Echigo, the first micro-brewery of Japan28 Aug 2018
History of the brewery
The Echigo Brewery was the very first in Japan to produce craft beer and they have been going strong in the world of beer ever since.
A number of micro-breweries in Japan opened after the revision of the liquor tax law in 1994, because the minimum production volume required to obtain a beer brewing license was greatly reduced. That made it possible for small manufacturers to start businesses, and Echigo Beer was the first to open a brewpub in Japan.
The founder of Echigo Beer had been working as a stage actor in Europe, where he met deep and diverse beer culture and dreamed spreading it from his hometown Niigata to the whole Japan. He managed to achieve his dream and now, Echigo brewery is playing the key role in the beer industry in Japan and even the whole world.
The brewery is located in Niigata prefecture, which is the number one rice growing prefecture in Japan and home to the famous Koshihikari rice, a short grain rice regarded as the best quality and flavor in all of Japan. The brewery has high standards when selecting the Koshihikari rice to assure the superb flavor outcome.
Echigo Koshihikari Beer is the flagship brand of Echigo Brewery. It is a rice style lager with 5% alcohol. While the malt ingredient is imported from Europe, the rice is harvested literally from the backyard of Echigo Brewery. Though this beer is categorized as being dry, the brewery uses the time-consuming German decoction method to bring out the natural sweet flavor from the Niigata grown Koshihikari rice, which can appeal even to those who do not like dry beer.
It’s a pale golden color that comes out of the bottle, with a strong head that quickly fades. It has a slightly acidic tang to the regular lager flavour, but it is not too overpowering.
The beer has a crisp and refreshing flavor, and exceptionally soothing and smooth quality. The sweet aroma of rice, and eloquent fragrance of hops, make it the perfect complement to any Japanese dish. Echigo Koshihikari is a true izakaya and sushi bar standout, it complements sushi, sashimi, yakitori served with salt (without tare sauce), etc.
We recommend trying this one and only Japanese beer!