poured into my imperial pint glass, the beer is a clear and very effervescent light gold. A thousand tiny bubbles rush up to the white fluffy head for a minute after the pour, and then the commotion subsides. The head is an inch high, and recedes quickly, in about 45 seconds.
The aroma reminds me of corn with some wheat. A hint of alcohol is noticeable, with a very low level of earthy hops. The aroma lacks the dull metallic character that I smell in American macros, and which I expected to find here. The taste is very bland, almost to the point of truly being flavorless. There's a slight metallic character to Sparkling Hop, and a low level of bitterness. The flavor of grain, rice, and corn is present. The finish is crisp, with no noticeable alcohol and a return of the low bitterness.
The beer is light bodied with good carbonation and is light and crisp on the palate. An interesting beer (I mean Happoshu) and reminiscent of a macro lager.
03-16-2009 04:23:39 | More by HopHead84
2.93/5 rDev -6.4%
Thanks to... Who else? EinWeizenbitte! Cheers Todd!
Into a fluted pilsner glass, the beer shows lots of rapid champagne carbonation. About three fingers of soapy foam rise and puff into a convex dome above the rim. There's a broken ring of suds clinging to the glass after the first couple sips, and it manages to maintain a skim on the surface. Color is an ultra pale straw yellow.
Aroma of corn, faintly metallic, with some cooked vegetal skunk. Could that be the NZ hops?
Clean and papery, puffed rice cereal, slight CO2 bite in the front, white corn aftertaste. A fleeting flash of apple disappeared before it had time to register. Pretty gassy feel, hard to gulp down due to the light astringency. One and done, now I have conquered the Happoshu beast...
Edit: wacky Sparkling Hop commercial spots are no longer online... here's a few screenshots http://www.japanmarketingnews.com/2008/02/effective-japan.html
03-14-2009 03:05:31 | More by emerge077
3.35/5 rDev +7%
Big props to Todd (EinWeizenbitte) for this!
A- Very light yellow with an even lighter green tinge, decent half finger head.
S- Light hints of malt and hints of corn.
T- Mellow grainy malt sweetness up front further along corn notes are evident.
M- Very fizzy and light.
D- The light body makes it very quenching.
Quite similar in many respects to Lite lagers, but very different in the actual flavor. This is worth seeking out. Some people go nuts searching for Westy 12 and Darkness and what not. However, Abt 12 and Old Rasputin are redily available subsitutes. There's no subsitiute for this.
03-14-2009 02:07:22 | More by Pauly2X
3.25/5 rDev +3.8%
This beer pours a clear very pale yellow color, with a thick, white, fluffy head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a thick lacing.
This beer has a very mild aroma. It smells slightly citrusy. It has a slightly earthy aroma as well. Some adjunct aromas are also present. Rice hulls. Mild grains.
This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. A very slight citrusy hop flavor with some earthy yeast. I can also taste the rice adjunct. I can taste some grains too.
This beer is quite carbonated. It has a very thin mouthfeel. Watery. A slight grainy aftertaste.
This beer would probably be a decent session beer for a fan of marcos. Low alcohol and low flavor makes it a good session beer.
Overall: Thanks go out to EinWeizenbitte for generously using some of the limited space he had on the plane from Japan to hook me up. You are a generous man. I didnt particularly care for it, but I cant find any reason to say that it is a bad beer. I doubt I will be seeking it out again, but it fits the style guidelines well.
02-12-2009 02:31:42 | More by OStrungT
Sparkling Hop from Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
75 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.