Reviews & info on some beers, bars & pubs in Japan (mainly Tokyo/Yokohama area) - with an extra large serving of nonsensical jibbbbah jabbah thrown in:

Thursday, 25 June 2009

I finally had the Rainbow 7 Hop Rainbow Ale

I've tried time and time again to get a taste of this baby.
As my friends may well know, I'm a jinx, when it comes to timing my visits to bars to try specific beers. The buggers always run out, just before I get there! It happened the last time at Maltan. I went all the way from Yokohama to Kanda and the 7 hop Rainbow ale had just ran out before I got there! I was offered the new guest beer, but I wasn't really in the mood for a mango ale.
It happened to me 40 times in December. Forty bloody times!
Ces't la vie.

Well, for the 4th time, I noticed that a bar in Tokyo had this 7 Hop Rainbow ale on tap.
It was Pangaea.
I decided to hit the place, on my way back from the dentists.
Always a wise option.

I was supposed to have a root canal procedure today.However, the dentist discovered one of the roots was infected and very, very painful.
She had to apply some medicine to the area and leave it for a week, under the cover of a temporary filling. So that meant more pain and a ban on beer.
I dutily obeyed this limitation on my lifestyle by treating myself to a Westmalle 12 Trappist beer from Yamaya in Shibuya.Not bad and one heck of a way to be an elitist street drinker!

I drank and walked and made my way to the Toyoko line which I took to Denenchofu and then changed to the Tokyu Meguro line, to Senzoku and Pangaea.

I was in luck - they still had the 7 hop ale.
However, I was told that this was batch 2. I'm not sure which batch the Good Beer Country Boys helped out on.
I'm guessing it was not this one - because this one tasted pretty good!
Not really that hop laden at all. Almost more a pale ale. Nice and smoothly made. It went down a treat. I was a bit worried about trying this in Pangaea, as I find his beer is often, well, a bit 'off'.
I feel bad for the guy, as he is not doing very well lately, business wise.
Just check out how many poeple are in his place:None.
Diddly squat.

This beer was not funky but rather very, very drinkable.
The guy also keeps his kegs in a seperate refridgerator, at the correct temperature for the beer. He then connects up the keg as you request it. Nice.
He spent some time in England and Scotland and can speak reasonable English. He is a great guy with a lovely family and it would be a shame to see his bar go under.
I just wish he would look after his beer lines better. Either the lines or the handpumps themselves really need cleaning. Something is amiss there.
He has an amazing offer on Fridays and Saturdays of all you can drink for 3 hours for just 3,000yen. That's about 6 beers, including 3 handpumps. Nice.
However, on occasion, the beer may be a tad funky, at least for the first few pints.
He also pulls that handpump way too hard and fast.
But he does have some interesting selections on tap. Right now it includes the Rainbow ale along with his very own pale ale which he made at Hitachino Nest.My advice - stay the fudge away from that pale ale. There is something seriously wrong with it. Nasty, nasty, nasty.
I told him after one sip that there was something wrong and that I couldn't drink it. He said maybe it was the different yeast. Trust me, it wasn't that. The beer was funky. Way funky.
I refused to pay for it. I felt real bad about that as he didn't even ask me to pay for it (800yen's worth), but that beer was wrong. If he cleaned the place up and cleaned the AC and glasses and pipes, etc, then the place could be a real gem. It still has lots of character but so many things there aren't what they should be. Still, he is a great guy and he tries. I recommend checking the place out and giving him your support.

If you go soon, you can't go wrong with this 7 hop Rainbow ale.
It's really drinkable.

7 Hop Rainbow Ale: 6/10

One more thing I must know... it safe?


  1. Chuwy...we only helped with batch one. Well, if you call helping being hungover and pouring malts and hops in the pot, standing around, drinking beer, and farting in the fermenter.

    Just be carful, Nate might have flicked a few boogies into the yeast started that was used on batch 2!!!

  2. Now I feel bad for the guy - might have to go and drum up some business for him. I guess most people get their fill at the all you can drink nights and then don't bother after that

    Jonno at work

  3. I had a similar experience with the beer being 'off' at this place. Such a shame, since I'd gone there with high expectations. ("Three cask-sonditioned beers on tap?!") All three of his cask beers were definitely off when I visited -- not undrinkable, exactly (though I'd certainly have sent them back to the bar if I'd been in England), but not at all good either. I wondered if perhaps he wasn't trying to do too much too soon in terms of offering UK-style cask-conditioned beers. They don't keep in good condition for long, and if he's struggling to attract business (the place was practically empty when I was there too -- on a Friday night at that), then three barrels is probably too much of a good thing. I'd be interested to try this beer, though, which sounds much more promising. I'll keep an eye out for updates on the Boozelist...

  4. Thats the Westmalle tripel in your photo.
    3000yen Nomihodai really is a good deal for a Fri/Sat night and I should try and give that guy a bit of custom as it`s only a 15 minute bike ride from me. However, I`m wary of the quality of his beers now from what i`ve heard and Tomoda Ginza`s above comment about 3 casks running simultaneously with feck all customers around to drink them makes perfect sense. Perhaps he should try and scale things down a little and try and build a bit of a loyal clientele through offering decent quality beer served and stored properly for a while. It is after all a tiny suburban pub and really there`s nothing else of any interest within miles of that area.