Hitachino Nest Nipponia | Kiuchi Brewery

very good
75 Reviews
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Hitachino Nest NipponiaHitachino Nest Nipponia

Brewed by:
Kiuchi Brewery

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"HITACHINO NEST BEER is a brand of our quality top-fermented ales. Nipponia is brewed using the revived Japanese breed of Kanego Golden barley which was first developed in 1900, along with another strain of hops called 'Japanese-bred Sorachi Ace'. Nipponia is a delightfully golden coloured beer with citrus edge and complex and lingering taste."

Malt: Kaneko Golden
Hops: Sorachi Ace
Alcohol Vol: 6.5%
Color: Golden Yellow

Won a Bronze Medal at the Australian International Beer Awards 2012 in category 5D "Other International Style Lager Packaged".

Added by John_M on 08-13-2010

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 144
Photo of CKMC
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden, cloudy. Fine white head.

S: Yeasty, spicy, little lemon grass, alcohol. Overall, very faint aroma.

T: Toasty, mild earthy bitterness, rounded out by orange peel.

M: Creamy but light; no back palette. Almost no finish.

O: Very decent Japanese craft beer, but somehow still reminds me of Asahi Super Dry.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, 8.0% ABV. Pretty presumptuous, naming a beer after a whole nation...oh right, I'm Canadian.

This beer pours a suspended-particle strewn, hazy medium burnished golden amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy off-white head, which settles evenly, yielding some broken strings of hanging lace around the glass.

It smells of bready caramel nougat malt, zesty lemongrass, further earthy spice notes, a slightly acrid yeastiness, and floral, weedy hops - unique, and fairly enticing. The taste is a big dose of that mirror-world peppy lemon-esque citrus, warm coriander and black pepper spice, a nice, soft sourdough breadiness, and some trailing zingy bell pepper and grassy hop notes. Any noticeable alcohol manifests in a lilting perfumed character as things warm up.

The carbonation is somehow bigger and frothier than it seems, if that makes any sense, the body sits on a sort of see-saw between medium and light weight, and is a little too zingy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the alien citrusy hops and lurking funky yeast pushing hard against the sturdy lingering grainy sweetness.

A whole lot of unfamiliar, but ultimately enjoyable, stuff going on in this brew. Trying the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace a while back prepared me somewhat, but wow, what a difference terroir makes. Calling this a Belgian Pale Ale seems like trying to force a square peg into a round hole - there are apparent similarities, sure, but after a while, you just want to create a whole new definition - thus, no points debit here for not adhering to style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

550ml bottle - $9.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Slips out a hazy, yellow-orange body with a tall, sudsy, whitish head.

Smell: Honey-lemon cough drops on the nose. But, but Doc, I'm not sick! I feel just fine. Right as rain. I'm ready to start reviewing beers again. Honest.

Taste: Sugary on the edge, some pale malts and whole grains. A little honey and citric white grapefruit. Then, a growing spicy herbal tone which, when it couples with the honey and citrus, leaves the beer tasting like a Chloraseptic honey-lemon throat lozenge. Medium bitterness. Remains the same for the dry, spritzy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A disappointment. I know some folks who love a good cough drop. Me, I can't stand'm. So a beer that reminds me of one from the initial sip isn't particularly a good one.

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Happy i was able to taste this obscure rarity. Pours a cloudy brown sunset orange with a fleeting half inch of head. Nose is sweeter bready malts, bright citrus especially tangerine. Taste is more of the same with maybe a touch of light caramel and mandarin showing up, along with some vinous notes. Tasty beer but far from though provoking for the price.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, date appears to be bottled on August 2010 (trying to decipher could be wrong).

Poured into a Brooklyn Tulip Snifter.

The beer looks tremendous very bright orange and to yellow lemon rind glow, decent one finger meringue colored head, dense and shows lacing throughout.

Aroma was bit more subdued than anticipated, but if I am correct that this roughly six months old not terribly surprised. Picked up some lemon grass, spearmint, clementine, pretty clean malt tones, not much belgian flair moderate peppery note.

Flavor was very much what I was looking for as I have become obsessed with the Sorachi hop. Big fruity citric tones, free squeezed lemonade, pulpy orange juice, warps around a crisp pilsner like malt character. A bit sticky in the finish, medium carbonation and medium light bitterness.

Would love to get my hands on a fresh as possible bottle of this brew, love Sorachi hops and this does not disappoint.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a tall narrow 550 ml brown bottle. Pours out a bright yet hazed marmalade hue, thin creamy white head that quickly settles.

Speaking of marmalade, the aroma has a character of that too, some sweet, almost sugary orange zest, mild apricot, mild spice from the yeast, rounded wheat malt in the background.

Flavour is mild overall, soft yet somewhat tart wheat grains, dry neutral spice near the finish, with spicy, leafy green hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, deceptively thin yet still has a healthy dose of carbonation to carry it all.

Nothing really offensive about it, yet not a very strong rendition of the style, no real character or depth of flavour to speak of. Perhaps an unintimidating stepping stone for those just getting into Belgians, but it still doesn't do the actual style any justice.

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Photo of Internatbrewlove
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pale ale pours slightly translucent, light amber, with a fine white head. It smells lightly of fruit and yeast. The flavor is colored with grapefruit, light yeast and moderate hops. The fine carbonation gives a crispy sensation to the beer.

This is a pleasant pale ale with complex flavoring. Definitely worth a try. Hard to find though.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, crisp golden orange color with a pretty good sized, light, creamy, fluffy, slightly sticky, white head. Decent retention leaving a patchy lace.

S - Intriguing nose with yeast and hops competing for attention. Reminds me of somewhere in between a Belgian pale and a saison. The more I smell it, the more lemon and lemon grass hop aroma comes out. Some pale malt and floral aroma also comes out. Slightly sweet and slightly tart.

T - Somewhere in between a Belgian pale and a saison. The sorachi hops really provide a nice kick. Lemon, grassy, and a slight funk provide a lot of the flavor. The funk is subtle but there. A slight herbal, floral, and tea like flavor comes out as well. Yeast provides a touch of flavor as does the malt.

M - Lighter side of medium body with average carbonation. Somewhat slick. Decent but not great.

D - Has a nice subtle funk and tartness. Refreshing and taste good. Not something I would typically reach for, but I would gladly drink this on a regular base.

Notes: Interesting beer with the sorachi hops giving a good amount of the flavors (which is good since this is why I got this). Lemony with a slight funk. Slightly resembles a saison although not entirely like one. Good and interesting. Worth a try.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright orange color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, sharp aroma of hops, malt, yeast, and fruit.

T: Tasted of yeast, a fair amount of hops, light fruit, and a nice hoppy finish. There's an interesting, somewhat odd quality to this beer's flavor that I can't put my finger on. Seems to get better as it goes along.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Not quite classically a BPA, but definitely drinkable.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hitachino Nest Nipponia

Appearance: honey, large head, and a little lacing.

Smell: acidic sourness, fruits, hops, and spices.

Taste: hops, slight barley, some grapefruit-like citrus, and yeast.

Mouthfeel: smooth and balanced.

It starts off with an acidic sourness and then blooms with floral hops into a very nice balance of flavor. This is a great beer. The carbonation was very high initially.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, a new one from one of my favorite breweries... the White Ale is one of my favorite beers of all-time, so I'm excited to try this one, another Japanese take on a Belgian ale.

It pours (into a Chimay goblet) a light gold color... yellow at the thinner parts but more of a gold through the thick of the body. Small white head, but really good lacing.

The smell is simultaneously sweet and hoppy and spicy... it's really intriguing. There's definitely a large hop profile but the Japanese spices blend well with it. Interesting to say the least.

I really like the taste of this one... except there's almost TOO much going on. It has a good balance befitting a pale ale, but the spices add a different element not usually found in an American Pale Ale. They dominate the malts and barley and really form the second layer underneath the dominant hops.

All in all, I'm really enjoying this one. Easy to drink, in fact the different feel makes me want to keep on drinking and take another taste.

Another good one from Kiuchi / Hitachino.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hitachino Nipponia | volume ml. | % ABV | vintage

Brewer: Kiuchi Brewery
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Glass: Duvel tulip

Apparently brewed with an ancient strain of barley. It utilizes Japanese Kaneko Golden and Sorachi Ace hops.

Solid honey-gold, streaked with bubbles and hit with a big, milky dollop of foam on top.

Lemon, a wheat-like funk, herbal notes.

It tastes... musty. The Sorachi hops are immediately evident through a tangy lemon background. Crisp, malt backbone is littered with lightly grounded black pepper. Spicy coriander and a mild bitterness toward the finish. The aftertaste is acrid, with a hint of solvent alcohol.

Light and frothy with ample carbonation.

It stands somewhere between a Belgian Pale Ale and a Saison. It's dry, lemony, and quite spiced up. The balance is a-kilter.

Would I get it again?:

Bottled: late 2010
Served: January 10, 2011

Price = $10.50 at Witherspoon Wines

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy, pale golden orange color with lots of "floaties" (my fault from a bad pour), nice carbonation volume, and a creamy, yet thin white head covering the top of the glass. The foam rides up the sides of the glass a little bit.

S - Lemon herbal grass with very light malt undertones. The nose is quite weak, would like to have more going on.

T - The taste is far better than the nose with some nice lemon zest, grass, herbal and light coriander notes. The flavor has a subdued tangy pungency on the tongue which hits the palette up front and rides the wave all the way to the end. The malt backbone is very light, crisp, and lets the hops and spices do most of the work. Finishes dry and leaves a spicey coriander bitterness aftertaste that lingers for several minutes after the sip. As I get further into the glass, the lemon becomes more palette forward.

M - Crisp, light medium body, and has enough spices and carbonation to nip the tongue a little (in a good way).

D - In my opinion, the strongest aspect of this beer.

Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised with this beer. Unfortunately, at least for my review, the nose really kills the overall score. Of the beers I've had from the Asia region, this one ranks at the top of my list. Definitely worth trying if you have an opportunity. I'd definitely pick up a few more bottles of this in the future if I find it again.

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Photo of nickfl
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a hazy, golden orange body. The foam settles pretty quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A musty aroma of wheat and spices with some coriander and a hint of pithy orange peel and lemongrass.

T - Wheat malt and husky barley up front with some orange hop flavor. Light, musty funk in the middle with some black pepper. Sour pineapple notes and some apricot in the finish with more pepper and an unusual basil note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - This is a very nice beer, Hitachino seems to do quite well interpreting old world beer styles and this one is no exception. The soriachi ace is a very nice hop for this style with a musty, pithy character that compliments the yeast, but some citrus zing to help it stand out from other examples of the style. I have never had a beer brewed with this variety of malt before, but it seems to provide a bready richness that acts as an effective background for the hops to play out their role. Well worth drinking, I would love to try this beer on draught.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer sunshine polished gold with a light dusting of fine yeast that are being buffeted by several streams of rapidly rising bubbles. The pour created almost three fingers of skinned almond colored foam that is whipped creamy and gently rocky.

The nose is strangely subdued, in part due to a lack of Belgian yeast esters. Are we sure this is a BPA? Kaneko Golden Japanese barley smells like pale malt, and Sorachi Ace hops (developed in Japan) deliver their usual lemony herbal quality. A little underwhelming... even after warming has occured.

Hitachino Nipponia tastes a saison. In fact, I'm reminded of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, one of the best American saisons (for me) in the second half of last year. There is a peppery quality in this brew, which could be due to either yeast or hops. Or both.

Like the nose, the malt tastes untoasted pale and holds down the fort pretty well. The top notes are classic Sorachi Ace. That is, loads of freshly zested lemon and an herbal-spicy quality that is somewhat reminiscent of a cough drop, though not medicinal in the least. This middleweight ale is beginning to grow on me with each passing ounce.

The body/mouthfeel didn't impress right out of the gate, but seems to be coming into its own over time. The still-going-strong carbonation is lightly stinging and adds just enough volumizing creaminess for the 4.0 to be granted. Superfine bubbles work much better than large soda-like bubbles would have.

Nipponia (a Latinization of Nippon, which means Japan) is a tasty little Japanese pale ale that features one of that country's contributions to hops. A price tag of $9.99 is waaay too steep for a second go-round, but this certainly was an enjoyable 550 ml.

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Photo of dgilks
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy pale gold colour with a big but not long lasted white head.

Fruity combination of hops and yeast with a mild spicy note.

Soft malt with a clear Belgian yeast character. A mild bitterness helps to balance and there is a touch of lemon from the Sorachi Ace hops.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Silky.

This could really be made in any country. While I like the idea of an all Japanese beer it lacks any distinct character for me.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back label is stamped "10.06" in tiny print near the barcode.

Only 9 reviews in 3 months, and I haven't seen this around locally. Hmm... the green bottle is only apparent after pouring the beer... Why put a hoppy pale ale in a green bottle??

Nice pour, very fluffy head that adheres to the glass in sheets. Attractive glowing orange body, that fades to gold in the meniscus of the glass.

Lemon wedges in sun tea and orange rind aromas, malty with a hint of wildflowers from the Belgian yeast.

Malty and lightly citrusy sweet. Orange juice and hay, grassy, weedy wildflower hop character. Lingering traces of orange juice and even hints of grape juice or pomegranate oddly enough. Malty backbone with a complexity from the yeast. Medium bodied and pleasant to drink, though this seems somewhat faded by time. It's interesting, the Sorachi Ace hops lend a nice citrus note, but I can't help but think it was better a few months ago...

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Photo of Patrick999
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy pour into a tulip. Late-arriving head with a furious stream of bubbles.

Aroma is grainy, toasty at first, then the lemon-Pledge aroma of Sorachi Ace hops comes in.

it's weird, it doesn't taste all that hoppy at first, but the peppery lemon hop character seems to build with each sip, asserting itself a bit over a backdrop of lightly toasted bread. It does wind up being more bitter than it initially seems. I was hoping to get a different malt character from the Kaneko Golden, and I think that difference is that of a malt backbone that seems lightly toasted.

Good lively mouthfeel.

All around, a solid, easily drinkable beer. Comes across as an IPA or American Pale, brewed with alternative hops and malt. Good subtle-but-not-boring beer. Could probably stand up to a wide variety of foods - lemon pepper fish, chicken seem too obvious. Worth a try.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a hazy apricot color with a finger of bright white head.

Aroma of yeast, honey and light lemon.

Tastes of tea, lemon and Belgian malt with a touch of bitter hoppiness and medicinal notes at the finish.

Lighter bodied with a fizzy carbonation.

Definitely a different type of beer but well made as expected from the folks at Hitachino.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a typical straw yellow - not inspiring, but at least the white head is thick, frothy and persistent. Aroma is mainly yeasty with a fruity overtone and a malty undertone as well as some sweetness. Flavor is malty and fruity with a surprising hoppy tone and hints of both apple and grapefruit, as well as sweet, sour and bitter touches. Texture is smooth and a little thick, just subtly tingly. Give it a try!

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes in a 550ml bottle brew pours a light golden honey hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a fast vanishing two finger head and some little lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,herbal hops and barley,it has a pretty average light mouthfeel which leaves you with tastes of orange zest,barley,yeasty bread and finishes with a nice,dry herbal hop hit of bitterness which leaves you thirsty and wanting another sip to whet the palette,overall i was really excited to try this brew as i do like this Japanese brewery alot but this is not one of their more memorable brews and for the price would rather revisit some of their other ones that where cheaper and i really did appreciate way more.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick notes from Tigris Beverage/g.housen Tasting earlier today.

Clear and pale gold with almost no carbonation. Nose is full of honey and wet flower aromas. Palate has some faint carbonation and is slick and rich feeling despite being surprisingly light bodied. Tastes like a honeyed petite barley wine if that makes any sense.

Not a great BPA however.

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Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Hazy golden/orange body. Head fades into a thin film and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Lightly toasted malt and lemongrass.

T: By turns grassy and citrusy. A bit of lavender. Nice malty aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation to lighten it up.

D: Pretty well done. I hope this and Brooklyn represent the beginning of more beers utilizing the Sorachi Ace hop.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

550 mL bottle, courtesy of Amanti Vino's Beer of the Month program, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours very hazy, color is trapped between lemon and gold. A nice two finger creamy white cap rises, but it quickly disappears and lacing is practically nonexistent. The nose is intriguing, some Belgian pale malt fruity sweetness along with citrus and a hint of funk. After that nice setup Nipponia's flavor is a bit of a letdown. The sweetness has lost it's fruity character, there's no funk (but a bit of yeast spiciness), and the lemon is still present. There's also an unwelcome, somewhat rough hop bitterness that comes crashing through after the malts. While the nose was of a possibly interesting Belgian Pale, each sip tastes like an underattenuated and overhopped saison. The beer is surprisingly light (this is a good thing) for the amount of perceived sweetness, but carbonation is a bit much (although how over the top it is is hard to tell, Nipponia doesn't fit neatly into a style). I'm a fan of the Sorachi Ace hop (love me some Brooklyn Sorachi Ace), and it's used to good effect here, but unfortunately the beer surrounding it is a little poorly executed.

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Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with good minimal head retention and almost no lacing. The nose is intriguing, consisting of honey and sweet tea. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, expect the tea flavor is even more pronounced in this moderately sweet beer. This beer really has a pronounced sweet, honey tea flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth, with the alcohol no more than an afterthought.

Very nice beer... impressive.

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Hitachino Nest Nipponia from Kiuchi Brewery
3.86 out of 5 based on 144 ratings.
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