Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale
Kiuchi Brewery

Hitachino Nest Anbai AleHitachino Nest Anbai Ale
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Sour - Gose
Ranked #264
Ranked #15,209
3.91 | pDev: 10.23%
Kiuchi Brewery
Very Good
Hitachino Nest Anbai AleHitachino Nest Anbai Ale
Notes: Anbai literally means “Salty Plum” and the word is also used to describe the stat of taste and flavor. Ii Anbai means “just right”!

Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale is brewed based on the high alcohol version (7%) of the siganture beer Hitachino Nest White Ale, infused with locally grown green sour plum (ume), and finished up with a pinch of Japanese sea salt (moshio). The balance of sourness, bitterness, comes from the plum and subtle saltiness, great umami taste of the sea salt is “Ii Anbai - just right!”
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 193 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Adorable bottle, as is always the cast from Hitcahino Nest.

The pour is dark orange and lightly cloudy with a retentive white head.

The aroma contains tart citrus nodes from the yeast, which is rounded out nicely by ripe plums. Interesting but not too intense; crisp and inviting.

Flavor is great: lively and tart, excellently balanced. Sharp fruit and yeast nodes up front, smoothed out by ripe fruit in the middle, with some nice yeast complexities on the back end accentuated wonderfully by a tiny hint of salt.

Nov 23, 2020
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hk117 from Hong Kong

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle - faint smell of green apples but fruity flavor reminding me of umeshu. Not too sharp or acidic especially for a sour. Loved the dry bitter finish with the right amount of alcohol kick

Aug 07, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Delightful! Sour with a touch of salt, featuring the "plum" of the Prunus mume ("ume") tree, and a Japanese salt called moshio which is made from seawater and seaweed... This beer has notes of apricot and plum, tart but with some fleshy juicy sweetness to it, and a drying finish... Light on the palate with just a tickle of salt - great job at merging the sweet, sour, fruity, and salty elements - very refreshing and tangy - the abv is a little high for the style, but I actually liked that...

May 01, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz brown bottle. Label is stamped 'AB.18.11m'.
Cloudy body with the color of an apricot and apple juice combination. No real head upon pouring, but there is a thin active ring throughout. No lacing.
Aroma of slightly sour plum and green apple.
Taste is sour and salty. Flavors of plum, green apple, lemon and lime. The salt congregates on the lips. Not much of an after taste because of the salt. Dry finish.
Medium mouth feel with that presence of salt. Good carbonation.
This beer has some complexity, and is refreshing, except that the salt makes me want to take another sip. It has a slightly acquired taste as the beer tasted better as I drank down the glass. The sourness level works very well with the level of salinity. Easy to drink but watch out for the 7.5%ABV. Some of the white ale comes through and acts as a very good foundation.

Jul 17, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 4/20/15 @ Fountainhead.

Semi-opaque light orange appearance.

White head; nice lace. Rich mango & orange citrus notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mango, ginger & effervescent wheat flavors up front; a dry finish. Mild coffee notes emerged as this warmed. Orange citrus & black pepper flavors settled on my lips over the course of the session.

Complex but easy to enjoy. Great!

Apr 04, 2019
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monkist from Hungary

4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glad to have found this! Love the Hitachino Nest line and trying to taste all of these beers whether in or outside of Japan, wherever available. I also love Japanese pickled plums (umeboshi) for their sour taste so I was really fascinated by this beer. However - and I was confirmed also by my Japanese wife - the ume in this beer isn't sour at all, it is rather sweet. Or should I say, normal, without being pickled or saviored. But it is 100% ume, that Japanese plum that I like!
As from a gose I was expecting something lighter with less ABV, more carbonation, more sourness and more salt - but then it would have been exactly like any other gose! This way it is like a very refreshing plum juice with a 7% punch very well hidden. Altogether I was not disappointed at all, Kiuchi Brewery always makes masterpieces and this is no exception. I hope everyone can recognize the subtle ume flavor and appreciate this beer accordingly!

Dec 01, 2018
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Lawrence77 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Hitachino Brewing Lab in Chiyoda near Ogawamachi Station. At this point, every time I see gose on a menu it turns otu to be some nasty salt monster. The people here were kind enough to give me a sample before ordering and it was nice - well balanced. Nose is very different from any gose you get in the US, or at least that I have had. It's the sour plum. The beer is very well balanced - slightly on the sour side while still riding the edge of a normal beer. Definitely recommend, it deserves a rating in the 4s, it's a well-done gose that isn't all salt.

Smells fruity and you might not identify plum until you read that's what it is. Once identified, you sort of comfortably sink into it. Salt is there, and compliments not overpowers.

Tastes balanced and... juicy? A bit of unxoiusness to it - that's a word, right? Salt is there again.

Body is medium, nothing over the line in any direction.

Overall, I think this should be their 2nd highest rated after the white.

Sep 18, 2018
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The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice and interesting beer, which even though it does not resemble a gose, it does have a nice sour aftertaste, but without any saltiness, despite the addition of salt. Very fruity and aromatic with a very modest carbonation bite on the tongue.

Apr 05, 2018
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Tone from Missouri

3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of bacterial funk, sweet malt, apple, hint of floral hops, hint of alcohol, and slight wood. Does not seem to fit the style of a Gose. Much too strong and rich for a Gose. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level and a hint of dryness. Tastes of bacterial funk, sweet malt, apple, hint of floral hops, hint of alcohol, slight amaretto, and slight wood. Overall, good aroma, feel, and blend, but much too strong for a Gose.

Feb 13, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my 7th from Hitachino and 6 are rated above average. I guess, statistically, that makes me a fan.
And qualitatively, I'm a fan. Unlike the stereotypical "good Japanese copy" that we uttered through the last part of the last Century, Hitachino is a talented innovator in at least three of the brews I've Had and this being the fourth, hence a majority.

Looks, luckily, are not important as a first impression here. Smells were nearly the same way, but I took a healthy snort at the end and I got some great plumpness of plums. (So, I took another healthy snort.) After that pleasant surprise, Tastes are more upfront. The second pleasant surprise was that the sour was not sour. (In fact, I wish the Germans had been more subtle to start with before American crafters started copying them.Now, the style is is too sour for a sweet old man like me.)
But for me, I could have fewer bubbles and (I speculate) the adjunct rices that went into the malt bill convey too much thin.
But overall, I remain unchanged: when I see Hitachino, I buy.

Dec 21, 2017
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BenHoppy from Michigan

3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting Japanese Gose. Not a bad brew got a bottle for $2 so can't complain but did find it to be a tad bit too salty. Felt like I was drinking straight from the ocean, so much salt it overtook the sourness I wanted from the plums. Nevertheless it was okay, nothing special yet was refreshing.

Nov 15, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy; medium gold in color; 1 finger white head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: sour plum; a little doughy; smells a little like a sea breeze - obviously the salt subtly coming through;

T: doughy for a moment, then sour plum through the finish; salt comes in toward the end; no bitterness; finish is slightly acidic; no hop character;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: really nicely done;

Jul 07, 2017
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wethorseblanket from California

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330ml stubby bottle, stamped AB.16.06, a hazy orangish yellow under a 1" thick white head which leaves splotchy lace. Aroma is fruity, floral and wheaty. Flavors are salty, mildly tart, green fruit (would not have guessed plum). Semi-medium body and moderate carbonation. Finishes low level tart, salty and fruity. Unique and interesting, but would not seek out again.

Feb 18, 2017
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden with a hint of fogginess, and lots of fine, fast rising carbonation. Topped with a white finger of head.

Smells slightly fruity, briny, with some malts.

Lightly sour, fruity with a very typical malt profile for a gose, and definitely some salt but not overdone.

Light body, lots of carbonation.

Very nice beer from Japan, a really good spin on the style just using sour fruit instead. Got on wishbeer, drank in Chiang Mai August 30th, 2016.

Aug 30, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wow! this is enormously high quality beer brewed with some really special ingredients, glad i scored one of these. always love what these guys get up to, but this one is fairly next level, even for them. its a plum gose, loosely, done with unique plums and unique salt. wheat base, the beer has a slight grain haze to it and a tall white head, golden more or less, brass might be better, lively looking brew. it smells a little fruity but beer first you know, grain and yeast in with some sweet fruit juice, but thats only a quick sniff. a deeper inhale will be very much rewarded here, there is an incredible hit of fresh ripe black purple plums right as i am about to run out of breath breathing through my nose as deep as i can, last second it comes on, what a deeply satisfying aroma that i almost missed in here. that helps me taste the plums better too, they are really juicy and ripe and although well balanced, quite significant in the flavor here. the salt is high mineral but super salty if that makes sense, less of the brine, more of an accentuating agent for the plums. herbal and wheaty this is, and the salt helps dry it out uniquely, sort of being the only element left on the tongue after the swallow, oddly enough. a bit of acid, but the smells a lot more sour and wild than it tastes, super clean as they go, very delicate tang is all. wonderfully flavored beer, brilliantly crafted. this is as good a beer as any in its field out there, if its not in a class of its own already. stunning and memorable, just right this time of year. best use of plums in a beer i can recall!

Aug 13, 2016
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 2011 vintage of Hitachino Anbai Ale looks remarkably fresh for something that's already celebrated its fifth birthday. The lightly clouded golden body is free of sediment (at least for a time) and displays an energetic radiance that, even without visible bubbles, imparts a lively, exuberant complexion.

The aroma would be spot-on for a Gose if not for the overt inclusion of Japanese green plums; the unique fruit presence overpowers even that of Lactobacillus and sea salt (though, make no mistake, both of those elements factor heavily into the overall scheme of things). Slice it up however you will, this is an awesome bouquet.

Where there's smoke there's usually fire, and where there's great bouquets there's often great flavours - Anbai is no exception. The palate is defined by the same 'salty plum' flavour that's advertised on the label; even half a decade of bottle aging wasn't able to change that. And thank the beer gods for that because this tastes awesome!

As far as mouthfeel goes, the beer couldn't be more perfectly adjusted - those who appreciate tongue curdling tartness, they'll get their fix. Newer initiates, however, won't be turned off as the kind of sourness present isn't much greater than that found naturally on fresh fruit skins. There's no acidic burn and no vinegar notes...

Anbai is a masterfully created ale and the fact that the bottle I'm reviewing stems from 2011 speaks not only to the high-esteem with which Hitachino should be regarded, but also the fact that the Japanese foresaw sours as a fruitful (pun intended) style that would come to represent producers' innovation, integrity, and quality.

Jul 22, 2016
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illpass78 from Maine

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy yellow/orange with a huge white head. Great presentation.

Aroma: Wheat, lemon, plum, citrus, a kind of "juice" note. Grainy, briny.

Taste: Delicious gose. Salt is up front, and the sour plum is the dominant flavor. Also some apricot, and the lemon hinted in the nose. Wow, this is good. I wish I had more than just one bottle. Nice tart finish. Not cloying in any way, which I had feared somewhat because of the fruit presence.

Mouthfeel: Light and easy, but with substance. Surprisingly unfussy for a somewhat precious-sounding concept.

Overall: A truly excellent mix of tart and salty. Find this. Also, for those scared off a bit by the ad copy, it's nowhere near as "weird" as it sounds.

May 28, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some faint lemon + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall fizzy foamy sudsy bright white head that quickly reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of slightly sour/tart wheat and grainy malts with a light aroma of brininess. There is a light to moderate aroma of plums towards the end.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy + wheat malts with a light amount of tartness/sourness. Light hints of brininess followed by light to moderate flavors of slightly sweet, then slightly tart plums. Light amounts of lingering tartness in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: An interesting fairly high test version of a Gose with a little less tartness than others in the style and a little more grainy wheaty maltiness. I enjoyed the addition of the plums and found the fruit to be complementary to the flavors of a gose and this one drinks pretty easy considering the strength (for the style).

Feb 28, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 6/2015. Pours hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, straw, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, plum/salt, and bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, hay, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruit tartness, yeast spice, and wheat tang on the finish; with lingering notes of plum, apricot, lemon, lime, pear, apple, sea salt, wheat, cracker, straw grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, salt/plum, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/saline, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial weizen/gose style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, salt/plum, and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and refreshing to drink for the ABV. Even though it is not lactic soured, the plums provide a fair amount of tartness for it to taste similar to the gose style. A very enjoyable offering.

Jan 16, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light fizzy creamy head that fades at a med pace, light whispy lacing, very hazy honey sun rise orange color.

NOse quiet fruity, plum juice, a rice mash aroma, with mild doughy malts, little citrus note, strange ester profile with strange fruits, I think a pink grapefruit flesh, little yeasty as most beers from this brewery seem to be.

Taste brings more of the typical Hitachino yeast, strange yeasty flavor with some different esters, but then Belgian wit yeast ester profile, some candy malt notes, with more rice wine flavors, a little tartness, with plenty of sweet plum flavor, candied plum, sticky notes, with mild biscuity doughy malt and hint of salt. Finish is sticky, more salt character, little flemmy tart thing, with more plum and candy flavors, with a weird bitterness.

Mouth is med boy, little syrupy sticky and flemmy, decent carb.

Overall if this was a Belgian strong style ale it would be pretty nice, but as a gose it's far from good. As a Belgian nice ester profile, candy malts and syrupy notes, nice plum with that, etc... but as a gose it's way too heavy, very little salt or spices, not very tart or refreshing for taht matter, the plum doesn't go well and esp the ester profile and sticky syrupy character. Sorry guys but this is not one of those cross over style blends that works well.

Dec 18, 2015
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sarahelise from Texas

4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this beer at Uchi Austin bottled. This beer is interesting to me because of the play on the Japanese ume plum. So the taste profile on this isn't much like your average stone fruit plum, but more of a salt cured funky fruit flavor. The brine is definitely there on the nose and the palate. It has some earthiness to it and a very interesting light mulled wine / burgundy / burnt orange color. The effervescence is there, but subtle. Definitely would drink this again, although for my personal preference I probably wouldn't drink more than two at a time.

Dec 03, 2015
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stevoj from Idaho

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Co-op. Light and airy pour, almost fizzy, cloudy golden body with small airy head. Plums immediately apparent in aroma, tangy taste, tempering the saltiness somewhat. Dry finish, salt comes out at the end.

Dec 01, 2015
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spoony from Colorado

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 330 ml bottle (AB 15-05 on the bottle) to a tulip.

A-The beer pours with a short, shiny white head. There is a bubble or two of carbonation visible in the murky liquid. The color is a unique burnished orange. I'm intrigued.

S-The aroma is musty, earthy, and pretty tart. I can sniff a good bit of salt here, as well as some apricot and orange rind. Plum is very hard to detect, but it is there. Kind of an odd package.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. Musty, wet wheat with lots of salt. The plum is more up front on the palate and it mingles with apricot tartness for a nice, fruity mix. There is a good dose of lactic funk here too. Although 7% ABV isn't huge, I feel like the salt amplifies the alcohol on my palate.

M-The body is heavy for a gose style. A waive of medium to fine carbonation keeps things moving.

O-This beer has some potential. It is a touch salty for my taste, but it certainly is unique and with a touch less salt, I could drink this again.

Nov 25, 2015
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damndirtyape from Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, date stamp of AB 15.06. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden orange. Very thin ring of white foam at the edge. No other lacing.

Smell: Plums with a bit of some citrus and a bit of a sour aroma. Smells a bit like a plum that has gotten a bit overripe and has begun to ferment - but not rot.

Taste: Tart fresh plums with a hit of sweetness that then quickly transitions into sourness and a hint of saltiness at the finish. Lingering tartness and sour tang at the finish. Well balanced between the fruit, sweet, and sour flavors. Saltiness is mild. If you hadn't told me this was a Gose I might have missed the saltiness and mistaken this for a take on a Lambic. It's shows up more at the finish, but just barely so.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, definitely sticky on the teeth. Has that sour juice coating mouthfeel to it.

Overall / Drinkability: I can't say that I'd want another one in one sitting, but it's a very interesting beer that I'm glad I picked up and tried. Unique flavor profile - A definite sipping beer and I suspect it would go well with food, but I'm not sure what type exactly.

Nov 23, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with hints of plums.
T: The taste follows the smell, but has stronger notes of plums and a little less sourness. Hints of salt are also perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting take on a gose—it's not as sour compared to other beers in the style and the aromas and flavors of plums add an interesting twist.

Serving type: bottle

Nov 15, 2015
Hitachino Nest Anbai Ale from Kiuchi Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 193 ratings