Odds are, if you have ever gotten shithoused while sake bombing in undergrad, there’s a one in three chance that you have encountered one of the three Japanese brewing Megazords: Kirin Ichiban, Asahi, or Sapporo. If I had my choice between the three, Sapporo is usually my go to, despite the gentle and almost diaphanous nature of the three competing styles.
But what do you want, some syrupy old ale or intensely juniper ipa masking that expensive ass Uni you just paid for, you gentrified asshole? But today we have the walezbro Sapporo Reserve, Kotaku culture on full swole.
Sapporo Reserve, Japan
Euro Pale Lager meets Japanese Lager, 5.2% abv
Commercial tug job:
“Sapporo Reserve is a super premium lager brewed almost twice as long as other competing brands. Reserve is brewed with only finest European barley, and the most select European hops.”
A: this pours looking more honey hued and amber than the pale yellow of regular Sapporo, it also has a slight degree of more cling and lacing, well above the call of duty for something a stupid investment banker will spill all over while saying some microaggressions at a sushi bar. As a corollary, their steel can branding is iconic and I love drilling those from the can, the heft like some nimble cutlass in my drunken shuffle boarding Palm. I have no idea what “brewed twice as long” means. It spends a needlessly long time in the primary? They don’t dry hop this so it sits in the secondary uselessly? Who the fuck knows, my external hard drive full of Hentai/tentacle porn offers no answers.
The smell is tame and gives a “blast” of Saaz and maybe Sterling Golden. The rice and cloying saltine aspects from normal Japanese lagers is absent here and this comes across more Germanic in execution, like a pale marzen in a way. It won’t change your life but it gives a degree of actual complexity beyond “I am a beer, order extra yellowtail Travis always takes it all.”
The taste is again very European and has a lightly grassy aspect and fades into a bisquik biscuit with a touch of honey sweetness. It is dismissive in its presence, like a neglected girlfriend it allows you to attend other affairs and, as a result, it endlessly pairable. The silent grace has a clean mouthfeel, without lingering dryness or hoppy residuals. “No no palate, you go out with your friends, I’ll stay home and catch up on STITCHERS on ABC Family.”
The chief virtue behind a beer that goes with the flow is placing it in dynamic situations. Pair this shit with Thai or Barbeque, tapas or duck confit. It won’t protest or really compliment the flavor profiles, but it is so malleable that you can shape it and bend it like Floam. I’ll give you a second to go and Google “floam.”
The funniest part about the dipshits who review this beer on BA or dumbass badge hunters who lambast this is the fact that many “craft” offerings are far shittier. Like the adolescent palate defining itself by rebelling against large companies, many entry level tickers rip on the Sapporo lineup unjustly to validate their own weak ass collection of Rogue beers.
It is summer, bring a few of these big ass steel cans to a cookout and see if your normal/non-basement dwelling friends don’t 1) drink the shit out of them and 2) not think you are a Megan’s Law weirdo for once.
It is 85 degrees out, don’t be the foreskin baller who shows up to a bbq with Adam from the Wood: no one gives a fuck except you. Keep that nerdy shit to yourself and drill some Japanese lager like a real God damn american.