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

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Hop Rod Rye: So far, 3 out of 4 off.

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.
Off (just a tad - or is it?).

What's going on?
Won a 4 pack at a beer event and 3 of them are off.
not badly, but not as good as I KNOW they can be.
There is a chance that I am assuming this is off.
At least I didn't pay for them.
These beers must have been laying around in the summer sun or something.
They are all off in the same weird way( the hop rod being the least affected and best of the bunch, though).
Tart and sour tasting and sharp.

I've had hop rod rye on tap and in bottles before and I like it.
Just check out the ratebeer rating.
This does smell quite like it and tastes ok (better than the prohibition and the calico did) but still, something is wrong with this movie.


I've got a fair bit of sediment floating around in my hop rod.
more than the way I carefully poured it warranted.
however, upon reading reviews of this beer, I find others get this tot and it is from the yeast and the unfiltered nature of the beer in the bottle, so maybe nothing is amiss there.
It is the hop rod and it does taste good but something tastes, well, off.
Just a tad off but it's that which is annoying.
It's so subtly off that many people would assume this is the way the beer tastes.
I know it's better than this.
I thought to save this for last but I'm glad I didn't.
I opened it as I didn't appreciate the taste from my calico and wanted something I knew I would like.

It's not far off, though but I do detect a teeny tiny amount of skunk.
Hop Rod Rye - 6/10
To be fair, as I finished the pint, the beer got better but the grapefruit taste - which is normal for this beer, along with the peppery spicy rye still held a tartness to it which matched the previous 2.

Please, don't let my ranting put you off thee otherwise fine brews.
I KNOW them to be good ad well made beers.
Just click on the ratebeer links to see what beer enthusiasts make of them.
Great beers.
Outstanding beers.
Just not the 3 bottles I opened today and yesterday.

Where are the good bottles?
Must I undertake a quest, to seek out the good beer, from the bad?
The good booze shops from the bad?
The ones who look after their beers and the ones (like mylocal - grrr!) who put the Super Dry in the refridgerators and leave the Unibrue, Stone and SChlenkerla in the summer sun or under the boiling hot winter AC?

Well, I shall accept this challenge and undertake this quest.
I shall out the bad and praise the good!
Starting as soon as I can get out of these tights...


  1. I guess that's what you get for being part of a rigged contest! How the three of you won this is beyond me, ha!

  2. Hey mate was thinking bout your idea...will get back to you in more detail over the next few days

    ps of course it was rigged capa! lol

  3. I need to ask Marco what he thought of his beers.
    If they were skunked as well, I need to ask Andy where they were stored.
    His draught on the day was in fantastic condition and his beers are usually good, so I think he should know about these bottles we had.
    Mine wrern't horrible horribel, but prohibiton wasnt very nice and the others were not 100%. I've drank them all before and i lnow hat they should taste like. Even Islander ws a tad off. Same off taste in all of them, strangely enough.sun? Heat?
    They also all had a tiny amount of crusty sediment around the bottom edge of the lip, where it met the cap. Haven't noticed that before.
    I have my theories.
    Had someone dunked all bottles in a large tank of raw sewerage? Weird.
    A nice way to rig the raffle and say thanks for helping out.
    Jonno, let's chat via mail dude.
    Good to hear from you.

  4. I got word from Andy that those beers were stored under controlled temperatures (19C).
    Hmm. That means it probably wasn't heat.
    Perhaps sunlight?
    Another answer could be that my tastes were out of whack.
    It could be possible. I have had all these beers before and had them in better condition (apart from callico - one bottle I had of that was very badly altered - but the other 2 I had were lovely) than I tasted them these last few nights.
    I wasn't drunk when I tasted them.
    It could be that I am picking up a cold or something and my taste buds could be a little off right now.
    But then why would HopJuice also find strange flavours in his beers?
    I certainly am not trying to put any blame on Andrew and Nagano Trading.
    I have the utmost respect for them and their quality control.
    Occasionally, a bad beer will get through the checks and safeguards.
    Sometimes it's the breweries, sometimes the shipments, sometimes the storage, sometimes the handling by the customer, sometimes it's just plain bad luck.
    Andy does assure me he keeps his imported beers under controlled temperatures and he does care very much about the quality of his product. I like his beers and we are very lucky to have them, over here.
    I certainly will continue to purchase them, in bottle as well as on draft and I think you should all try some of the excellent beer he has brought over for us (but save some for me!).
    Occasionally, you'll get a bad beer. It happens.
    Out of the four I won, only one was bad enough to be close to actually being skunked.
    The other three were drinkable, but not in perfect condition.
    The worrying thing was that they all had the same off flavour and taste, some stronger than others but all the same weird taste.
    Again, that could be me but then what are the odds of HopJuice also tasting that in his beers?
    I think I need to (and hope to, soon!) try another hop-rod rye and islander IPA, just to make sure!
    Merry Christmas, guys!

  5. Whoops. The tempreature in the Nagano warehouse is actually 12C, not 19C. That's much better.