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Coedo Beniaka | Coedo Brewery (Kyodo Shoji Koedo Brewery)

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Coedo BeniakaCoedo Beniaka

Brewed by:
Coedo Brewery (Kyodo Shoji Koedo Brewery)

Style: Happoshu

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Sweet Potato Amber.

Because of the use of sweet potato as a secondary ingredient, Japanese laws classify Coedo Beniaka as a Happoshu (malt beverage).

Added by Westsidebuddha on 05-07-2010

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 111
Photo of railcaider
1.68/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

True to its name, this beer has a nice burgundy color that's complemented by an off-white head. The head itself was pretty small and soon dissolved, leaving only a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The bouquet is mostly sweet strawberry and raspberry smells with a little vanilla, and is dominated by a strong vegetal odor not usually present in beer.

According to the label, the main ingredient is Japanese sweet potato. In Japan, sweet potatoes are also used to make a clear liquor called shochu, so there is some precedent for using them to make alcohol. They have a heavy vegetal flavor and a very mild sweetness, which is a strange combination of tastes for a beer. When I first took a sip, I was surprised by how the balance of the taste is the opposite of the smell. The main taste is vegetal, and only the aftertaste had any real bitterness. There is some fruity sweetness, but it's quite muted, like dark chocolate. The viscous mouthfeel goes well with the sweet notes, but the heavy alcohol content and strange vegetal taste overpower the mild flavor profile.

This lack of balance really hurts the drinkability. Normally I don't like to waste beer, but in this case I was actually tempted to just pour it down the drain and be done with it. Coedo produces some very good beers, which makes this one all the more disappointing.

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Photo of Thorpe429
1.98/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle thanks to drabmuh. Served in a taster glass. Pours an orange-copper color with a tiny head of bubbles that falls quickly. The nose has some sweet potato and a touch of caramel. Flavor starts off with caramel, sweet potato, and bread, but then is taken over by a strange off dryness. Very odd. Body is light and off kilter. Not a big fan.

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Photo of Knapp85
2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was hoping this beer would be much more interesting but it really wasn't anything to brag about. It had a reddish color which was nice but no head which always bums me out. The brew had a sweet aroma to it. Not much in there that made it super appealing on any level. This had a strong abv but that's about all I could really say about it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.26/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought this off a whim while perusing Bottlecraft. Had Coedo's collab with Ballast Point a while back and thought it was tasty, so I figured this would be worth a try. Nope!

A: Pours a dark reddish copper color with a one finger sand colored head. Pretty dark, but definitely looks worth trying.

S: Uh oh. Kind of weird here. First of all, they nailed the sweet potato. This smells like if you took a raw sweet potato, scratched the first layer off with your fingernail and took a big whiff. A little bit of that baked sweet potato caramel and brown sugar note as well. Weird but still doesn't seem off.

T: And now we're off. We're way the hell off. This lager body with a base that tastes like MGD. Then a crapload of candied sweet potato sweetness. This is almost at Wild Blue level hangover-in-a-glass sweet. Ok, not quite that bad. But I will be damn impressed if you can finish a whole bottle of this. A experiment, but the results are pretty regrettable. Avoid, my friends.

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Photo of wayfarers
2.29/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A deep, reddish amber lager with sweet potato at its focus. This is the first time I've poured a beer down the drain after expecting something excellent. I've had great Japanese beer, and this is not one of them.

I am about to make a statement that may sound rude or ignorant, but I promise I am not being bigoted when I say this: this beer reeks of soy sauce. In a very bad way. It smells terrible. It makes me sick thinking about the smell. I couldn't take it, and that's coming from someone who uses soy sauce/tamari a lot with food.

The taste wasn't something to write home about either. It looked great in a glass, though!

I don't think sweet potato lagers are for me.

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Photo of heygeebee
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%

First of style, but man this is a sweet sweet beer, with no after palate business to offset the sweetness. Spotty lace and deep red body, but just smells and tastes of brown sugar and molasses really. Maybe like an american brown ale with extra sugar?
Having said all that it is unique, with malt overload and sweet hit, I haven't had anything like it before.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.92/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared by drabmuh, the Jedi ticker. Thanks Matt!

The beer is amber colored with no head or lacing. The aroma is sweet, offering brown bread, biscuits, caramel, grain. Smells like a sweet adjunct lager. Malt, sweet potato and sweet breads. Virtually no carbonation leads to a light, watery feel on the palate. Overall, this was fun to try but not something I would have again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The elusive happoshu tick is finally here!

Pours a clear dark copper color with a fizzy 1/2 inch tan head that quickly fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly slide into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of grain, caramel, and some slight sweet potato and vegetal aromas. Taste is very sweet and is of grain, caramel, and burnt sweet potato/vegetal flavors. There is a weird herbal/medicinal bitterness that lingers on the tongue after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with only a very slight crispness. Overall, this is a very interesting beer. It tastes better than it smells but the aftertaste has a very odd burnt vegetable flavor that is kind of gross.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Format: a dark brown, stumpy little 333mL bottle with a funky label.

Appearance: quite dark brown with ruby when raised to the light. Not much in the way of a head - just a thin ring.

Aroma: wow, there's something very different in there, very vegetal. Ah okay. Just read the label, and yes it is a definite sweet potato vegetal with a touch of malt.

Taste: very interesting, and very unusual. Definitely dominated by the sweet potato - I can't help but think that the flavour doesn't really suit being utilised for a beer.

Aftertaste: lingers for a time, becoming a bit bitter on the finish. Still interesting, but I'm not sure.

Mouth feel: light to moderate in feel with a moderate carbonation. Certainly carries the flavour reasonably well.

Overall: an interesting but overall awkward beer. I'm not entirely sure the flavour is something that feels right being added to a beer. The biggest issue is the price however, at AU$8.50 per 333mL bottle. Not worth that - nowhere near it.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5


Thanks for the tick/gift, UCLABrewN84!

Dark copper color with very minimal light tan head. There's not a lot of visible carbonation and this leaves the glass nearly clean.

The aroma is a combination of caramel, bread, a bit of spice character, and vegetables (celery and tomato?).

The flavor is malty with some spice character to it, along with moderate bitterness and some celery flavor as well. Drinkable.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. I think the body of this beer brings the rest of it down.

Drinkable, but unexciting. It's nothing I'll revisit.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark brown red. Below normal head volume with little retention or lacing.

The nose is rather nice, sweet potato, molasses, light caramel and maybe other vegetables or fruit.

Light body with a texture a bit heavier than water. Below normal carbonation with just a bit of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor is unique, but not bad if you like sweet potatoes. Sweet potato becomes the base with a bit of hop bitterness arriving in the middle. As it progresses, the sweetness takes on a molasses note with a hint of caramel.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Pours coppery brown with a small head.
Sweet potato is quite prominent in the aroma, but also some sweet malt. very interesting.
Lots of sweet potato as a flavour too. A hit of booze ruins things a little though. Again, quite sweet.
Body feels a bit flat, need a lot more carbonation to cut the sweetness.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tea color with a small off-white head which dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma is somewhat winey...not much else.

Taste is rather sweet with some wood, earth, sweet potato, apple cider. Some other stuff there...but hard to figure.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly cleansing and slightly cloying.

Overall, pretty easy to drink and worth a try. Drinkable, but not your typical beer profile. Good to try as a curiosity.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Beniaka." Imperial sweet potato amber. 7% ABV.

333ml brown glass bottle with sanguine label and Thai description purchased at the Beer Lab in Chiang Mai Thailand for 310 baht. Packaged 05.11.15.

Notes below are brief since I'm relegated to a phone review.

A: No head. Auburn body. No yeast is visible within.

Sm: Toasted amber malts give this a nice backbone that nods towards bread crust and Caramel. Hop character bends a bit herbal. I have to look for the sweet potato to notice it, but while I doubt I'd recognize sweet potato in a blind tasting, I do pick up on an uncommon sweetness; in any case, it really seems to work.

Aromatic intensity is average.

T: Has a raw sweetness I guess comes from sweet potato, but there's no way I'd guess that blind. Amber malts are at the core of this well-balanced brew. Marshmallow, brown sugar/pimoncello, caramel, bread crust, toast. A kiss of pumpkin.

No noticeable hop character here. No booziness or yeast character.

Nicely executed, though it lacks the depth of flavour and complexity I'd expect in any great imperial amber.

I do like it, even if there's ample room for improvement.

Mf: Smooth, medium-bodied, wet, well-carbonated, and of appropriate heft and weight on the palate.

O: Drinkable, especially for a sweet beer of 7% ABV. I'd get it again if offered at a better price. The raw sweetness imparted by the sweet potato helps set this one apart; it definitely has a different flavour profile than most imperial Ambers (which tend to go big on the hops). Interesting fare from a brewery I'd never heard of prior.


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Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Samurai Mama, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with just a few bubbles on the surface and a very thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of sweet potatoes in the nose; these become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of sweet potatoes and a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer style is definitely unique and sweet potato is more interesting as an adjunct malt compared to corn and rice. It definitely tastes a lot more flavorful compared to Japanese rice lagers.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So this is my first Happoshu. Not sure what to expect here, this sweet potato concoction, but here goes. Poured into a nonic pint glass. Heard some horrid things about Happoshu, however this is Codeo and have managed to enjoy at least their Hefeweizen.

Out of the bottle is watery sounding pour, a bit of slap slap as the beverage enters the glass. Deep amber plum like red body, highly murky and cloudy. Barely makes half a finger of tan head, to fall to a filmy puck. Manages to maintain at least a tan collar that is about three millimeters thick and resembling at least a beer.

Sweet malts, kind of maraschino sticky cherry, and alcohol fussel like heat and warmth. Really not much else going on, but definitely sweet and getting into malt liquor like realm.

Surprisingly very light bodied, nearly crisp. Sweetness comes with a minimal subdued mouthfeel, but there's some hint of crackling toast and grains here, maybe even some caramel sweetness. Once again, jarred sugar cherries and plum like fruit, but kind of cheap tasting.

The most interesting thing, is I thought this was going to be an alcohol malt liquor sugar bomb but it's actually well hidden and drinks real easily. Most of the happoshu I've heard about is a canned cheap swill beverage, but this is a little different even if it's not really looking that appealing.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with an amber tinge. Cloudy with no visible carbonation, and 2 fingers of orange beige head.

S: Light sweetness, malt, jackfruit, Asian sweet potato, a light caramelized sugar, crème brule.

T: Caramelized sugar, brown sugar, a light raspberry, dark toasted scent like caramelized pumpkin or sweet potato. Almost some barley wine qualities as far as taste.

M: Medium thick, syrupy body, little carbonation like a soda that’s sat out for an evening. Alcohol very well hidden.

O: Impressive idea, love that Japan is getting more creative in craft beer. Got this on Wishbeer, drank in Chiang Mai March 9th, 2015.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by drtickmuh.

Pours a clear amber red with no head. Very sweet aroma; bready and caramel, light vegetable. Smooth body with low carbonation, medium thick. Interesting flavor, sweet and malty, with a subtle contribution from the sweet potato. Sweet, but drinkable, I'd bizarrely like to have more of this.

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Photo of kjpage1
3.39/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the only Happoshu I've ever had, so I'm not sure of what the ideal characteristics should be.

A-Pours a nice amber, red color with a quickly dissipating head.
S-Not a lot to offer here; mild sweet, fruity aroma.
T-Very different than I expected. Fruity, syrupy, sweet.
M-Watery with little viscosity.
O-I think this "beer" is interesting, but woulnd't seek it out again. It has cellared well for 7 months, fwiw; seems my review matches up well with most of the others here.

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Photo of nychrislin
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

best beer from Coedo I've had. beautiful copper brown appearance, but like most of their beers, a very watery texture, very flat, and zero head. The pour is fairly exciting, but the head is very very temporary. They have copied the Chimay packaging, it seems like. i enjoy the taste and appearance, and the smell and taste of the fruit and caramel is great, but the body is just too thin. Wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 09.10.14

Look - Pours blood orange red with fluffy white head. Decent distribution, good retention. 3.75 paws.

Smell - Roasted sweet potato greets you with an underlying grassy, steely hop character. Bits of syrup, roasted marshmallow, caramel. 3.5 paws.

Taste - Sweet sweet potato up front, slightly bitter finish. Muted hop character. Nicely balanced, a bit stale though. 3.25 paws.

Feel - Light to medium bodied, low carbonation. 3.5 paws.

Overall - Not my cup of tea, but makes for a refreshing beer with a good amount of flavor. 3.5 paws.

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Photo of Brenden
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is a sort of medium-dark brown with a hint of violet in the body and some ruby in the very thinnest edges. The head is off-white, pretty small but fairly firm at the layer that stands up for the duration. Lacing consists almost exclusively of light spotting, but some little legs go out here and there.
There's some caramel in the nose, seemingly from the malts and a little sweetness. The potato itself is evident. There is an unfortunate, though not heavy, vegetal note.
The flavor pulls together nicely; malts form a good backbone with some caramel sweetness, the sweet potato makes a good showing, and there even seems to be a bit of alcoholic sweetness as well. I'm not sure what the yeast content is, but it seems to be contributing a different sort of earthiness and light sweetness of its own. It's pretty bready in the malts, too.
The body is lighter than some might expect, though it reaches a firm medium. It's a bit too carbonated, but it holds the malts well. It's lightly crisp and decently smooth, keeping up almost entirely to the end.
Maybe there are better Happoshu beers out there, but from how little seems to be out there, probably not. Then again, I've never been to Japan.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber colored brew with a pale white head, poured into a nonic ten ounce glass. 4.25

Smells quite a bit like sweet potato and it’s not unpleasant. Different. Kind of nice. Also has an odd yeasty presence that reminds me of my heavy-drinking days, is kind of pungent and acrid, and also kind of reminds me of vodka. It’s pretty much the way a lot of beers smelled before I’d tasted a great beer. 3

Sweet potato makes it to my taste buds and again, I’m pleasantly surprised. Also has a quality like sake. There’s got to be rice in here. It’s got the feel and the taste. And it’s kind of caramelly and bread sweet. Some floral notes are there in the mix too. It’s interesting and not bad at all. 3.5

Okay, I do have one beef. This thing feels hot and sake-like. Seriously, there’s a sake quality to this. The mouthfeel is a bit numbing almost. Beyond that it’s sweet, kind of sticky and finishes with a bitter dryness. 3.5

This ain’t bad at all. I’d drink it again.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours from a 333ml bottle a clear amber under a thin (1/4") off-white head which fades slowly to the rim and leaves some splotchy lace.

N: Definite sweet potatoe, grainy/malty, ABV noted, slight caramel sweetness.

T: Bready malts, sweet potatoes, yeasty, overripe plum/raisins and slightly grassy/herbal.

M: Semi-moderate body and light carbonation. Finishes with a bit of boozy, malty, and vegetal.

O: A mildly sweet, boozy, and interesting style. First for me.

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Photo of solid98
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts off with a minimal head presence, deep amber/brown color that is fairly translucent. Appears to be filtered and shows minimal visual carbonation. Quite a toasty nose to it, with caramel and cherries on first taste. Quite a clean mouth feel here, notes of honey emerging over time and I find this quite a tasty beer. Surprisingly, this seems to me quite different than the first time I tried it--lighter, fruitier and generally more exciting. Some alcohol emerges towards the end of the glass, along with a more distinctive sweet potato flavor, but neither of these take the beer out of balance. I certainly enjoyed this more than the last time I had it, and look forward to having it again.

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Coedo Beniaka from Coedo Brewery (Kyodo Shoji Koedo Brewery)
3.37 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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