One of the goals of this Beer Advent Calendar is to offer up a variety of holiday beers from around the globe, and Japan is one of the countries that has been fairly under-represented in this regard, partially because Christmas in Japan is fairly different than here in the Western world, and also because Japan up until recently hasn’t had as strong a craft beer tradition. Happily, that is changing.
So today’s pick comes from Baird Brewing, one of the craft breweries that’s been leading the way in the Japanese beer market for the last few years (and whose bottles are showing up here in the U.S. thanks to the Shelton Brothers): their Jubilation Ale. This 7% abv beer is released each December.
This celebratory ale is brewed with fully ripened figs candied in Japanese red sugar and cinnamon twigs culled from a Japanese Nikki tree. A sublimely balanced interplay of sweet and spice result. The ruby red hue and the wafting aroma of Japanese nikki warm the heart and furbish the soul.
Rich and opulent, it is emblematic of the good cheer and renewed energy with which Japanese celebrate the coming of each New Year.
This sounds like a luscious, wonderful and unusual beer with which to celebrate the Christmas season, and would be a lovely addition to your holiday beer tradition.